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Loose Leaf Tea Feature on StarChefs Loose Leaf Tea Feature on StarChefs


scrambled eggs with tea-cured salmon
Chef Arpad Lengyel of Teaism – Washington, DC
Adapted by StarChefs

6 servings

Note: It takes 2 days to cure the salmon – plan ahead!


    Tea-Cured Salmon
  • 1 pound salmon filet, deboned with the skin left on
  • 1 cup loose leaf Lapsang Souchong tea
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup kosher salt

    Scrambled Eggs
  • 18 large eggs
  • ¼ cup cold water
  • 1 Tablespoon sweet (unsalted) butter
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh ginger, minced
  • 2 Tablespoons jalapeno chili, chopped
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

  • 1 loaf crusty bread from your favorite bakery
  • 4 spring onions, chopped


To cure the salmon:
Mix the tea, salt and sugar in a small bowl. Line a long glass (non-reactive) casserole or baking pan with plastic wrap. Pat the salmon filet dry and lay it skin-side down in the pan. Sprinkle the tea-salt-sugar cure mix over the salmon and coat evenly. Cover with plastic wrap. Use something heavy - about 5-10 pounds - to weigh the salmon down. Refrigerate for 2 days. Remove the salmon from the refrigerator and use cold water to rinse off all of the cure mixture. Pat the salmon dry with paper towels, then place skin side-down on a wooden or plastic cutting board. With a sharp knife, slice the salmon diagonally off the skin. The sliced salmon will keep overnight in the refrigerator - layer the slices on sheets of wax paper and store in plastic wrap.

To make the scrambled eggs:
Crack the eggs into a large bowl and whisk in about 1/4 cup of cold water. Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat and add the butter. As soon as the butter stops bubbling, add the chopped jalapeño and minced ginger. Then add the eggs, cilantro, salt and pepper. Scramble until full cooked. Remove from the heat.

To plate:
Put 3 or 4 slices of the tea-cured salmon on the plate. Sprinkle some chopped spring onions on the salmon to garnish. Add a nice chunk of crusty bread and a spoonful of scrambled eggs. Serve with a pot of Lapsang Souchong tea or another smoky black tea.

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ochazuke (rice & tea soup)
Chef Arpad Lengyel of Teaism – Washington, DC
Adapted by StarChefs

2 servings


  • 3 cups jasmine rice
  • 3 1/4 cups water
  • 1 Tablespoon salt
  • 5 cups water
  • 5 teaspoons Sencha loose leaf tea
  • ½ bunch bok choy, washed and thinly sliced
  • 2 nori seaweed sheets, crumbled


Rinse the rice thoroughly in cold water. Cook the rice in a rice cooker or in a pot of boiling water on the stove.

Bring the 5 cups water to a rolling boil in a medium sized sauce pan. Remove from heat, and let the water cool to 170 degrees Fahrenheit. Add the tea and allow to steep for three minutes only – no longer, or the taste will become bitter. Strain the tea through a fine strainer or cheesecloth.

With an ice cream scoop, scoop a big portion of rice into a bowl. Add the bok choy and crumbled nori. Pour some of the sencha tea over the rice and toppings to make a soup. Serve immediately.

Note: The soup is served usually with a variety of toppings, including:

  • Chazuke seasoning packets, available in Asian stores
  • Carrots, washed and grated
  • Other vegetables, like radishes, watercress, savory cabbage
  • Salmon, baked in the oven and crumbled or flaked into pieces
  • Japanese pickled plums
  • Wasabi horseradish paste

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grilled lapsang souchong tea and shallot stuffed salmon spirals
Chef Norman Van Aken of Norman’s - Miami, FL
Adapted by StarChefs

6 servings


  • 1/3 cup loose leaf Lapsang Souchong tea
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 3 Tablespoons sweet (unsalted) butter
  • 10 shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • Pinch of ground white pepper
  • 12 wooden skewers, presoaked in water
  • 28-32 ounces boneless, skinless salmon, cut from a whole side, excluding the tail
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


In a small bowl, soak the dried tea in the balsamic vinegar for a minimum of 30 minutes.

Heat a medium-sized sauté pan. Add the butter and allow to foam briefly. Scatter the shallots across the bottom of the pan and stir occasionally to coat them. When the shallots are caramelized, add the sugar and stir again. Add the tea and balsamic vinegar mixture and stir well. Allow the vinegar to reduce almost completely. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a bowl and allow the mixture to cool on its own (this will also give the tea the time to hydrate further and soften).

Place the tea-shallot mix onto a cutting board and chop it to medium fine. You may find a small stone in the mixture; discard any if so. Reserve.

Place the salmon on a cutting board and--cutting in the opposite direction than for a fillet--make "ribbon" cuts a bit thicker than ½ inch cutting down the length of the fish (an 18-inch length ribbon per person is about right). Lay the "ribbons" on their sides and season lightly with the salt and pepper.

Take a pinch of the prepared tea mixture at a time and arrange it down the center of each "ribbon". Roll the salmon up in a spiral (it will look a lot like a "Danish" roll). Take the wooden skewers and spear the spiral twice--once right at the end of the "tail" straight through, and another an inch over or so to make an “X” with the spears. Reserve covered in the refrigerator until ready to cook.

To cook, heat a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the skewers and cook until seared through, 3-5 minutes. Serve.

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jasmine white chocolate truffles
Pastry Chef Polly Brown of Teaism – Washington, DC
Adapted by StarChefs

About 50 small 3/4” truffles


  • 7 ounces white chocolate, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons loose leaf jasmine tea


Coat bottom and sides of a 4x8 baking pan lightly with cooking spray. In a small sauce pan boil the tea leaves and heavy cream. Strain to remove the tea leaves. Place the chopped white chocolate in a large bowl, and pour the boiling cream over the chocolate. Stir slowly until smooth. Pour the mixture into the pan. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.

Slice into 3/4” squares. Coat the squares in cocoa powder or in tempered white chocolate before serving.

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Loose Leaf Tea Feature on StarChefs

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