Tea as an Ingredient in Cooking: Examples from Different Countries

Tea has been widely used as a food ingredient in various parts of the world. Not only fresh tea leaves but also processed leaves, powdered tea, extract, and tea flowers are used for cooking. Here are some examples of how tea is used in different countries:


In some parts of China, tea leaves are used to make stir-fried or steamed dishes. They are often cooked with fish, pork, or shrimp, adding a unique flavor to the dish.

Thailand and Myanmar

In Thailand and Myanmar, people eat picked tea, known as “mian” or “lapet-so.” In Myanmar, picked tea is mixed with nuts and sesame seeds to create a tasty and healthy snack.


In Japan, there are several traditional dishes that use tea as an ingredient, such as tea porridge or tea pilaf. These dishes are typically seasoned with salt and may include beans or diced yam. It is traditionally believed that using tea when cooking meat or fish can make them tender and remove any unwanted odor.

Modern Uses for Tea in Cooking

The use of tea in cooking has expanded in recent years, with many dishes now incorporating tea as an ingredient. Tea-soba, tea-noodle, tea-bread, and other tea-infused products can be readily found in stores. Tea’s unique flavor and potential health benefits make it a versatile ingredient in the kitchen.

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