Tea Leaves in Cooking in South East Asia

Pickled tea has been a popular food item in many Asian countries, including the Southwest of China, Thailand, and Myanmar. In Myanmar, pickled tea, called “Laphet soo,” is still a well-loved delicacy. The process of making it involves steaming raw tea leaves and then fermenting them with lactic acid bacteria inside bamboo or sealed-up baskets.

The dish is typically served on a plate specifically designed for it, with pickled tea placed in the center and peanuts, garlic, dried shrimp, and sesame seeds arranged around it. These ingredients are mixed with salt, seasoning, and peanut oil, making it a great dish or snack to enjoy with tea. You can even find street vendors selling pickled tea for consumption on the go.

Debate on the History of Tea: As a Drink or a Food?

The discovery of pickled tea leaves has led to debates about the origins of tea. Did tea first exist as a food or a drink? It is worth noting that tea originated in a region with many ethnic minorities, each with their own customs and eating habits. Understanding this diversity can provide us with a better perspective on the history of tea.

Leave a Reply