To continue were we left off yesterday, tea can be just as versatile outside the teacup as it is in. Here are a few more ways to add a little more flava to your kitchen…

 

Chef RecommendedTea as an oil:
Because this is a non-discriminating newsletter, I must give voice to the fact that cooking with tea is not exclusive to tea leaves. Although it has been used for centuries throughout Asia, Tea Oil is only now making its way into Western Cuisine. Made from the seeds of the tea plant, this relatively neutral-tasting oil has shown to have a plethora of uses in itself. From a base to salad dressing to the perfect sauté oil (due to the very high flash point) and more, Tea Oil has become a popular substitute to more traditional vegetable and canola oils.

 

Tea as a steam agent:

Instead of using water to steam your favorite fish of vegetable dish, try using tea. It adds a great subtle overtone that adds something without taking away from anything else. It’s like a win-win. I personally recommend using Chai with Halibut. It will seduce you.

 

Tea as a smoke agent:Tea-Smoked Chicken

I recently purchased a indoor stovetop smoker and have been tinkering with it for a bit. One of my favorite concoctions is blending the wood chips used for smoking with a little bit of tea. I smoked some chicken with Hickory wood chips mixed with Lapsang Souchong. Perfect amount of flavor and smoke, just remember to keep the heat on medium-medium low.

 

Tea as an aromatic:
In cooking, one has to pay close attention to the retro-nasal aromatics – the flavor you get in the cavity of your nasal passage. This is the true flavor that will always come through in your food and therefore must be complemented. Tea is the perfect complement to many flavors, filled with rich and subtle aromatics. Adding a touch of Jasmine tea to a rice dish will add many different interesting levels of smell and flavor that are sure to impress.

 

More tea-cooking fun to come in our next installment!