a journal of tea-inspired foods and recipes
I’ve been playing around with different salt and tea combinations, inspired originally by the flavored salts Jamie Oliver writes about in Jamie’s Kitchen.
What have I learned?
When it comes to flavored salts, use a recipe as a guideline. And then explore different ratios depending on your ingredients. You can get varying results depending on how strong your flavoring agent is and how flavorful and salty your salt is.
In this recipe, I use a very salty grey sea salt from France. And I use more green tea than salt, since the salt is so strong.
Make 3 Ways
I suggest three green teas to choose from for this recipe. Each will add a slightly different flavor to the salt blend.
(1) Gunpowder: This green tea from China is a strong, astringent tea. It has a grassy, mineral-y flavor.
(2) Sencha: This Japanese green tea has a more of a vegetal aroma and subtle seaweed-like characteristics.
(3) Jasmine: This Chinese green tea is scented with jasmine flowers and has a slightly sweet and floral flavor.
If you’re not familiar with these tea profiles, brew each one and sip it before you commit to using it in a recipe. Better yet, pop a few of the dried tea leaves in your mouth to munch on and you’ll really get a sense for the flavor you’re going to end up with in a salt blend.
Use 3 Ways
(1) Green Tea Salted Popcorn
(2) Soba Noodles Tossed with Green Tea Salt
(3) Green Tea Salt Seared Scallops
I’d love to hear how you use flavored salts, too.
Happy cooking and sipping!
Makes about 4 tablespoons, enough to fill a spice jar
3 tablespoons loose leaf green tea (try Gunpowder, Sencha or Jasmine)
1 tablespoon course sea salt
For a finer salt blend, place the tea and salt in a spice grinder or mini food processor and blend until you reach desired consistency. For a coarse blend, use a large mortar and pestle to manually grind the tea and salt together. Store in a well-sealed spice jar.Tips:
Remember to play around with the ratios. Add even more tea if the salt is really strong, and vice versa.
Below are three quick and easy recipes for ways to use your new batch of green tea salt. Each recipe makes about 2 servings. And notice the use of coconut oil in all of these recipes. It’s my new favorite cooking oil. It’s incredibly flavorful and gives a little Asian flair to each dish. You could substitute clarified or regular butter if you don’t have a jar of coconut oil sitting around.
In a large skillet, melt 2 tablespoons of coconut oil over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add ½ lb cooked soba noodles. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, tossing frequently, until noodles are heated through and starting to brown. Remove skillet from heat, and toss noodles with 1 teaspoon of green tea salt and ¼ teaspoon of ground white or black pepper. Serve solo, or toss in some grated carrots, minced scallions, leftover roast chicken, or anything else you need to use up from the fridge. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Divide about 1 teaspoon of green tea salt among 4 large scallops, coating the top and bottom of each scallop with the salt blend. If desired, add a dash of ground white, black or Szechwan pepper to the scallops as well. In a medium skillet, melt 1 tablespoon of coconut oil over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the seasoned scallops and cook undisturbed for about 2 minutes each side, so that each side gets a nice sear. Serve the scallops hot over a bed of either cold or quickly sautéed spinach, arugula or other hearty greens.