Addictive Burmese Tea Leaf Salad

Nicole Poirier is the owner of and a professional chef and restrictive diets specialist, passionate about helping you achieve greater levels of health through nutrition and mindfulness.

Serving Size: 4 servings

Prep Time Cook Time Total Time
20 mins 30 mins 50 mins
  • ⅓ c dried green tea leaves
  • 1 c water
  • 1 c white vinegar
  • ½ c safflower, grape seed, or canola oil
  • ⅛ c sesame oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 Tablespoon fish sauce – tamari or coconut aminos to keep it vegan
  • 1 head romaine, chopped finely
  • 1 tomato, small dice
  • ½ c yellow split peas, prepared according to package directions or just boiled in 2 c salted water until plump and chewable, but not mushy – 15 minutes or so*
  • ½ c roasted unsalted peanuts
  • 2 Tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 2 Tablespoons sunflower seeds
  • 1 serrano or jalapeño, sliced very thinly into rounds
  • ¼ cup sliced garlic chips or fried shallots
  • 1 lemon, cut into halves for a large serving dish, quarters for individual.
  • *omit split peas for Paleo and replace peanuts with cashews or almonds
  1. First, combine tea leaves, water, and vinegar in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat.
  2. Reduce heat and simmer gently for 25 minutes. Remove from heat and drain, squeezing as much liquid out as possible.
  3. Place tea leaves, oils, garlic cloves, lemon juice, and fish sauce or substitute into a blender or small food processor and blend until smooth, You will end up with about 1 cup of dressing.
  4. Place dressing in a jar and cover with a paper towel secured by a rubber band. Leave for 3 days out of direct sunlight to ferment, then cover with a lid and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 months, though I promise it won’t last that long because you’ll be eating it! (My first jar lasted 4 days – ugh – making a triple batch next time…)
  5. For the salad itself, we first need to crisp the split peas and garlic. This can be done quickly, by shallow frying, or a little more slowly and healthfully by baking. I prefer the latter.
  6. Preheat the oven to 375.
  7. Spread the cooked split peas on a parchment paper in a single layer. You can put the garlic on the same tray if you have room.
  8. Liberally spray the peas and garlic with cooking spray – I prefer coconut because I like the flavor addition, but regular Pam or olive oil will do.
  9. Bake for 15 – 20 minutes, until the peas look dry and the garlic is golden in color.
  10. Place the chopped lettuce on a serving plate, and arrange each topping in sections for presentation.
  11. For the whole salad, you would use 4 Tablespoons of dressing and the juice of one lemon. For individually plated ones, one Tablespoons and ¼ lemon per plate is enough.
  12. Toss everything together using two forks, and dig in!

Link to the original recipe here.

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