Tea for Dinner, the New England Way
Spicy Tea Leaf over Lobster
When tea comes to mind, rarely do people think of our favorite leaf as a food to be taken outside of the cup. Thanks to a 1,000 year old tradition emanating from the mountainous township of Namhsan, Myanmar, our concept of tea in America is about to change in a big way. Laphet So is aged, fermented green tea leaf that is edible and damn delicious. Yes, I mean it's edible...and you eat it. Blended with red chili and olive oil, the combination yields a versatile delicacy to be dolloped on the fanciest of foods. Spicy Tea over Lobster, an adaptation of traditional Burmese Laphet So with shrimp, is one such tea pairing that will add a huge kick of wierdly delicious flavor and umami to the rich flesh of the lobster. It's tea taken in a New England kind of way.
Step 1: cook the lobster tail
There are many ways to cook a tasty lobster tail. Yankee Magazine does a pretty good job of explaining the various options with its lobster tails advice article. In our case, I just go to the seafood counter at my local supermarket to buy a pre-cut lobster tail. I wash it thoroughly and slap a chunk of butter on the top--the top being the underside of the lobster as shown in the photo. I then wrap in some tin foil to trap the steam and broil for a few minutes so as to not overcook. You don't want your lobster to be rubbery!
Step 2: add Myanmar's finest 'Laphet So'
This part is easy. Order your 'Laphet So' here and simply mix up and spoon on top of the succulent lobster tail.
Step 3: plate, serve and enjoy
Spicy Tea Leaf over lobster tail works well as a first course for a special dinner. If your budget allows, you can buy a dozen tails to really impress your next dinner party or potluck. I know we'll be serving it for our family's upcoming Christmas Eve (Italian seafood night).
is co-founder of LiberatedState, our community for all things Cultured Tea Leaf, Hawai'i Loa, and tea food culture.