Delicious Tea Leaf Salad Recipe (An All-Time Favorite Dish)

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Tea Leaf Salad Recipe , a vibrant dish, is an excellent choice for an exotic meal. Homemade pickled tea leaves form the heart of this salad. Crunchy nuts, fresh tomatoes, and crisp cabbage complement the unique flavor. When in doubt, add garlic and lime for a zesty twist. Enjoying it as a light lunch or a side dish is a good idea. Savor each bite of this Burmese culinary delight.

Embarking on a culinary journey often leads to unexpected delights, like discovering the Tea Leaf Salad Recipe

This dish’s allure began during a quaint Middle-Eastern café visit, where its vibrant colors and unique taste instantly captivated me. 

Fork and Salad

It’s perfect when you’re craving something different yet wholesome. Imagine facing the dilemma of wanting a salad that’s both nutritious and bursting with flavor. 

The solution? Tea Leaf Salad. This recipe intertwines the tangy, fermented notes of tea leaves with crunchy nuts and fresh vegetables

It’s a dish that transformed my routine dinners into a gastronomic adventure reminiscent of European bistros. 

My kids, usually hesitant about new foods, were enticed by its exotic appeal. 

This salad isn’t just food; it celebrates diverse flavors and textures, promising to elevate your dining experience.

What Is Tea Leaf Salad?

Tea Leaf Salad, originating from Myanmar, is an extraordinary blend of flavors and textures. Central to this dish are fermented tea leaves, offering a unique, slightly tangy taste. 

Accompanying these are various ingredients like crunchy peanuts, toasted sesame seeds, fried garlic, diced tomatoes, and shredded cabbage, creating a symphony of flavors. 

This salad is renowned for its harmonious balance of sour, sweet, and umami notes, making it a favorite in Burmese cuisine. 

It’s not just a salad but a vibrant celebration of tradition and taste, perfect for those seeking a culinary adventure.

What Is The Origin Of Tea Leaf Salad Recipe?

Tea Leaf Salad Recipe, known as ‘Lahpet Thoke’ in Myanmar, has a rich history dating back centuries. 

In Myanmar, tea is as much a food as a beverage. This unique culinary tradition stems from fermenting tea leaves, a technique developed over generations. 

Historically, tea leaves were an essential part of local diets and were often exchanged as a symbol of peace among warring kingdoms. 

The recipe has evolved, incorporating various local ingredients to balance the fermented tea’s bold flavor. 

Today, it’s a staple in Burmese cuisine, celebrated for its distinctive taste and cultural significance, embodying Myanmar’s rich heritage and culinary innovation.

Salad Recipe

Ingredients List

Romaine lettuce1 head
Burma Love Laphet Fermented Tea Leaf Salad Mix (or similar)1 package (or a jar of Laphet and a package of Traditional Burmese Crunchy Mix)
Lemon wedgesFor serving

What Are The Variations Suitable For The Tea Leaf Salad Recipe?

Tea Leaf Salad, known for its versatility, can be adapted to suit diverse palates and dietary needs.

Burmese Fermented

Stay true to tradition with fermented tea leaves, crunchy nuts, and fried garlic.

Mango Avocado

Infuse tropical sweetness with diced mango and creamy avocado.

Spicy Shrimp

Add a kick with marinated shrimp and a spicy dressing for a seafood twist.

Sesame Ginger

Incorporate an Asian touch with a sesame ginger dressing and toasted sesame seeds.

Coconut Chicken

Enhance with shredded coconut and grilled chicken for a hearty option.

Radish And Cucumber

Keep it crisp with refreshing radish and cucumber slices.

Pomegranate Walnut

Boost texture and flavor with juicy pomegranate seeds and crunchy walnuts.

What Are The Tips For The Tea Leaf Salad Recipe?

A few tips can enhance flavor and experience when preparing Tea Leaf Salad. 

First, ensure the tea leaves are fermented adequately for that quintessential tangy taste

Balance is vital; mix the tartness of the tea leaves with the sweetness of tomatoes and the crunch of nuts. 

Add the crunchy components just before serving for the best texture to prevent them from becoming soggy. 

Consider lightly toasting the nuts and seeds to intensify their flavor. Adjust the seasoning with lemon juice or a hint of fish sauce to suit your taste. 

Finally, present it aesthetically, as the visual appeal of this vibrant salad is a big part of its charm. 

Remember, each ingredient plays a vital role in creating the perfect harmony of this traditional Burmese dish.

Are There Any Unusual Or Exotic Ingredients That Work Well With Tea Leaf Salad Recipe?

  • Dried Shrimp or Fish: Common in Southeast Asian cuisine, these add a savory depth and umami flavor.
  • Pickled Ginger: Provides a zesty, spicy kick, complementing the fermented tea leaves.
  • Pomegranate Seeds: Their sweet, tart burst can contrast beautifully with the tangy tea leaves.
  • Star Fruit (Carambola): Adds a unique tropical sweetness and an eye-catching appearance.
  • Edible Flowers: For a pop of color and a subtle floral note, such as marigolds or pansies.
  • Sichuan Peppercorns: Introduce a slight numbing sensation and a unique aromatic twist.
  • Mango Strips: Offer a sweet, tangy flavor that pairs well with fermented leaves.
  • Kaffir Lime Leaves: Thinly sliced, they bring a fresh, citrusy aroma.
Bowl and Salad

Recipe Directions

  • Chop the Lettuce: Start by thoroughly washing the romaine lettuce. Pat it dry and then chop it into bite-sized pieces.
  • Dice the Tomato: Wash the tomato and dice it into small, even pieces.
  • Assemble the Salad: Place the chopped lettuce in a large serving bowl. Then, top it with the diced tomato.
  • Add Laphet and Crunchy Mix: Add the Laphet (fermented tea leaf dressing) to the bowl. Follow this by sprinkling the Traditional Burmese Crunchy Mix over the salad.
  • Final Touch: Just before serving, squeeze a little lemon juice over the salad. This adds a fresh, zesty flavor.
  • Toss and Serve: Toss the salad well to ensure all the ingredients are evenly combined and coated with the dressing. Serve immediately to enjoy the freshness and crunch of the salad.

Eat smart, live longer. Discover the yummy flavors of tea leaf salad Recipe – it’s easy and oh-so-delicious.

What Herbs And Spices Work Well In Tea Leaf Salad Recipe?

  • Mint: Adds a refreshing, cool contrast to the fermented tea leaves.
  • Cilantro: Brings a fresh, citrusy note that pairs well with the tangy flavors.
  • Lemongrass: Its lemony aroma and taste can elevate the overall freshness of the salad.
  • Ginger: Offers a spicy, warm undertone, balancing the tanginess of the tea leaves.
  • Green Chilies: Finely chopped green chilies can add a spicy kick for those who enjoy the heat.
  • Garlic: Minced garlic can provide a pungent, earthy flavor that complements the fermented elements.
  • Turmeric: A pinch can add subtle earthiness and vibrant color.
  • Lime Zest: Introduces a bright, tangy element, enhancing the citrus notes.
  • Black Pepper: A classic spice that adds a mild heat and depth of flavor.
  • Coriander Seeds: Crushed coriander seeds can add a slightly sweet, citrusy flavor.
Tea Leaf Salad Recipe

Nutritional Values

Tea Leaf Salad is a culinary delight and a nutritional powerhouse. It’s rich in antioxidants, thanks to the fermented tea leaves, which aid in fighting free radicals. 

Fresh vegetables like lettuce and tomatoes contribute essential vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C and potassium

Nuts and seeds in the salad offer healthy fats and protein, supporting heart health and muscle maintenance. 

This salad is balanced with fiber, nutrients, and flavors, making it a healthy choice for any meal.

What Are The Total Calories In The Salad?

The total calories in a serving of Tea Leaf Salad can vary based on the specific ingredients and their quantities. 

Typically, a single serving contains approximately 150-250 calories. This range accounts for the fermented tea leaves, a mix of fresh vegetables like lettuce and tomatoes, and additions like nuts and seeds. 

The calorie count is relatively moderate, making it a suitable option for those mindful of their calorie intake while seeking a nutrient-rich, flavorful meal.

Health Benefits Of The Tea Leaf Salad Recipe

Rich In Antioxidants

Fermented tea leaves are loaded with antioxidants, which combat oxidative stress and promote overall health.

Supports Digestion

The high fiber content from vegetables aids digestion and promotes gut health.

Boosts Heart Health

Ingredients like nuts and seeds provide healthy fats that benefit heart health.

Strengthens Immune System

The vitamins and minerals in fresh vegetables strengthen the immune system.

Weight Management

It can be a part of a weight management diet, being low in calories and high in fiber.

Anti-inflammatory Properties

Certain spices and herbs used can have anti-inflammatory effects.

Promotes Healthy Skin

Antioxidants and vitamins contribute to skin health.

Enhances Mental Clarity

Tea leaves contain compounds that improve focus and alertness.

Balances Blood Sugar

Fiber and healthy fats help regulate blood sugar levels.

Provides Essential Nutrients

Offers a range of vitamins, minerals, and proteins essential for overall wellness.

Nutrition Table

Nutrition Table

What Dressings Are Best Served With Tea Leaf Salad Recipe?

  • Sesame Ginger Dressing: Adds a spicy and nutty flavor, complementing the fermented tea leaves.
  • Lime and Honey Vinaigrette: Offers a sweet and citrusy balance, enhancing the salad’s freshness.
  • Soy Sauce and Rice Vinegar Dressing: Brings an Asian twist with its savory and acidic notes.
  • Peanut Dressing: Introduces a creamy texture and rich flavor, ideal for a heartier salad.
  • Tamarind Dressing: Provides a tart and sweet flavor, adding complexity to the dish.
  • Chili Lime Dressing: This dressing can elevate the salad’s heat level for a spicy kick.
  • Coconut Milk Dressing: Adds a tropical, creamy element, softening the salad’s intense flavors.
  • Garlic and Lemongrass Dressing: Infuses aromatic Southeast Asian flavors, complementing the salad’s essence.
Tea Leaf Salad Recipe

Enjoy the satisfying crunch of nuts and the freshness of greens in a special tea-leaf salad recipe.

Are There Any Unique Toppings That Can Elevate The Crunch Factor Of Tea Leaf Salad?

  • Fried Shallots: Offer a crispy texture with a sweet yet sharp onion flavor.
  • Roasted Chickpeas: Add a nutty taste and a satisfying crunch.
  • Sunflower Seeds: Small but mighty, they provide a subtle nuttiness.
  • Crispy Rice Noodles: Light and airy, they add an interesting textural contrast.
  • Water Chestnuts: Known for their crispness, offering a refreshing crunch.
  • Popped Quinoa: A healthy, crunchy twist with a mild, nutty flavor.
  • Sliced Bamboo Shoots: They bring a distinctive crunch and a mild taste.
  • Pomegranate Arils: Burst with juiciness and provide a crunchy seed texture.
Tea Leaf Salad Recipe

What Is The Difference Between Homemade And Store-Bought Tea Leaf Salad Recipe?

  • Flavor Freshness: Homemade versions often have fresher, more vibrant flavors than store-bought salads’ potentially muted tastes.
  • Ingredient Quality: With homemade salads, you control the quality and source of ingredients, ensuring freshness and organic options if preferred.
  • Customization: Homemade salads allow for personalization regarding ingredient choices and quantities, unlike the fixed recipe of store-bought versions.
  • Preservatives and Additives: Store-bought salads may contain preservatives and additives for longer shelf life, which are absent in homemade salads.
  • Nutritional Value: Homemade salads can be more nutritious, as they avoid potential added sugars and unhealthy fats often found in store-bought varieties.
  • Cost: Making the salad at home can be more cost-effective, especially if using homegrown or bulk-purchased ingredients.
  • Cultural Authenticity: Homemade recipes can be more authentic, especially if following traditional methods and recipes, compared to the potentially adapted versions found in stores for broader consumer appeal.
  • Preparation Time: Unlike the homemade version, store-bought salads offer convenience and time savings, as they require no preparation.

How Can You Store Or Preserve The Tea Leaf Salad Recipe Leftovers?

  • Separate Components: Store the fermented tea leaf dressing and crunchy elements separately from the vegetables to prevent sogginess.
  • Airtight Containers: Use airtight containers for each component to preserve freshness and prevent odor transfer.
  • Refrigeration: Keep the salad in the refrigerator, ideally below 40°F (4°C).
  • Consume Quickly: It’s best to consume the salad within 1-2 days, as the vegetables can lose their crispness.
  • Avoid Freezing: Freezing is not recommended as it can significantly alter the salad’s texture.
  • Stir Well Before Serving: When ready to eat, combine the ingredients and stir well to redistribute flavors.
  • Lemon Juice Refresh: A splash of lemon juice can revive the flavors before serving the leftovers.
Tea Leaf Salad Recipe

Special Tools & Equipment List

  • Sharp Chef’s Knife: Essential for finely chopping vegetables and ingredients.
  • Cutting Board: A sturdy board provides a safe and stable surface for cutting.
  • Mixing Bowls: Various sizes for mixing ingredients and dressing separately.
  • Salad Spinner: Useful for drying washed lettuce and other greens.
  • Measuring Cups and Spoons: For accurately measuring ingredients, especially for the dressing.
  • Citrus Juicer: To extract fresh lemon juice for the dressing easily.
  • Garlic Press: If the recipe calls for fresh garlic, this saves time and effort.
  • Mortar and Pestle or Spice Grinder: For grinding nuts or seeds if fresh ground ingredients are preferred.
  • Serving Bowl: A large bowl to beautifully present and serve the salad.
  • Tongs or Salad Servers: For mixing salad and serving the salad evenly.

Frequently Asked Questions 

Can I Make Tea Leaf Salad Vegetarian Or Vegan?

Absolutely! To make Tea Leaf Salad vegetarian or vegan, substitute any non-vegetarian ingredients like fish sauce typically found in the fermented tea leaf dressing. 

With a vegetarian alternative like soy sauce or a vegan fish sauce. Also, ensure that the crunchy mix doesn’t contain shrimp or fish products, common in Burmese cuisine.

How Long Can I Store Tea Leaf Salad?

Tea Leaf Salad is best enjoyed fresh. However, if you have leftovers, they can be stored in the refrigerator for 1-2 days. 

Store the components separately, especially the crunchy elements, to maintain freshness and texture.

Is Tea Leaf Salad Healthy?

Yes, Tea Leaf Salad is generally healthy. It’s rich in antioxidants from the fermented tea leaves. Fresh vegetables provide a good amount of vitamins and fiber. 

However, watch out for high sodium levels in the fermented tea leaves and dressing. Be mindful of portion sizes due to the calorie content of nuts and seeds.

Can I Use Different Nuts Or Seeds In The Salad?

Definitely! While the traditional Burmese crunchy mix includes peanuts and sesame seeds. 

You can get creative and use almonds, sunflower seeds, or even pumpkin seeds for different flavors and textures. Just ensure they are toasted or fried for extra crunch.

What Are The Key Flavors In Tea Leaf Salad?

Tea Leaf Salad is known for its unique combination of flavors. The fermented tea leaves provide a tangy and slightly bitter taste, while the added lemon juice brings a citrusy zest. 

The nuts and seeds offer a savory crunch, and the vegetables like lettuce and tomatoes contribute a fresh, slightly sweet flavor. Balancing these flavors is key to an authentic and delicious salad.

Delicious Tea Leaf Salad Recipe (An All-Time Favorite Dish)

Delicious Tea Leaf Salad Recipe (An All-Time Favorite Dish)

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Recipe by Lana Rivera Course: Salads

2 – 4

Cooking time





Tea Leaf Salad, a traditional Burmese dish, is an irresistible blend of fermented tea leaves, crisp vegetables, and nuts and seeds. It’s known for its unique combination of tangy, savory, and crunchy elements, making it a standout in any meal. This salad is a feast for the taste buds and a colorful, nutrient-rich addition to your culinary repertoire.


  • 1 Head 1 Romaine Lettuce

  • 1 1 Tomato

  • 1 Package 1 Burma Love Laphet Fermented Tea Leaf Salad Mix (Or Similar)

  • Lemon Wedges (For Serving)

Step-By-Step Directions

  • Prepare The Lettuce
    Wash the romaine lettuce thoroughly under cold running water.
    Shake off excess water and then dry the lettuce using a salad spinner or patting it dry with a clean kitchen towel.
    Place the lettuce on a cutting board and chop it into bite-sized pieces.
  • Dice The Tomato
    Wash the tomato and dry it.
    Slice the tomato into quarters, remove the seeds if preferred, and then dice the quarters into small, even pieces.
  • Assemble The Salad
    Take a large serving bowl and add the chopped lettuce to it.
    Spread the diced tomato evenly over the lettuce.
    Add Laphet And Crunchy Mix
    Spoon the Laphet (fermented tea leaf dressing) over the tomatoes and lettuce in the bowl.
    Sprinkle the Traditional Burmese Crunchy Mix on top of the dressing.
  • Final Touches
    Cut a lemon into wedges.
    Just before serving, squeeze a little lemon juice over the salad. The amount of lemon juice can be adjusted according to taste.
  • Toss The Salad
    Use salad tongs or two large spoons to toss the salad gently. Ensure the lettuce, tomato, dressing, and crunchy mix are well combined.
  • Serve
    Serve the salad immediately after tossing to enjoy the crunch and freshness of the ingredients.

Recipe Video


  • Fermentation Time: If using homemade fermented tea leaves, remember that fermentation can take several days.
  • Ingredient Variations: Feel free to experiment with additional vegetables or protein sources like tofu or chicken for a more substantial meal.
  • Spice Level: Adjust the amount of chili or pepper to suit your spice tolerance.
  • Serving Suggestion: Best served fresh. However, if preparing ahead, keep dressing and crunchy elements separate until serving.
  • Cultural Significance: This salad is more than just food; it’s a part of Myanmar’s cultural heritage, offering a glimpse into the country’s rich culinary traditions.
  • Health Benefits: A great source of antioxidants, vitamins, and fiber, making it a healthful choice.

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