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Burmese Tea Leaf Salad

Adapted from Veggietorials
Cook Time 20 mins

Ingredients
  

_For the "Fermented" Tea Leaves_

  • ½ cup loose leaf green tea I used Two Leaves Organic Sencha; recommend any green tea without dyes and the bigger the loose leaf the better/ typically higher quality.
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons finely diced ginger
  • ½ shallot
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 teaspoon salt

_For the salad_

  • 2 handfuls sliced romaine lettuce
  • ½ cup toasted Peanuts
  • Scant ¼ cup toasted sesame seeds
  • Scant ¼ cup toasted sunflower seeds
  • Scant ¼ cup toasted toor dal split pigeon peas, or other lentils of your choice
  • 4 cloves of garlic sliced thin
  • Vegetable oil for frying garlic
  • 1 lemon cut into wedges

Instructions
 

For the dressing

  • Prep your tea leaves at least 1 days in advance. Pour loose leaves into a medium bowl. Pour boiling water over the leaves and allow to steep for 10 minutes. Strain and rinse with cool water. Pick through the unfurled leaves and discard any obvious twigs or woody stems.
  • Return to bowl and cover with cold water. Let sit for at least 1 hour. Drain again and rinse.
  • Squeeze out the tea leaves to get rid of excess water. Place leaves into your food processor or blender.
  • Add garlic, ginger, shallot, sesame oil, vegetable oil, lemon juice, vinegar, fish sauce, and salt.
  • Process until mixture is similar to the texture of pesto. You may need to scrape down the sides of your processor a few times.
  • Pour mixture into a storage container and place in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours- dressing is best after 2-3 days of refrigeration.

For the Salad

  • To prepare the salad, start by frying the garlic. Pour about ¾ cup vegetable oil in a cast iron or 10-inch frying pan. Place sliced garlic into the cold oil. Turn heat to medium low, and fry until garlic turns a light brown toasty color. Remove with a slotted spoon or spatula to a paper towel to drain.
  • To assemble- mound your lettuce on a serving plate. Pour your crunchy toppings and fried garlic around the lettuce.
  • Place 3 tablespoons of the tea leaves in the center of the salad.
  • Just prior to serving, squeeze 1 lemon wedge over the entire salad and toss all the ingredients together; mix well to coat with the tea leaves.
  • Serve immediately with extra lemon.