Burmese Bean Salad (Burmese Fermented Tea Leaf Salad)
Known as ‘Lahpet Thohk’ in Burmese language, the Burmese bean salad is one of my all-time favorite dishes from any country. Having traveled to Myanmar in the Summer of 2015, I quickly fell in love with their food, especially this dish. Its simple to make at home, uses fresh ingredients, and packed full of nutrients and probiotics. Remember, keep your gut happy and healthy with fermented foods!
The most difficult part of this dish is obtaining the fermented tea leaves. We get ours sent directly from Myanmar, but in large US cities you should be able to find if you search online. All else fails, they sell this entire package on Amazon!
What You Need: (Makes about 8-12 servings)
Fermented Tea Leaves
1 head of Cabbage (You can add a little red cabbage for extra color as well- romaine lettuce could replace cabbage)
2-3 medium sized Tomatoes
4 cloves Garlic
2 large Shallots (could replace with red onions)
1/2 Lime (taste, add more if desired- Lemon is fine too)
Coconut Oil or other healthy oil
1/2 cup roasted Peanuts (roast your own for healthier option)
An assortment of crispy beans: preferably fried lentils, fried broad beans (Lima beans), fried yellow split peas, sesame seeds, etc.
Note: You can buy roasted or crispy dried beans from the store, if not, you can easily make your own. Soak dried beans overnight or use canned beans. Strain beans well. Deep fry in coconut oil (or oil of your choice) until crispy. For a healthier option you might try to bake – although we haven’t tried this method yet.
Fresh chilies and salt optional. Also, you can throw some chopped ginger in there as well! Just play around with spices, see what works for you!
1. Slice cabbage and tomatoes into thin strips.
2. Slice shallots in half and then thinly slice.
3. Chop garlic (and ginger if you want it!)
4. Mix ingredients together in large bowl.
5. Fry garlic in roughly 1/2 cup coconut oil until lightly toasted, and mix into bowl. Do NOT throw away garlic-infused oil.
6. Mix garlic-infused oil and 2-3 heaping tbsp’s of fermented tea leaves into bowl – stir well!
7. Squeeze in lime juice and mix well.
8. Taste – add salt or fresh chilies if desired
9. To eat right away – mix in beans
10. To eat later or have leftovers – keep beans separate so they don’t get soggy!