How To: Ferment Your Own Tea Leaves

How To: Ferment Your Own Tea Leaves

Ferment your own tea leaves, and then use them in the Burmese Bean Salad !


1.  Begin with a dry, whole-leaf green tea, preferably organic. 

2. Soak in hot water for 15-20 minutes, then remove and take out the harder stems and sticks. 

3. Rinse several times and then soak in cool water for several hours.  The longer you soak the less bitter it will be so do so according to your own tastes. 

4. Drain and squeeze dry, then process in a food processor with herbs and spices according to your taste.  Possibilities can include:

  • The juice of at least one-half large lemon or a small lime and salt (required)
  • And any combination of the following (optional) according to your taste: ginger or galangal, garlic, fresh chilies (or other peppers), green onions, cilantro.
  • Don’t be afraid to experiment.  I have added ground dried spices including cumin, turmeric, coriander, ginger, dried red pepper, etc.  Dried spices such as these are used freely everywhere from Morocco in the West to Myanmar (Burma) in the East.

 5. After you puree the mixture store it in an airtight container or even a plate tightly covered with saran-wrap for 2-3 days in a cool-dry place.  It will be ready to use!


How to tame the harsh flavor of red-onion, shallots or any sharp-tasting raw onion:

1. Rub with salt and squeeze some lemon.  Let sit for about ten minutes.  Rinse and then soak ten more minutes in ice-cold water.

2. Simply soaking in ice-cold water without the salt and lemon will work quite well too.


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