Burmese Tea Leaf Salad

cricketcricket wardein

This is based on the Tea Leaf Salad at Burma Superstar in San Francisco. It’s a combo of a recipe from kitchencaravan.com, and descriptions I found of the restaurant’s version.

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Makes 8 as a side
total time:
1 hour

Burmese Tea Leaf Salad photo
Makes 8 as a side
total time:
1 hour
Burmese Tea Leaf Salad photo
Makes 8 as a side
total time:
1 hour


  • 1/3 cup dried yellow split peas
  • 8 cups thinly sliced hearts of romaine (about 2 heads)
  • 4 T unsalted roasted peanuts
  • 4 T sunflower seeds
  • 2 tsp sesame seeds
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 10 T sesame oil, divided
  • Dried shrimp powder, to taste (optional)
  • 4 T green tea leaves
  • 2 tsp fish sauce
  • 2 lemons
  • 4 T cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
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  • 1

    Put the peas in a small saucepan; add 1 cup water. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to simmer, covered. Check at a half-hour to sea if peas are soft enough to eat. May take 10-20 more minutes. Drain well.

  • 2

    Heat up 6 T sesame oil in a small pan, and add in the tea leaves (and dried shrimp, if using). Let them infuse in the oil on moderate heat for 5-10 minutes, then turn off the heat and continue to let them infuse while you prepare the rest of the salad.

  • 3

    Heat up 4 T of oil in a skillet, and fry the garlic until golden brown. Remove the garlic with a slotted spatula and set it on a paper towel to soak up some of the oil.

  • 4

    In a small skillet over medium heat, toast the peanuts for about 5 minutes, remove and let cool. Repeat for the sunflower seeds (3-4 minutes) and sesame seeds (1-2 minutes).

  • 5

    Put the romaine in a serving bowl, preferably one where the lettuce fills up all but the top inch or two.

  • 6

    Arrange the split peas, peanuts, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, crispy garlic, tomato and bell pepper in clusters on top of the romaine, leaving an uncovered area in the center.

  • 7

    Make the dressing by whisking together the infused oil, fish sauce, lemon juice, salt to taste, and cilantro.

  • 8

    When ready to serve, pour the dressing over the salad and toss well.

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