Burmese Tea Leaf Salad
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.
- 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
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.
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.
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.
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).
Put the romaine in a serving bowl, preferably one where the lettuce fills up all but the top inch or two.
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.
Make the dressing by whisking together the infused oil, fish sauce, lemon juice, salt to taste, and cilantro.
When ready to serve, pour the dressing over the salad and toss well.
Source: jeremy wardein
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