Fresh vegetables tossed in Pickled Tea Leaves dressing (Lahpet) and arrays of toppings that give you an amazing texture, flavors, and taste. It’s hard to explain. You just have to try it to know what I mean!
What is Lahpet Thoke?
Lahpet thoke, also known as “tea leaf salad,” is a popular and traditional dish from Myanmar (Burma). It is a unique and flavorful salad made primarily from fermented tea leaves. The dish is a blend of various textures and flavors and is considered a delicacy in Burmese cuisine.
How to prepare lahpet thoke
The key ingredient in lahpet thoke is the fermented tea leaves, which are often referred to as “lahpet.” These tea leaves are carefully fermented, resulting in a slightly tangy and earthy flavor. The salad is typically prepared by mixing these fermented tea leaves with a variety of ingredients, which can include:
1. Shredded cabbage
3. Crushed roasted peanuts
4. Shrimp floss
5. Toasted sesame seeds
6. Fried garlic chips
7. Chopped green chili peppers (adjustable based on spice preference)
8. Lemon juice or lime juice for acidity
9. Fish sauce or other seasonings for umami and saltiness
All these ingredients are tossed together to create a well-balanced combination of flavors and textures. The dish is often served as an appetizer or side dish in Burmese meals. It’s a customary practice in Myanmar to prepare and share lahpet thoke during social gatherings and festivals, making it a culturally significant dish.
On my previous post on homemade Lahpet, I did mention that I had been eating Laphet Thoke for 3 days in a row. I wasn’t exaggerating. I made more Laphet and eat it again next week. I know I’m always a bit at the extreme side when it comes to an addiction. Food addiction there is (or GOT for that matter!).
Lahpet Thoke has such a great texture, flavors, and taste. Spicy, tangy, savory, umami…all in one bite!
These fried yellow split peas are my kids favorite. I had to hide it from them so that we had enough for the salad LOL! It’s so fun to munch on them on their own too!
My favorite part of eating salad…(drum rollllll)…is the few last bits! I love scooping up those bits and pieces into my mouth! The best ever!
Recipe is adapted from Burma Superstar (Ten Speed Press) and tips from my Burmese friend 🙂 Thank you!
Lahpet Thoke (Burmese Pickled Tea Leaves Salad)
- 2 cups thinly shredded cabbage
- 2 Roma tomatoes seeded and diced
- 3-4 Tbsp Lahpet dressing see notes
- 20 large cloves of garlic peeled and thinly sliced
- Cooking oil for frying
Fried yellow split peas:
- 1 cup yellow split peas soaked for at least 4 hours
- Cooking oil for frying
- Salt to taste
Shrimp Floss: (you can substitute with store-bought meat floss too)
- ½ cup dried shrimp soaked in warm water
- ¼ cup roasted peanuts
- sesame seeds
- 2-3 red/green Thai chili finely chopped
Making garlic chips:
- Preheat about 1 inch of oil in a medium size pan. When the oil is hot, lower the heat to medium and add the slices of garlic. Watch it closely and if the garlic browns too quickly, remove from the heat. Place the fried garlic on an absorbent paper towel and store in a air-tight container
Making fried yellow split peas:
- Drain off the soaking water and pat them really dry with absorbent paper towel. Preheat about 2 inches of oil in a medium size pan. When the oil is hot enough, add the split peas. They will bubble. Lower the heat to medium and fry until they are slightly golden brown, about 15 minutes. Remove the peas to absorbent paper towel. Season with some salt and store in a air-tight container
Making the shrimp floss:
- Soak the dried shrimp in warm water for about 15 minutes. Drain off water, pat them dry and put in a food processor and process into a powder/floss like texture. Preheat a small to medium size pan on medium heat and stir fry the shrimp floss on the dry pan until fragrant and dry, about 15-20 minutes. Remove from the heat and store in the jar in the refrigerator for a month or so
- You can also ready-made pork floss from the store
Assembling the salad:
- This salad is typically served on a platter with sections to put in all the ingredients separately. I just serve everything in one bowl. Place the cabbage and the rest of the ingredients in a large salad bowl. Mix everything to make sure the veggies are coated with dressing. Topped with garlic chips, fried yellow split peas, shrimp floss, and the rest of the toppings. Give it a final toss and serve
CHECK OUT THESE OTHER BURMESE RECIPES:
BURMESE SEMOLINA CAKE (SHWE GYI SANWIN MAKIN)
MANDALAY MEE SHAY
BURMESE COCONUT CHICKPEAS NOODLE SOUP (OHN-NO KHAO SWE)