Pickled Tea Leaf Rice

Well, here we are, three years after I started this blog, and I am finally getting around to posting the recipe for which it is named. Better late than never, right? Pickled tea leaves are a favorite of mine, and I think there is nothing like them in the world. I am a bit at a loss to describe them adequately. They have the flavor of green tea, with the flavor of fermentation; they are slightly bitter, slightly salty, and they leave a bit of a tangy aftertaste on the tongue for a few moments.…

Why Pickled Tea Leaves?

I first visited Myanmar in 2013, and one of the first dishes I tried was called lahpet tho (click for image) or what speakers of English would call pickled tea leaf salad. I loved it, and ate plenty of it.

There are a variety of ways in which lahpet tho is served, but it is almost always brought to the table at the end of a meal. It will come on a neat little plate with separate piles of roasted peanuts, fried beans, chopped green or red tomatoes, roasted sesame seeds, fried garlic, and of course, the crown jewel: a nice cluster of fermented tea leaves.…

Byau Pu Tho (Corn Salad)





This salad was my first invention upon settling into our new home in Yangon. It also symbolizes my initiation into shopping Myanmar style (that is to say, open air market). Before going out to shop, I sat down with my vegetable picture chart and my fluent husband and made a list of the things I’d need, sounding out the name of each ingredient, writing it down, and practicing it a few times.

Emboldened by my new arsenal of vocabulary, we strode out to the market, basket in hand.…