November 14, 2011

Cooking with Tea

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lapsang souchong tea-smoked duck ham 

Sarah from Simply Cooked was our November Daring Cooks’ hostess and she challenged us to create something truly unique in both taste and technique! We learned how to cook using tea with recipes from Tea Cookbook by Tonia George and The New Tea Book by Sara Perry.

Thank you Sarah for the challenge. It was fun and a great way to use up the various teas I have in my pantry and I ended up preparing 4 dishes.

Beef Braised in Rooibos Tea with Sweet Potatoes

I didn't have regular sweet potatoes and used Okinawa blue. Thank you Sarah for the yummy recipe.

Lapsang Souchong Tea Smoked Duck Ham

On the day the challenge theme was announced, I had duck breasts that were seasoned 2 days before and ready to be smoked. I decided to use lapsang souchong tea mixed with raw sugar instead of the apple wood chips that were already soaking in water. The duck breasts were smoked in a small outdoor smoker at 210°F for about 2½ hours. The ham has a very strong smoke flavor, a real treat for Sunday brunch with sliced fruits and dinner rolls.

Hot-Smoked Duck Ham
adapted from CHARCUTERIE by Michael Ruhlman and Brian Polcyn

2 quarts water
¾ cup kosher salt
¼ cup sugar
4 teaspoons pink salt
½ cup maple syrup
½ cup Madeira
1 bunch fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon juniper berries
1 tablespoon chopped sage


6 boneless Long Island duck breasts, skin on

  • Brine: Combine all the ingredients in a large pot. Place over medium-high heat and bring to a simmer, stirring to dissolve the salt and sugar. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature, then refrigerate until completely chilled.
  • Duck: Add to the chilled brine and weight down with a plate. Refrigerate for 8 to 12 hours. Rinse the breasts under cold water and pat them dry. Refrigerate them on a rack set over a small baking sheet and refrigerate for 24 hours.
  • Hot-smoke: Set smoker to 210°F and cook the breasts for 2½ hours or until internal temperature registers 160°F. 
Mussels Soup in Lemon Ginger Tea Broth 

This delicious lemon ginger tea-based soup was seasoned with fish extract, vegetable bouillon granules, and scallions. The tea has lemon and lemon grass and is excellent for a quick Thai-style soup.

Pork Hocks Stewed in Darjeeling, Earl Grey, and Assam Tea

This is a Filipino-Chinese pork hocks dish usually stewed in soy sauce, chopped onions, brown sugar, and star anise. I omitted the soy sauce and used brewed tea from a mixture of Darjeeling, Earl Grey, and Assam. I added dried lily blossoms and roasted chestnuts to the stew. We loved it!


The Garlic Press said...

All of your dishes look great, but the tea-smoked duck is particularly gorgeous! It looks like you had a lot of fun with this challenge!

Suz said...

Wow, you've really done tea justice! I'm still head over heels with the beautiful tea-smoked duck, and the pork hock with Darjeeling, Assam and Earl Grey looks rich and delicious. A great selection. :)

shelley c. said...

Wow - you went all out and made so many tea inspired foods. They all look fantastic. The rooibos braised beef with sweet potatoes are totally talking to me, though.. :) Really great job.

Jo said...

Everything you made looks so good, but that duck still has me floored! The color is fantastic!

Lyuba @ Will Cook For Smiles said...

Oh man, you did go all out on this challenge! Fantastic job! I am very intrigued by the duck!!

Come see me at

chef_d said...

Everything looks so delicious Oggi, especially the pork hock, yum yum! Excellent job on this month's challenge!

Rhonda said...

Way to showcase the tea, the duck ham looks absolutely succulent!

Oggi said...

Thanks all. ♥♥♥ (✿◠‿◠)

Katherine Martinelli said...

Oh wow! I am so impressed that you made all of these. They look amazing!

Ruth Ellis said...

Fantastic! I'm loving the blue potatoes - we had some in our veg box a while back and I got very excited over them! Your pictures are beautiful - I hate mussels, but somehow that photo manages to make them look appealing to me!

Heather Mulholland said...

Wow! All four look amazing and such a wide range of flavours too. I think my favourite are the mussels. I could just dig right on in. Num.

- Heather at

Miss Nirvana said...

Your mussle soup looks amazing. I can not wait to try that soup. Great job on this challenge.

Sarah said...

Oh, all of these sound delicious! Mussels with lemon ginger tea really caught my eye because it sounds so zingy. And I am jealous that you have an outdoor smoker. :) Thank you so much for taking part this month.

Oggi said...

Thanks for the great challenge. I've used tea for sweets and cakes but not for savory dishes. I'll now use tea more frequently for stews and soups.:)

Unknown said...

You out do yourself each time.

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