fermented tea leaf salad
Lahpet (Pickled or Fermented Tea Leaves)
Prep Time
25 mins
Lahpet thoke is a delicious traditional Burmese salad prepared with fermented tea leaves that features a unique earthy and tangy flavor.
Course: Salad
Cuisine: Asian, Burmese
Servings: 1 person
Author: Mike Benayoun
For the Lahpet (Pickled or Fermented Tea Leaves)
  • 1 cup dried green tea leaves
  • 1 cup finely chopped cabbage
  • ½ cup finely chopped scallions
  • ½ cup finely chopped cilantro
  • 1 (1-inch) piece ginger , peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic , crushed
  • ½ Thai chili pepper , finely chopped (optional)
  • Zest of 2 limes
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
For the Lahpet Thoke (Fermented Tea Leaf Salad)
  • ¾ cup fermented tea leaves (lahpet)
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
  • 3 tablespoons roasted peanuts
  • 1 tablespoon fried garlic (fried, thinly sliced garlic)
  • 1 tablespoon fried yellow split peas (after soaking overnight)
  • 1 tomato , sliced in thin wedges
  • 2 tablespoons dried shrimp , soaked in water for 10 minutes and drained (optional)
  • 1 cup shredded cabbage
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon garlic oil
Lahpet (Pickled or Fermented Tea Leaves)
  1. Infuse the dried green tea leaves in hot water for 10 minutes.
  2. Discard the liquid (or drink it), and cover tea leaves with lukewarm water. Drain and press on the leaves thoroughly to get rid of bitter juices. Repeat this step two more times.
  3. After discarding the liquid again, add cold water, and let the leaves soak for at least 2 hours (or overnight).
  4. Drain out excess liquid thoroughly by squeezing the leaves one handful at a time. Then, finely chopped the leaves in a blender or food processor.
  5. Mix the drained chopped tea leaves with shredded cabbage, cilantro, scallions, as well as ginger, garlic, and Thai chili (optional).
  6. Finally, sprinkle lime zest, pour in lime juice, and mix well.
  7. Place the mixture in a glass or earthenware container and cover tightly.
  8. Let the mixture ferment at room temperature for 3 to 4 days.
  9. Add 1 cup of vegetable oil to the fermented tea leaves.
Lahpet Thoke (Fermented Tea Leaf Salad)
  1. Mix all the ingredients but the garlic oil thoroughly.
  2. Drizzle with garlic oil to finish.