Here's a simple, crisp and refreshing little salad that makes a great side dish for any Japanese-inspired main course. Or add some shrimp or crab meat to create a light meal!
- 2 tsp Janie's Got a Gunpowder Green tea
- 1/2 cup vinegar
- 1 tsp honey
- 1 green onion, thinly sliced
- 1 med-large cucumber, thinly sliced
- 1-2 tsp toasted sesame seeds
- 2 tbsp toasted sesame oil
- sea salt (to taste)
- Boil the vinegar in a small saucepan and remove from heat.
- Add the tea and honey to the vinegar* and set aside to steep for 15 minutes.
- Lightly toast the sesame seeds in a small pan and set aside.
- In a bowl, combine the cucumber with the green onion. Add the sesame oil and sea salt. Stir to disperse the oil and salt evenly.
- Once the tea has steeped in the vinegar for 15 minutes, strain the vinegar into a small cup. Retain the tea leaves and rinse them very quickly under the faucet (just to take off a bit of the tartness).
- Remove any stems from the retained tea leaves and then finely chop. Squeeze off any remaining liquid and add 1/2 - 2/3 of the chopped tea leaves to the salad (save some to garnish).
- Add most of the toasted sesame seeds to the salad (save a bit to garnish).
- Add 2 1/2 tbsp of the tea-flavored vinegar to the salad and mix well. (The rest of the vinegar will keep for a few days in the refrigerator if you want to use it for something else.)
- Let the cucumber salad marinate in the dressing for 30-45 minutes at room temperature before serving. Garnish with a pinch of the remaining chopped tea leaves and sesame seeds.
* The tea-flavored vinegar was adapted from a recipe in Culinary Tea by Cynthia Gold and Lise Stern.