Tea Leaf Salad

Feb 20, 2019

Tea Leaf Salad

Did you know that iced tea was first invented in the United States? During the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis, the city was hit with a heat wave while vendor Richard Blechynden was attempting to give away free hot tea samples. No one was biting, so he quickly dumped a load of ice into cooled tea and became the talk of the town!

This salad combines cabbage and spinach leaves with a delicious, tea-based dressing to put a healthy twist on lunch!


Tea-Leaf Dressing

  • 2 tablespoons loose green tea leaves, such as sencha or Dragonwell
  • 2 cups very hot water (about 190°F)
  • 1 clove garlic, coarsely chopped
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons fried garlic oil (see Tips) or canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar


  • 4 cups shredded green cabbage
  • 1½ cups roughly chopped cherry tomatoes
  • ½ jalapeño or serrano chile, seeded and minced
  • ¼ cup fried garlic (see Tips)
  • ¼ cup coarsely chopped toasted peanuts
  • ¼ cup fried yellow split peas (see Tips)
  • 1 tablespoon fried garlic oil (see Tips) or canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons fish sauce (see Tips)
  • ½ cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons dried shrimp powder (optional; see Tips)
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper


  1. To prepare dressing: Steep tea leaves in hot water for 3 minutes. Drain and press excess water out of the tea leaves (you can drink the tea). Let cool to room temperature.
  2. Combine the tea leaves, fresh garlic and salt in a mini food processor; pulse to combine. With the motor running, drizzle in 3 tablespoons oil and vinegar.
  3. To assemble salad: Make a bed of cabbage on a round, rimmed serving platter or in a shallow bowl. Spoon the dressing into the center. Arrange piles of tomatoes, jalapeño (or serrano), fried garlic, peanuts and split peas around the dressing. Drizzle oil, lime juice and fish sauce over the top and sprinkle with cilantro, shrimp powder (if using) and crushed red pepper. Mix tableside with 2 forks.


Serves 2

Nutritional Analysis Per Serving
Calories 180
Total Fat 12 g
Carbohydrates 12 g
Sugars 3 g
Dietary Fiber 4 g
Protein 5 g


This tasty recipe is courtesy of Eating Well Kitchen


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