Tamago Kake Gohan with Gyokuro Spent Leaves

Have you ever tried Gyokuro? It’s one of my favorite green teas to drink…and to cook with! I often feel bad getting rid of tea leaves after I brew them especially because I drink so much of it! I’ve used spent leaves in plenty of recipes but in my opinion, green tea is often the best for cooking. I’ve used gyokuro before sin a shrimp stir fry recipe here.

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I was brewing this gyokuro to try before posting a giveaway with Sencha.app. You can find this gyokuro here.

I was trying to decide what to do with the gyokuro. I prefer to create simple dishes here on my blog because I want these recipes to be easy to create with accessible ingredients!

I was reminded about a chef’s table episode where the chef was talking about his time studying food and working in restaurants in Japan. He was taught about a classic Japanese comfort food called tamago kake gohan which translates to egg over rice!

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The chef took hot rice and topped it with a beaten raw egg! He also added soy sauce and some seaweed type seasoning. It may have had some sesame seeds as well but I can’t remember. He mixed it together and ate it! This embodies the umami flavor. Umami meaning savory.

At first look, you think that eating a raw egg isn’t safe! After looking it up, it seems like if the egg is pasteurized it is ok. Consider also that if you are putting a raw egg on hot rice, it’s going to cook.

Unfortunately, after looking at all the eggs in my fridge, I noticed that none of them were pasteurized so I opted to do a poached egg so that I could feel a bit safer with my unpasteurized eggs but still get that delicious egg and rice flavor.

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I also decided how to use the gyokuro. Instead of just the egg, rice and seaweed I wanted to be a little extra. I stirfried some garlic, salt, pepper, sambal olek and the gyokuro leaves! Once this became fragrant I set this aside with my other ingredients, the poached egg and soy sauce.

Confession: I had never poached an egg before so I found a video to help. It’s actually super easy. I found this video short and straight to the point.

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The other modification I made was to use rice I had on hand and cooked which was a delicious red rice. If I were to do this again however I would definitely use a sushi or jasmine rice just for better texture.

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Once you have all your ingredients prepped, add them all to the rice and mix with chopsticks vigorously until combined! Use soysauce to taste.

Here you get a hearty and comforting snack AND you don’t waste spent leaves :) The gyokuro gives this dish a nice bold flavor.

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Would you try this??

Gyokuro Rice with roasted herbs and tomatoes

My brother brought me some gyokuro from his trip to Japan. Gyokuro is one of my favorite green teas and I have had good luck cooking with it in the past! You can find a previous shrimp recipe here.

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This time I decided to take my love of rice on another test ride and cook it in gyokuro! I didn’t want to just use gyokuro so I decided to use a few other flavors with it as well. I wanted something savory and herbed.

Starting small, I used one cup of rice and only a few tomatoes but after trying this recipe I think I would like to have even more of the roasted ingredients in the rice and would definitely add more or even double the amount! I have timing for the roasted vegetables in the recipe but really you just want to make sure that they start to break down and give it a few mixes so that they soak up the oil and herbs.

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After you take the tomatoes and herbs out, place them in a bowl so that they can soak in the olive oil and herbs.

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When making rice, olive oil at the start is important to make it tender and flavorful. Instead of adding olive oil plain, the tomatoes + herbs + olive oil are mixed into the rice + gyokuro mixture before cooking. In addition to mixing, I also smashed up some the tomatoes further before putting this on the stove.

When adding in the roasted ingredients, I would also suggest a taste test to manage the salt and pepper level. I didn’t add anything additional at this point because I added it to the roasting pan but I wish I had!

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The result is a richer and more flavorful rice. I’ve combined a few favorites of mine here. First of all, rice. But the reason I added the roasted ingredients is because it is similar to many Persian rice dishes where the meal is in the rice. You have plenty of ingredients blended up in the rice and in this case it was herbs and tomatoes!

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Long Jing Quinoa

Hey There! I’m finally back with another recipe and I thought that it was time to do something savory! I’ve done tea infused rice before so why not try quinoa!

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I bought this red quinoa loose from safeway. They have a nice section where you can fill up a paper bag and the cost is by weight. I like how I can just recycle the bag afterwards, no plastic packaging! I want to start off by saying, I’m Persian so rice is like a love language to me but every once in a while I’ll have quinoa.

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I had been making my way through some long jing that I got for my birthday and was towards the end of it so I decided to use that. I think this could go well an oolong, hojicha or something like genmaicha or gyokuro as well.

I didn’t have directions for this quinoa so I followed the general rule of doubling the amount of quinoa for how much water to use. Quinoa expands 3 times so 1 cup will make plenty !

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The recipe is simply one cup quinoa to two cups water. Instead of using plain water I brewed two cups long jing and used that to cook the quinoa so that it would have a delicious green tea flavor!

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Prepare your two cups of tea, I used this pot because it is so handy! Again, feel free to change up the tea to some of the suggestions mentioned above. Place the 1 cup quinoa and 2 cups tea in a pot. I added a bit of salt, pepper and liquid saffron as well.

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With the lid off, bring the pot to a boil. Once boiling, cover and lower the heat and let the quinoa cook until the water has been absorbed (10-20 minutes). Once all the water is absorbed, turn off the pot and let the pot sit with the lid on for another 10 minutes then fluff the quinoa with a fork!

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The result is a nicely flavored quinoa with a touch of green tea! The long jing gives the quinoa a bit of it’s roasted nutty flavor !

Voila!

Genmaicha Herbed Biscuits

So I totally love valentine’s day but I’m also a believer in showing the people you love that you love them everyday! What better way than with some delicious herb biscuits infused with genmaicha that are heart shaped!

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Feel free to use whatever herbs you’d like but I used rosemary, thyme, dill and some garlic. I chopped them all together using a food processor!

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I found that folding the dough is really important to get a tall and flaky biscuit!

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These biscuits are so cute, buttery and the herbs add an incredible taste!

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Start off by heating the oven to 450 F

Heat up the milk and when it starts to bubble, take it off the stove and mix in the genmaicha tea and let it sit for a minute then strain and set the milk aside for use later in the recipe.

Mix together the dry ingredients and the fresh herbs mixture!

Make sure the butter is cold and cut into cubes. Cut the butter into the flour mixture with a pastry cutter, 2 knives or even your hands! You want the butter and the flour to resemble crumbs but make sure than not ALL the butter is totally mixed in!

Add in the milk and stir to combine then take the dough and put it on a floured surface.

You want to take the dough and fold it half then smooth our a bit. Do that a few times and this will give the biscuits some volume!

Don’t roll out the dough, pat it down and then take a heart shaped cookie cutter and cut out your shapes.

Use some parchment paper on a baking sheet and cook the biscuits for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown!

Recipe is adapted from the original here

These are really good with butter or probably with any other savory topping! I personally could have used a bit more salt in these biscuits so I suggest enjoying with salted butter or irish butter!

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Roasted Eggplant with Genmaicha Sauce

Fall is here and I always crave squash and eggplant! I try my best to go to the local farmer’s market every weekend or every other weekend to support Maryland Farmers! I happened to pick up 3 nubia eggplants!

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My original plan was to make khoresh bademjan which is an Iranian eggplant stew but when I got my Sipsby box and saw that there was genmaicha in it, an idea started brewing! Genmaicha is a Japanes green tea that also had puffed rice in it. This genmaicha is from Yannoko tea and is their organic variation which includes bancha as the green tea.

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I love rice so the very first time I tried gemaicha I was in love! Genmaicha is definitely a tea that pairs well with savory food as it has the grassy green tea flavor as well as some roasted notes due to the rice. I decided to try a sauce using genmaicha to top the eggplants with!

In my recipe you’ll see that I said to let the eggplants “sweat".” When we prepare eggplants for the khoresh I mentioned above, you peel and slice the eggplants then salt them. After a little bit, you’ll see beads of liquid on them hence the “sweat"! This helps rid the eggplants of some of the bitterness. You are welcomed to fry the eggplants instead of baking but I love to bake them. With a little olive oil, S + P, they get browned and a bit crispy on the edges!

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The baking time really depends on your preference and also how thick you sliced your eggplants. I wanted to give a little advice when slicing. Sometimes slicing thin can help things cook quicker, but with eggplant in the oven I’ve noticed that if they are sliced too thin you really lose most of the eggplant.

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When doing this sauce I think it’s best to have all your ingredients prepared before you start so that you can focus on the sauce itself. When you brew the genmaicha tea, make sure to follow brewing instructions on the package. For reference, brewing temperature is 176F and steep for 30-60 seconds. You can do multiple infusions.

One other brewing note is about strength. In my other recipes I sometimes brew the tea on the longer side so that it is more potent in the dish since many times it is being cooked. Be cautious of applying that to genmaicha. I find genmaicha to be pretty delicate and you wouldn’t want the tea to be bitter and then transfer that taste to your meal!

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The genmaicha helps cook the spinacha bit more and once it’s reduced use as much boursin as you’d like to thicken it. I could definitely use more cheese but was trying to keep this a semi helathy recipe :D I did want to note that I used boursin because I had some, it’s creamy texture and the fact that it is already flavored with garlic and herb which I think went well with everything else. You could definitely experiment with other cheeses but be careful of using one that is too strong as it will likely overpower any notes of the genmaicha.

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I thought this sauce turned out well and it paired well with the eggplant! The sauce definitely has an earthy taste which is thanks to the genmaicha!

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A fancy but easy meal for a day when you have time to make yourself a nice meal or use at a party!

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Golden Tips Tea Topping + Pumpkin Pasta

Pumpkin + tea pasta whaaaaaattt?

I found a package of pumpkin pasta at marshalls and HAD to make a recipe with it!

I’ve already made pesto with tulsi tea before and wanted to try something else! I also try to use up whatever I have in my house at the moment and I pulled out some eggplant from the farmer’s market.

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Eggplant is prominent in stews in Iranian cuisine and stews remind me of fall and winter so I thought it was the perfect addition to the sauce/topping I was making. I was sent the golden tips tea from Upton Tea to try and make a recipe with!

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The golden tips tea is a black tea but it has such a lovely, sweet and light taste to it that I thought it could go well in the sauce/topping!

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One tip I have for prepping the eggplants, salt them! When we prepare eggplants for the stews I mentioned earlier, we peel them and salt them. When they “sweat” it helps get some of the bitterness out of them!

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Feel free to mess around with proportions of tea but this is what worked for me to be able to get it to reduce and become thicker!

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Matcha Jasmine Rice

Green Rice! 

It's been a long time since I've made a recipe with matcha and this one popped into my head the other day. I have been making this garlic jasmine rice ever since I got the recipe in a blue apron box. The water that is added to the pot is a perfect opportunity to add a type of tea!

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I've used matcha in cocktails and sweets so I've been curious how it would taste in a savory dish! With the earthy flavor matcha has, I figured it's a great flavor to add to a meal. I essentially keep the jasmine rice recipe the same but instead of using plain water, I use the same amount of brewed matcha. For this recipe I use Midori matcha from matchaeologist, this is a culinary matcha that is perfect for cooking!

The matcha link is an affiliate link. Please consider purchasing with my link as it will help me keep this blog going!   

A few things differ about this recipe than the one I've linked below. I specifically use sesame oil because I think it goes well with the other flavors and spices up the recipe a bit. You are welcome to use any other type of oil that you think might taste good! 

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In terms of the matcha, the amount is up to you. I used 3 tablespoons of matcha and that was plenty. The rice came out a beautiful green color and the flavor was not cooked away. If you make more rice, feel free to add matcha and if you want to try this recipe but aren't a HUGE matcha lover I would suggest trying it with 1 or 2 tablespoons. 

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Optionally, you can add tuxedo sesame seeds to the cooked rice for presentation but also because they are yummy! Depending on what you are pairing the rice with, you can also add soy sauce. I added soy sauce to try and liked the flavor combination. I think this rice can be eaten with almost anything but I feel as thought it would be most delicious paired with seafood!

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Depending on the pot that you use, the cooking time I listed can vary. Make sure after you cover the lid that you turn the heat low. If it's not low you will most likely burn the bottom of the rice!

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Another cooking note I wanted to mention was regarding the water/matcha. After about 14 minutes, I took the lid off and the rice seemed cooked but there was a little bit of matcha still on the top. Once I stirred the rice a bit in the pot, the matcha distributed itself around the rice. 

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Puer Pusheen Pancake

I'm not very good at hiding my pusheen obsession! I love this cute little cat so you're probably not surprised that I'm subscribed to the pusheen box :D The fall box had this cute little pan in it so I decided to create a pancake recipe!

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I got some "grandpa's puer" from White2tea in my sipsby box this month. I've recently gotten really into puer and most of them have a really rich flavor which is great for recipes! This tea is named after "grandpa style" which apparently means not really paying much mind to brewing times. A more relaxed way of drinking tea. I can totally relate to grandpa style especially because when it comes to certain teas I like to judge them by color or aroma. 

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This is a great recipe for a small batch of pancakes. The pusheen pan is pretty small so It made many pancakes but if you use a regular pan, the batter would probably make 1-3 pancakes!

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You could optionally swap out the milk and use 3/4 cup of tea in the recipe but I think that without any milk the pancakes wont be as fluffy! 

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It was actually difficult to get a perfect mold of the pusheen pan but I did my best! I found it helpful to wipe out the pan after each pancake! 

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Look how cute this pancake is! 

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Topped with maple syrup, these tea infused pancakes are delicious! 

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These turned out nice and fluffy too! I also added in some cinnamon into the batter to give them an incredible aroma! 

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Charlie Grey Shortbread Sandwiches

One of my favorite parts of starting Tea Thoughts is all the other amazing small business owners that I've encountered on my journey. Most of these people I've met through instagram, and have formed bonds with. My IG tribe. These are inspirational women who like me, were not satisfied and have gone out on their own to start a business and pursue their passions. Kristen from Tea For Three is a one woman show creating organic tea blends in the big apple! 

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I recently purchased her Charlie Grey blend of black tea and bergamot essence, my fav combo! I decided to create some shortbread with this tea and make it more savory than sweet. I have a whoopie pie pan and thought it would be fun to use that to make sandwiches! 

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If you don't have this pan, you can always use a round cookie cutter to get the same effect. The other way you can get this effect is by refrigerating your dough in a log shape and cutting off thin pieces. I don't include refrigeration in my recipe because I like it better when the cookies are a but crumbly but if a cookie that stays together better I highly suggest refrigerating the log for 20-30 minutes. 

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The downside to baking them the way I did without refrigeration is that they are more fragile but I enjoy the crumbly nature of them. You can see in the photo below the spices in the recipe are present in the cookie. The nutmeg and clove give the cookies a more savory flavor, as opposed to a sweet cookie!

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I used two types of toppings for my sandwiches to see which went best with the flavor of the shortbread. I tried a jam and also a turkey and cheese combo. 

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I thought that the savory taste of the sandwiches would mean that the turkey and cheese was better suited but I actually enjoyed the jam better on these! 

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As sandwiches these are a bit messy once you bite into them but I enjoy a softer cookie to a tougher cookie!

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Now, if you try these and decide you like them but want a sweeter version, the transition is easy enough! You could simply add more honey into the batter. I would also suggest substituting the cloves and nutmeg for something a bit sweeter like cinnamon. 

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The charlie grey blend is versatile enough to go well with sweet or savory! 

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Yaupon Soaked Chickpea Hummus

The other day on my facebook, took recipe suggestions. One of the suggestions I received was hummus, but something more exciting than chickpeas and tahini. I started looking up hummus recipes to see how I could incorporate tea into a recipe. After lots of thinking I decided that although it wasn't my normal method of infusion, the only way I could incorporate tea into the hummus recipe was to soak the chickpeas! 

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I received a Dark Roast Yaupon tea from Lost Pines Yaupon in my sipsby box and originally I wanted to make something sweet with it because the notes suggest this tea would be good with honey! After thinking over the types of recipes I've made recently I noticed that I hadn't made a "food" recipe recently. I decided the dark roast Yaupon would definitely give the chickpeas a roasted flavor that would go well with the other spices in the hummus!

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When I was deciding on my recipe I definitely tried to take into account ways that could spice up a normal hummus recipe. I rummaged through my fridge as I usually do when I make recipes and decided to add these ingredients to make this hummus a little different.  

  • Shredded carrot
  • LOTS of fresh garlic
  • Lime 
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I recently received some carrots through our CSA that had this wonderfully subtle sweet flavor and thought that they could give the hummus and tahini some depth in flavor. I've definitely had hummus with garlic which I love so I also decided to load up on that. Finally, lime came into the picture because I had limes and love the idea of the hummus being strong, a little sweet and a little tangy!  

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A note on olive oil in the recipe, go with your gut! I start you off with 1/4 cup olive oil but I guarantee you that isn't enough. While blending the ingredients together I had to constantly add olive oil to get my desired consistency. After a while it was hard to calculate how much I've used so I suggest using the method I did. Start with the 1/4 cup then add little by little until the hummus and smooth and to your liking. You will also need extra for the top when serving. 

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Salt and pepper as always should be used to your own taste. I think you can use as much paprika as you'd like too. I wouldn't use more than 1 or 2 tablespoons especially because you should have some for the top when serving, as seen in most of my photos. I really enjoyed making this hummus and the cost of the ingredients was low. It's a great choice for a party appetizer! 

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