Cooking With Tea: Green Tea and Shiitake Stuffed Lotus Leaves

This exotic fall recipe for stuffed lotus leaves is just one more beautiful offering from the farm of Tay Tea‘s owner, Nini Ordoubadi. We’re fascinated with Nini’s elegant, delicate and nutrition-charged method of cooking using her very own loose leaf teas!

Using fragrant tea blends like those Nini creates adds such unexpected dimension to fall’s hardier dishes. Tea makes an ingenious way to mix-up fall’s staple recipes! If you’ve never tried cooking with tea we highly recommend giving one of Nini’s recipes a try. Her stuffed leaves, gorgeous rose tea cookies or roosibos-infused quinoa all make great choices. We’d love to hear if you plan on infusing your fall menu with these tea-friendly ideas – let us know what you’ll be brewing up!

Nini on tea: “Tea is a fun and super healthy addition to your culinary lifestyle. Cooking with tea enhances the flavor of every dish and adds nutritional value too (tea is high in cancer fighting antioxidants) – a win-win formula for gourmet taste and health! I like to make this wrap from time to time and serve it as a one dish meal that absolutely wows guests. It’s a fairly simple recipe, but with quite a bit of prep work. Still, this delicious and beautiful dish is totally worth the effort – you’ll get the ‘hostess with the most-est’ nomination, for sure!”

Shiitake Stuffed Lotus Leaves
Prep time 20 minutes; Cook time 20 minutes

Yields 2 servings


2 dried lotus leaves (can be found at specialty Asian markets or online)
5 small dried Shiitake mushrooms
1 cup cubed, firm tofu
1 tablespoon peanut oil
1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
2 small shallots peeled and finely chopped
1 teaspoon roasted black sesame seeds
2 1/2 cups cooked glutinous rice (or wild rice)
3 tablespoons light soy sauce
2 cups brewed jasmine green tea
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
Red pepper flakes
For garnish use 1 to 2 scallions sliced on the diagonal or fresh chopped mint leaves.
Special equipment: Butcher’s twine, for tying lotus leaf parcels

Glutinous rice, often called sweet rice, is cooked by first thoroughly rinsing the rice in water to remove the excess starch until the water runs clear. Place 1 cup rice in a pan with 2 cups jasmine green tea (1 to 2 ratio), then bring to a boil, reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.

In a large bowl or in a clean sink, soak the lotus leaves for 20 minutes in enough hot water to cover, then drain and set aside. In another small bowl, soak the dried mushrooms for 20 minutes in enough hot water to cover, then drain, finely chop and set aside.

Heat a wok over high heat until the wok begins to smoke, then add the peanut oil. Add the ginger, shallots and chopped mushrooms, and stir fry for 1 minute. Add the tofu and stir fry for 1-2 minutes. Stir in the sesame seeds and rice wine. When the wine has almost evaporated, stir in the rice. Once the rice is incorporated, season with the light soy sauce, sesame oil and red pepper flakes and mix well. Remove from the heat.

Remove lotus leaves from soaking water, open and pat dry with paper towels. Spoon half of the sticky rice mixture into the center of one lotus leaf. Fold in the sides (snug, but not tight), fold up the bottom and roll up. Secure with butcher’s twine. Repeat with the remaining lotus leaf and rice. Place in a bamboo steamer and steam for 8 to 10 minutes to infuse with fragrance.

Remove from the steamer and unwrap the parcels. Serve garnished with the sliced scallions or chopped mint leaves. Enjoy!

Check out the other recipes we’ve featured from Nini like Rose Lovespell Cookies and Rooibos Quinoa. To visit Tay Tea yourself check out their site here.

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