Friday, September 19, 2008

Pickled Tea (Laphet)

Young and old in Myanmar fond of the pickled tea (laphet), which is a traditional delicacy. The laphet, mixed with fried garlic, sesame and groundnut, is served at merit sharing ceremonies and weddings. It depicts friendship and hospitality. It has a mixed taste of light, sweet and bitter. These tealeaves are also a kind of herbal leaves and largely grown in Palaung Hills in North east of Myanmar. The tea leaves like cool weather thriving at a place of high and shady trees at a place of 4 thousand feet high above sea level. The tea sprouts are harvested between April and October every year. Two leaves and a sprout at the top of the tea plant are plucked gently. Tea leaves plucked before April are the best.

After plucking the tealeaves, they are kept in open air to keep away from heat. Later, the tealeaves are put in an oven and steamed for 5 minutes. Then, the tealeaves are spread on a short table and rolled by a team of worker. Rolled tealeaves filled big baskets in no time by collective work of Palaung youths. Plastic sheets are spread in the baskets to save the tealeaves from softening and getting rot. And then stones are put on the leaves for tenderising.

After tenderising for 2 days, the pickled tealeaves are sieved for separation of tender and rough leaves. Rough leaves are cut and then mixed with tender leaves. Then we can have a plate of delicious pickled tea (laphet), which is rich in mixed light sweet/and bitter tastes. :)


Phyo Han Kyaw said...

Pickled Tea (Laphet)..!
I like Laphet. It is our traditional food (snack). We can eat it only or eat with variety of fried beans or eat with rice. Laphet is divided to so many tastes - spicy, sweet, bitter, dry, young pickled tea and so many. My favourite is spicy and young pickled tea!

Inspiron said...

I like Pickled Tea-leaf only. :) Spicy and sour Pickled Tea-leaf with steamed rice. LOL... My mouth is water even when I think about it.

Anonymous said...

The Myanmar idiom,'to offer betel,tobacco and laphet', means hospitality and welcome.So, it is an important item in Myanmar cultural life.As a Myanmar,i really love green tea salad. i eargerly want to eat laphet as soon as i hv read ur articles.:P

EPT said...

Laphet is my favourite myanmar food. I think there is only one food as like "myanmar laphet" (pickled tea leaf with fried beans)in the world. Laphet is really myanmar traditional food.

hmoonthet said...

Laphet is one of my favourite
Myanmar traditional foods.Its taste is more delicious when eating it with relatives,friends and brothers and sisters.Laphet and green-tea are match food.Sometimes,we eat it with dried shrimp,tomato,garlic and chilli
.It gives u so many different delicious.Like it very much :).

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