Daring Kitchen November - Cooking with Tea

Rooibos Citrus Spice Loose Herbal Leaf Tea

I have been seeing lots of cooking shows lately where the chefs were tea smoking poultry.  Smoked duck, smoked turkey, smoked chicken.  So, this month's challenge gave me a perfect opportunity to try it out.  This is part of the reason I love Daring Kitchen - it inspires me to try things that I perhaps wouldn't do on my own.

This month's challenge was to cook with tea.  Blog checking lines:  Sarah from Simply Cooked was our November Daring Cooks’ hostess and she challenged us to create something truly unique in both taste and technique! We learned how to cook using tea with recipes from Tea Cookbook by Tonia George and The New Tea Book by Sara Perry.

I scoured the internet for some recipes for my tea smoked chicken, knowing that I wanted it to have some Asian influence.  The recipe below is an amalgamation of many recipes that I saw.

My main inspiration was from this blog by Inky Kitchen.  I turned my dish into lettuce wraps.  It was a fantabulous meal - thanks Sarah!  Our host also provided some great recipes for this month's challenge - here is a link for the recipes.

  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 2 tablespoons of light soy
  • 1 tablespoon mirin
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 smashed clove of garlic
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Sliced scallion and red chilli pepper for garnish
  • 1 head of Boston lettuce

For smoking:
  • 1/4 cup tea leaves
  • 1/4 cup jasmine rice
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar

  • Wok
  • Aluminum foil
  • Heat safe rack, to put inside the wok, over the tea
  • Combine soy, mirin, fish sauce, sesame oil, black pepper and garlic in a freezer bag and marinate overnight or at least 6 hours.
  • After marinating, remove chicken from freezer bag and pat dry with paper towels
  • To prepare the smoker, line a wok with heavy aluminum foil; mix together the tea leaves, rice and sugar and place in the bottom of the wok; place the rack inside the wok, over the tea mixture
  • (I smoked the chicken outside, didn't want the smoke alarm going off, but if you have a good exhaust fan, indoors should be fine)
  • Put the wok on the BBQ (use the support ring for your wok, if you have one), turn it on high and close the lid
  • Once you see/smell smoke coming out of the BBQ, turn the heat down to medium, put the chicken on the rack and close the lid
  • Smoke the chicken for 20 minutes
  • Test for doneness with a thermometer if you are unsure (internal temperature should be 165F)

Slice chicken and serve garnished with scallions and chilli peppers or a garnish of your choosing.  To make a complete meal, I added a side of snow peas and mushrooms sauteed with garlic.


  1. Yum! I really wanted to tea smoke something but went for something easier :-) Lettuce cups sounds like the perfect way to put this chicken to good use!

  2. Thanks Katherine - they were delicious!

  3. Beautiful! I do love lettuce wraps as they are so healthy and bring out the fresh flavours of the food. I am glad you tried tea smoking - I really want to as soon as the neighbours in our next door flat are away for the evening!! Thank you so much for taking part this month.