Anthropologists assert that tea's culinary career began as an ingredient in prepared food. People would throw it in broths or ferment it for salads among other things, much before they actually started to brew it like we do today.
Somewhere down the line even as the practice of brewing tea swept the world, cooking with tea receded to the fringes. Until now. Google cooking with tea and you'll find any number of recipes.
For us it was bringing tea history to a full circle when we decided to slice and dice, as it were, our tea. And the first recipe we tried this week was Asian Rooibos Marinade. We see the hands go up in protest. We agree rooibos is not tea, but it is featured in so many recipes underlining its versatility that we decided to dip our toes with it.
Also being vegetarians and big on tofu was another reason to start our jouney of cooking with tea with it.
1/4 C South African Organic Rooibos tea brewed hot
1/2 C tamari soya sauce
3 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
2 Tbsp lemon juice
2 cloves garlic minced
1 Tbsp fresh ginger minced
1 small onion finely chopped
12 oz tofu cubed
We mixed all the ingredients in and marinated the tofu for about an hour in the fridge. Do not forget to "dry" the tofu by pressing the water out of it. Normally, we do that by placing it between layers of paper-towel and using a weight to press it down. After this the tofu better absorbs the marinade.
On an iron skillet we fried the marinated tofu until golden brown. The plan was to throw them in a noodle dish, but they were so good that the family gobbled them up before we could do that.
It was very interesting to experience a nice complementary blend between the tamari and rooibos and lemon. The slightly tart notes of the two met and then diverged at a point where the woodsy, nutty smell of the rooibos lingered faintly on the front of the tongue.
Additionally we threw in some chopped cilantro that contrasted nicely with the spicy notes and added a bit of crunch.
A thumbs up to this recipe. Unfortunately, I cannot locate the site where I saw it first. But whoever came with this this, and if you are reading, thank you!