We seem to have accumulated a variety of tea in our household and without mentioning names, I’m not the only culprit to blame for this. Inevitably I find myself looking for ways to use this stash of tea and not let it go to waste. So, with the help of my cookbooks, settled on making ceviche and flavoring it with a smoky brew of Lapsang Souchong.
Tea leaves smoked with pine needles gives this tea its distinctive smoky flavor and may not be everyone’s favorite drink to brew, can’t say it’s mine either but cooking with Lapsang Souchong is different. This tea imparts a smoky flavor into the dish without needing to actually smoke the food. How simple is that!
Ceviche is typically made using the freshest of raw fish marinated for a short time in citrus juices, chopped vegetables, chili and coriander and must be eaten fresh so any chance of food poising is avoided. We absolutely love ceviche and do not have a problem eating raw fish but know friends who do. This recipe is a little different as the prawns are lightly poached in a concentrated brew of Lapsang Souchong before marinating.
The ceviche recipe from the cookbook “Culinary Tea” uses fresh scallops, I used prawns as they were more readily available. I haven’t quite adhered to the recipe method and did not coarsely chop the vegetables or marinate the fish overnight… or up to three days. Orange juice is included in the marinade and the author mentions it “works beautifully with the smoky flavors of this tea”. Love a recipe you can experiment with.
Ceviche makes a great little appetizer, is easy to make and love the smoky element in this delicious recipe. If you happen to have a tin of Lapsang Souchong sitting idle in your pantry, hope you give this recipe a try.
I also made this recipe for my monthly Instagram cookbook club as tea was the chosen ingredient for March. If you have an Instagram account it would be lovely if you would join me. Just another way of making use of our cookbooks and trying recipes we’ve been meaning to make.
Lapsang Souchong Prawn Ceviche
Recipe adapted from the cookbook Culinary Tea by Cynthia Gold and Lise Stern
1/4 cup loose-leaf Lapsanf Souchong tea
2 cups of water
450g peeled and deveined medium-small sized prawns, cut each prawn in half
For the marinade:
3/4 cup fresh lime juice
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup rice vinegar
1 teaspoon light brown sugar
2 small red thai chill, deseeded and finely chopped
1 small yellow or red pepper, seeded and finely diced
1 small red onion, finely diced
1 small tomato, seeded and finely diced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh coriander
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
For garnish, extra chopped coriander
How to make:
Add tea leaves and the water into a large sauté pan. Over medium heat bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer tea for about 5 minutes. Rather than add the prawns at this stage (as in the cookbook), strain the tea (avoids picking the tea leaves from the prawns) into a bowl pressing lightly on the tea leaves with the back of a spoon to extract more liquid and flavor. Discard the tea leaves and pour the strained tea back into the sauté pan.
Over medium heat bring the tea back to a boil, add the prawns. Cook for about 30 seconds, stirring half way through cooking. Immediately drain the prawns then transfer them onto a large plate in a single layer to cool quickly.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl add the lime juice, orange juice, lemon juice, vinegar, brown sugar, chilli, yellow pepper, red onion, tomato, garlic, coriander, salt and pepper. Mix all marinade ingredients together. Set aside.
Once the prawns have cooled, mix them in with the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for one hour. Before serving, check seasoning and garnish with extra chopped coriander. Serve with thin crisp breads or plain tortilla chips.