Burmese Tea Leaf Salad or Lahpet Thoke is the greatest choice for tourists to experience once heading for Myanmar. Lahpet would widely be reflected by the following popular expression in Myanmar: “Of all the fruit, the mango’s the best; of all the meat, the pork’s the best; and of all the leaves, Lahpet’s the best”. Wonderful attraction of this traditional food to all travel foodies lies within its both fancy taste and health benefits.
The mixture of flavors and textures including soft, pickled tea leaves, crunchy beans, crisp, roasted peanuts and toasted sesame seeds, fried garlic and, if you like, dried shrimp and chopped tomato makes the difference in the Lahpet’s flavor. We would slowly explore sweet, sour, bitter and pungent taste in each salad spoon. It’s supposed to be served with all the ingredients in separate piles so that travellers can pick out a combination to their own preference.
Lahpet deserves to be cultural importance: when tea leaves are harvested, the best of the crop is set aside for fermenting, while the rest is processed for drinking tea. Tea leaf salad is believed to be beneficial for the digestive system and control bile and mucus as well. It’s great medicine to ward off tiredness and sleepiness for students during exams. Especially, the pickled tea leaf salad is often served at merit sharing ceremonies and weddings since it depicts friendship, love and hospitality.
The Indochina Voyages team.