Myanmar is one of the few countries where tea leaves are not only drunk, but eaten too. Pickled tea leaf is a national favourite and this salad is often served at celebrations or ceremonies.






Skill level

Average: 3.7 (192 votes)


  • 1 tbsp pickled tea leaf (see Note)
  • 3 tomatoes, seeded, chopped
  • 1 tbsp dried shrimp floss
  • 1 tbsp finely crushed roasted peanuts
  • ¼ cup thinly sliced ginger, fried
  • 1 tbsp peanut oil
  • 3 tsp fish sauce

Pae sone kyaw (fried mixture)

  • 190 g (1 cup) dried lima beans, soaked overnight in water, drained, husks removed
  • 1 cup canned chickpeas, drained
  • 60 ml (¼ cup) peanut oil
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 75 g (½ cup) unsalted roasted peanuts

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Cooling time 30 minutes

To make fried mixture, dry lima beans and chickpeas with paper towel. Heat oil in a deep saucepan over medium heat. Add beans and chickpeas, then cook, stirring, for 7 minutes or until golden. Add sesame seeds and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes or until lightly toasted. Remove from heat, stir in peanuts and cool completely. Makes 3 cups. 

Place tea leaf, 1 cup fried mixture (store remaining mixture in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days and serve with the pork curry and fish cake salad), tomatoes, floss, peanuts, ginger, oil and fish sauce in a bowl. Use your hands to combine before serving.


• Buy pickled tea leaf online or from Burmese food shops. Or, to make it, place 250 ml vinegar, 20 g green tea leaves (sencha) and 250 ml water in a saucepan over medium heat. Boil, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 30 minutes. Drain, rinse and discard hard pieces. Squeeze out excess liquid. Process in a food processor with 80 ml sesame oil, 60 ml peanut oil, 1 tbsp fish sauce and 2 chopped garlic cloves. Stir in 2 tbsp lemon juice. Keep in the fridge for up to 3 months.



Photography by Alan Benson


As seen in Feast magazine, Feb 2014, Issue 28. For more recipes and articles, pick up a copy of this month's Feast magazine or check out our great subscriptions offers here.