Getting that smoky taste on food usually takes both hard wood and fire. There are times, however, when neither of those are in the cards. Amy Sherman of Cooking With Amy has a great idea using a smoked tea:
Lapsang Souchong is tea that is withered over cypress, pine or cedar fires, pan-fried, rolled and oxidized before being fully dried in bamboo baskets over burning pine where it absorbs the smoke. I tried Schneider’s version, and found that adding just a bit of salt and sugar really took it to another level. The tea is primarily smoky but also adds a slightly earthy flavor too.
Here’s the recipe.
2 teaspoons Lapsang Souchong tea or roughly 2 tea bags
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon sugar
Grind together with a mortar and pestle, spice mill or blender until powdery and well combined. Add to soups, stews, rubs, anywhere you want smoky flavor.
And how does she suggest you use it?
So how to use this new smoky seasoning? I tried it first on some leftover bland Chinese food. Then I added it to scrambled eggs. I also added a pinch to some baba ghanoush. It would be great in a spice rub for any kind of fish, poultry or meat, or in soups, stews, chili, anywhere you want a touch of smoke without the burn. You could also make your own smoky blend by adding a bit of cumin and smoked paprika or chipotle. Note: I made this with teaspoons to start, but you can use tablespoons, cups, whatever amount suits you.
Sounds like a new staple to me.