3.12.14 Tea Time

Edamame 790 xxx
photos by gluttonforlife
Though the skies are perpetually grey, snow still covers the yard and a sleeting rain is now falling, I know that spring is coming. For one thing, I saw a green hellebore bud forming on a plant that's one of only a few not under snow. Oh, joy! For another, the cat keeps standing by the back door, waiting anxiously to go out to the porch. (She never lasts out there more than a minute or two, but still.) And there's my own restless anticipation. I am on a detox this week, having mostly smoothies, fresh juices and green soup. Visit that post and you'll see how last year at this time I was doing exactly the same thing. If you're at all connected to your animal instincts, you've probably noticed the way the body prepares for the change of season. I crave green.
Matcha 790 xxx
matcha point
I'm going to write up a few recipes for the smoothies and juices I've been having as some of them are extraordinarily good, but in the meantime, I wanted to share with you this very simple recipe for matcha salt. Matcha is high quality green tea ground to a powder. It's at the center of the traditional Japanese tea ceremony, and also used to flavor ice cream and mochi. As you can see, matcha is a gorgeous bright green color. It has a distinctive grassy, slightly sweet taste with a tiny hint of bitterness. Full of chlorophyll, it's much higher in antioxidants than other green teas. Some studies have indicated that matcha's high levels of theanine may even help reduce stress.
Sel gris 790 xxx
tough sel
I like to combine my matcha with sea salt; here, I've used a coarse sel gris, also known as Celtic sea salt, which has a subtle but complex mineral flavor. A few pulses in the spice grinder (or a minute in a mortar and pestle) and these two ingredients come together in a fine, silky powder.
Matcha salt 790 xxx
salt away
The bright green color is so invigorating! And the taste is quite addictive. It's the perfect dip for warm edamame and goes very well with eggs. Sprinkle it over soft-scrambled eggs. Try whisking some into the yolks for deviled eggs. Toss matcha salt with roasted walnuts and a little melted sweet butter. It's also delicious with simmered tofu. And, for an unexpected twist, dip a little of your finest dark chocolate in matcha salt. It's a matcha made in heaven.

Green Tea Salt

makes about 1/4 cup
  • — 2 tablespoons coarse sea salt
  • — 2 tablespoons matcha (green tea powder)

Combine salt and matcha in a spice grinder and pulse to achieve a fine, even texture. Store in a tightly sealed container

Download recipe  Download Recipe


Rob and I just bought our first matcha two weeks ago, and I am already addicted. Have you ever had spirulina? I find matcha has the same sweet chlorophyll flavour and the swampiness of the brewed tea somehow also suggests seaweed. I do get a distinct theanine buzz and just love the whole experience: the foam of green 'scrubbing bubbles', the texture of the emulsion, ingesting the whole tea instead of throwing out sadly spent leaves, and the wisp of green powder that escapes from the tea box as it snaps shut… Magical matcha. Can't wait to try this salt on soft scrambled eggs. I bet it would be interesting on the rim of a martini glass, too. (After your detox, of course.) Thanks for the beautiful shot of green, we need it as we wait and wait for spring. D. xo
David on March 12, 2014 at 5:29 pm —
Oh, David. Even this comment makes me miss your blog. Perfect timing on the matcha! xo
laura on March 12, 2014 at 6:34 pm —
Matcha salt is also a traditional condiment for tempura. It is delicious. So glad you provided this recipe.
MsMora on March 12, 2014 at 6:10 pm —
Of course - tempura! Thanks for the great reminder.
laura on March 12, 2014 at 6:35 pm —
This is so beautiful! I shared it on my blog's facebook page :)
Winnie on March 12, 2014 at 6:48 pm —
Thanks, Winnie! xo
laura on March 12, 2014 at 6:58 pm —
Green= heart!!! Can't wait to discover your delicious smoothies!:)
Emilie on March 12, 2014 at 6:52 pm —
I wholeheartedly agree, Spring can't come fast enough. I've been using matcha only in smoothies but never thought about it in spice applications. Thanks for this eye-opening post!
Margie on March 12, 2014 at 10:03 pm —
No sé si mi carácter puede tranquilizarse tanto! Tengo miedo de pararme.
Pepe on March 13, 2014 at 3:56 am —
No te entiendo para nada, Pepe. Miedo de que?
laura on March 13, 2014 at 7:13 am —