Thursday, April 23, 2009

The magic, secret ingredient ....

Years ago my hubby and I went to Montreal for a little vacation. Just before leaving I had terrible sinus congestion, leading to a massive headache so hubby wanted to give me a treat and take me to a Japanese restaurant that served sushi. He can't stand the stuff but he does like tempura and teriyaki chicken so we both get to eat something we like..... Anyway - in addition to eating some wasabi (I normally don't touch the stuff) in hopes of clearing my sinuses (it didn't) I also had the most WONDERFUL green tea. It just had this delicious and unusual undertaste (background taste?). I couldn't drink enough of it - it was soooo good! I tried to get them to tell me what kind of tea it was but they either didn't understand the question or weren't willing to divulge a secret. We never could figure out which was the reason even though hubby does speak French and asked politely in French too.

I never did forget that tea or that taste and was always in search of it.

Well last week after a long morning and early afternoon at the gem show (where I got those gorgeous cabs!) I decided to treat myself to a late lunch of sushi at one of my favorite sushi restaurants - Todo - in Scripps Ranch. Since it was around 2:30 the place was almost empty. The sushi was great (as it always has been when I've eaten there) and the sushi chef was pretty friendly. After enjoying a few dishes and a cup of the "regular" green tea the owner asked if I wanted to try some "burned brown" tea (I think that's what she called it). I said "SURE" and she left a pot with me. When I smelled the tea I was so excited - this was THE tea I've been looking for for so many years!!! Then I tasted it and .... ahhhhhh .... it was sooooooo good! So I savored the tea and the sushi finishing off the meal with that sweetened egg sashimi (tamago nigiri) and more tea. What a grand day I had - beads, sushi and absolutely luscious, delicious green tea ....

I asked the owner where you get the tea and she said it was just available commercially for restaurants. Well I just can't take no for an answer so when I got home I started doing some google searches on "burned brown green tea". What I found were references to genmaicha where they talked about combining roasted brown rice and green tea. So I did more searches on brown rice and green tea and based on that information I was pretty sure that roasted brown rice was the magic ingredient - especially based on what the tea leaves looked like in the pot I got at Todo.

So, tonight, on the way home I bought some brown rice. I toasted some in my toaster oven, put it in the bottom of my little tea strainer, added some Japanese Sencha tea leaves on top, poured in the hot water, let it steep and, VOILA!, the luscious tea was created. I'm savoring my 2nd cup as I write .... yummm ....

So, if you like green tea but want to add a new dimension to it - brew it with some roasted brown rice. It is just TDF!

5 comments:

QuirkynBerkeley said...

Thanks for sharing the secret!

AlliesAdornments said...

Great story! Sounds delicious!

jstinson said...

At last, I couldn't comment previously and then it popped up! You have uncovered the "Ancient Chinese Secret"...good use for brown rice (not my fav)...LOL
Will have to give it a try!

wzgirl said...

You could also buy Genmaicha tea that already has the roasted brown rice in it. My fave brand is YamaMotoYama!!!!

http://www.pacificeastwest.com/073469301346.html

I find it to be very restorative. Love.

cserpentDesigns said...

Thanks wzgirl! I'll give that a try. They may have it at a japanese grocery and "stuff" store that is near one of the local bead stores I visit regularly. I'll definitely check for YamaMotoYama.

susan

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