Pu-er tea has quite many beneficial properties such as aiding digestion, lower cholesterol levels, blood cleansing properties and facilitating weight loss. The only setback is that pu-er tea has quite a unique earthy aroma that may not be very pleasant to many. But by combining the more aromatic ingredients together, the flavour of pu-er can be soften.
The dish is actually modified from the Braised Pork in Soy Sauce (Tau Yu Bak) recipe. Depending on the kind of tea used, it gives a totally different taste. The end result - the gravy is sweet and fragrant, with a tinge of pungent aroma. So good, that we ended drinking it as soup.
As much as I wanted it to be a pork dish, the nearest supermarket doesn't sell pork and so I had to change it to chicken instead. Nevertheless, the result is still good.
Tea-Infused Braised Chicken with Mushrooms and Tofu
(Serving size: 2 person)
Dried mushrooms, soaked and cut
Hard tofu, cut
2 stalks spring onion
5 garlic cloves
2-3 star anise
1 cup black tea (pu-er) – depend how much sauce you want, you can adjust this
Other possible items to add: Hard-boiled eggs, braised peanuts, fried chicken feet.
Chicken Marinade: Light soy sauce, oyster sauce, sesame oil, brown sugar and pepper
Seasonings: Light soy sauce, oyster sauce, dark soy sauce, sesame oil, brown sugar and pepper
- Wash the thighs and cut into reasonable sizes. Marinade them for at least 30 mins, preferably overnight.
- Steep the black tea leaves in hot water for at least 5 minutes, longer if you want the brewed tea to be darker and stronger.
- Pan-fry the tofu until brown. Set aside.
- Heat the wok with oil and for extra fragrance, I added sesame oil.
- Stir-fry the spring onions, garlic, shallots, mushrooms, cinnamon stick and star anise until fragrant. If you want some heat, you can add some dried chilies (which I eventually forgotten to put in).
- Add in the chicken and stir-fry until it is slightly brown.
- Add in the tofu.
- Add in the brewed tea and the seasonings.
- Let it simmer for 30 mins. Or if you decide to use the thermal cooker to do the slow-cooking part, then just simmer it for 5-10 mins.
- Before serving, you may want to thicken the sauce a bit with some cornflour mixture.