The Gift of Green Tea
The venerated beverage is good for you—and your recipes.
Green tea is considered to be the yin to wine's yang. While wine is full of fire, warmth, and aggressive cheer, tea tempers the spirit, arouses thought, prevents drowsiness, and calms and harmonizes the mind. Scientists see the value of green tea, too, crediting it with contributing to the prevention of heart disease, cancer, and rheumatoid arthritis. It also contains polyphenols—effective and powerful antioxidants.
Some researchers recommend that to maximize tea's overall health benefits, a person should consume the equivalent of at least four cups of green tea per day, which would total about 300 to 400 milligrams of polyphenols. But to actually drink that amount might prove a bit difficult for many people, which is why learning to cook with green tea is such a wonderful idea.
You can toss loose tea into your stir-fry, add a cup of strong tea to your soup stock, or use minced leaves like an herb to season dumplings. It is most certainly the Chinese way—and once you start to use green tea for extra flavor, you will soon discover how adaptable and useful it can be.
You may even decide your cooking can't live without it.
Check out our "Green Tea Primer" for tips on selecting, using, and brewing tea. And find even more of Ying's delicious recipes in her book, Cooking With Green Tea.