WHAT TO TEA SMOKE
Chinese cooks favour chicken but seafood such as salmon, trout, prawns, calamari, oysters and mussels are great for tea smoking, too. You can also tea-smoke tofu, tomatoes and mushrooms.
Try a basic tea-smoking mixture with equal parts tea-leaves and uncooked rice, and some water to lessen the amount of smoke. Experiment with different tea flavours – try black, green, jasmine, Earl Grey. Add spices, too, such as star anise, cinnamon sticks, cardamom pods and citrus rind.
TEA SMOKING STEP-BY-STEP:
Line a wok with 4 layers of foil, allowing the edges to overhang. Unless your wok has a lid, you’ll need extra foil to lock in the smoke.
Spread the tea mixture over the base. Don’t spread it too thin or it won’t smoke properly. Heat the mixture until it just starts to smoke.
Place food in an oiled steamer, or on a wire rack, about 5cm above the tea mixture. There needs to be room for smoke to circulate or the food will over-smoke. Cover with foil or a wok lid. Cook 15-20 mins depending on the depth of smoke flavour you want.