Monday, 14 November 2011

The Daring Cooks' November 2011 Challenge: Cooking with Tea!

Sarah from Simply Cooked was our November Daring Cooks' hostess and she challenged us to create something truly unique in both taste and technique! We learned how to cook using tea with recipes from Tea Cookbook by Tonia George and The New Tea Book by Sara Perry.

We had fairly free reign this month - to cooks something (anything!) savoury using tea. 

It was the excuse I needed to give tea smoking a try - something I've been curious about for a while. I tea smoked tofu on the hob, using a bit of a Heath Robinson-ish cobbled together smoking set up, over sugar, rice and gunpowder tea.

Here are some step by step photos...

Demerara, rice and tea. Looking a bit like a national flag, but of which country I've no idea!
Essential item number one - a baking tin that is already quite trashed...
Essential item number two - a vegetable steamer

Feet. It need to have them!
Smoking mix, on tinfoil, in the tin 
Tofu on the steamer (smoker?)
Another layer of foil went over the smoking mixture, then the steamer and tofu, then I gave it a tinfoil blanket and wrapped it up tightly
Smoked tofu! Woop! After 15 minutes on the hob on medium
The spent smoking mixture
I made some of it into stir fry with rice, carrots, garlic, ginger, spring onions, egg and sesame oil and soy sauce.

And some into smokey baked beans, with dried kidney beans, black eye beans, tomatoes, tofu, onions and probably some other stuff that needed using up which I have forgotten about!

And I also made an oat bread, steeping the oats in camomile tea first. It was lovely :o)


  1. I love your step by step photos - very helpful, because I so totally want to try that! Great work :)

  2. Flags: Yemen or Egypt perhaps?

    Smoked tofu has that wow factor. Never thought of smoking it at home!

  3. Just remember to open the windows well if you smoke at home, and keep the kitchen door closed. It created hardly any actual smoke, but a lot of smoky smell.

  4. I was just like you - curious about tea-smoking. Seems like a few of us were and this was a great chance to try it out.
    I love the idea of trying tofu though, the perfect vehicle for new flavours. I like what you used it in too, the beans look amazing. Well done.

  5. Mmmm! I love the sound (and look!) of your smoked tofu. It looks like it would be terrific in a stew or even on its own.

  6. Tea-smoked tofu looks delicious! Yummy looking dishes, great job!

  7. I'm going to have to try the tea smoking, very intriguing.

  8. What a wonderful idea to use tofu. I am sure thAt it was as fabulous as it looks. Great job!

  9. I absolutely LOVE the idea of soaking the oats in chamomile tea. Makes me want to race home and do this right away lol

    Thanks :)

    - Heather at

  10. Ruth, your tofu looks fantastic and the smokey tofu beans look so hearty and delicious! You and Oggi inspired me to tea smoke, so thank you for that. :) I love the bread too. What a great idea to steep the oats.

  11. I've been far too timid about tea smoking anything. Your post and photos have given me a boost of courage to try this... sometime. Well done, Daring Cook!

  12. I really wanted to try the smoking ever since you posted your pictures on the forum!
    Brilliant job on this challenge

  13. Very creative responses to the challenge-well done! Not a fan of smoked things myself but the bread sounds amazing.

  14. Soaking the oats in the tea sounds brilliant!

  15. I am making this soon; we are tofu lovers and tea-smoked tofu looks and sounds really delicious.:)

  16. Hi,Ruth, i was smiling while reading your blog. Like me, you too went to town making this challenge ;). I was thinking of doing the smoking route but opted not to do it coz i didn't have the "gadgets". Thanks for the step by step and sharing how you smoked your tofu. Good job on this challenge.

  17. Wonderful! I am planning to try tea smoking when our neighbours in the flat next door are not at home. :) What a great idea to smoke tofu. Thank you so much for taking part this month!

  18. I'm a bit slow off the mark with commenting this month - been a busy week - but loved the pictures for the smoking step. It's the sort of thing that's a bit outside of my comfort zone so very handy to be able to visualise it :)



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