How to Make a Basic Tea Rub (Oh, and Some Variations)

Tea Bag Courtesy of MorguefileChef Ming Tsai has quite a presence on the web, and he uses rubs to create some wonderful recipes. One of his signature rub ingredients is tea. Other cooks have picked up the practice of using tea as a flavor base in rubs, artfully incorporating them in anything from mouthwatering BBQ to sea scallops. I don't know where the practice started, but I'm glad it did.

If you'd like your next seared tuna dish or pork tenderloin to be a big hit, try using a rub that's been amped with the addition of a tea base. The tea you use will make a difference, so this is your big chance to explore new taste territory.

Want to try a nice mango, blueberry, or orange pekoe tea? Maybe you'd like to stay with Darjeeling, green tea or Earl Gray? I think you'll be surprised at how well your favorite tea performs – out of the cup. Some things to keep in mind, though. The stronger the tea, the more important it is to season it well. Green tea is mild, so it makes a great base for more delicate meats and fish.

Basic Tea Rub Recipe

2 tablespoons of green tea of choice (ground fine)
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper

Here is one of my creations.

Cranberry Tea Rub for Pork Tenderloin

2 tbsp Cranberry Tea (or about two teabags)
1 tsp sugar
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp onion powder
½ salt
¼ pepper
¼ tsp ginger
¼ tsp allspice
¼ tsp ground thyme

Blend all ingredients in a coffee grinder or food processor. Rub onto olive oil coated tenderloin. Grill, broil or bake. If the sugar starts to burn, cover meat with aluminum foil or move to indirect heat.

Mock Mango Chicken Tea Bath

Tea can also make a flavorful marinade. I've used another fruit tea, this time mango, to make a marinade for chicken. Take a look at the recipe on my tea blog: Mock Mango Chicken Recipe

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