Used Tea Leaves in a Japanese Style Omelette

This idea came up to my mind and I added some used tea leaves of shincha into an omelette.

‘Shincha’ is the first harvested tea of the year. ‘Shin’ means new and ‘cha’ means tea. It’s also called ‘ichibancha’ which means ‘the first tea’. So shincha doesn’t mean a type of tea like gyokuro or sencha, but it’s a word to represent when the tea is harvested. The tea harvested next to ichibancha is called ‘nibancha’, meaning ‘the second tea’, and next to that is ‘sanbancha’ which means ‘the third tea’. Ichibancha is sold all year around but it’s especially sold as ‘shincha’ between April and May to emphasise it is new and in season.

One of shincha’s characteristics is its refreshing flavour which new leaves have. Also, compared to nibancha or sanbancha it tends to be less bitter and astringent as it contains less caffeine and catechin. There’s also more theanine which is the component of sweetness and umami.

To make this omelette taste better I added cheese for richness and dried young sardines for crunchiness.

:: Ingredients ::
Egg                                                              3
Used tea Leaves                                         2 TBSP
Chirimenjako (dried young sardines)     1 TBSP
Shredded cheese                                       2 TBSP
Olive oil                                                       1 TBSP
Soy sauce                                                    As much you like

:: Instructions ::
1. Crack three eggs into the bowl and mix them together.
2. Put olive oil into a frying pan and turn the heat on medium. Stir fry the used tea leaves and dried young sardines.
3. Add the eggs into the pan and mix them together. When it’s set a little add cheese in the middle of the eggs and wrap it up.
4. Place the omelette onto a plate and put a little bit of soy sauce if you like.

I didn’t add any salt since the cheese and the sardines have some saltiness. If it’s not enough for you please add some salt or soy sauce.

You don’t waste literally anything if you eat the used tea leaves. It’s good to know we are making use of the whole leaf.

Please give it a try yourself. 😊

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