Traditionally, the star of this famous Burmese salad, laphet, is made by fermenting just-picked tea leaves for several months underground. While laphet is starting to be imported, it is still hard to find. This version, using readily available green tea, offers a quick alternative. Mix the salad at the table so everyone can appreciate the diversity of ingredients--from crunchy to savory--that make it so special.
Tips: To prepare Fried Garlic & Fried Garlic Oil: Place a fine-mesh strainer over a heatproof bowl. Heat 1/3 cup canola oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Reduce heat to low and add 1/4 cup sliced garlic; cook, stirring frequently, until the garlic is golden brown, about 4 minutes. Pour the garlic and oil through the strainer. Transfer the garlic to a paper-towel-lined plate. Reserve the oil to use on salads. Store fried garlic airtight in a cool dark place for up to 1 month; refrigerate the oil for up to 2 months.
To prepare Fried Yellow Split Peas: Soak 1/3 cup yellow split peas in water for at least 4 hours or up to 12 hours. Drain and pat dry. Place a fine-mesh strainer over a heatproof bowl. Heat 3/4 cup canola oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the split peas and cook, stirring often, until they start to turn a deep mustard color, 4 to 6 minutes. Pour the split peas and oil through the strainer (discard the oil). Transfer the split peas to a paper-towel-lined plate. Store airtight at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.
Made from salted fermented fish, fish sauce is a pungent, funky condiment found with other Asian ingredients at the supermarket. Thai Kitchen is a widely available brand that is lower in sodium.
To prepare Dried Shrimp Powder: Put 2 Tbsp. dried shrimp in a coffee grinder reserved for grinding spices. Pulse until ground to a fluffy powder. Store airtight at room temperature for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 6 months.
1 1/2 veg, 1/2 starch, 1/2 lean meat, 2 1/2 fat