This homemade vegan version of Burma Superstar's famous Tea Leaf Salad is a delicious mix of greens, nuts, and seeds in a flavorful dressing.
Burma Superstar is one of my favorite restaurants in San Francisco. One of their most famous dishes is Tea Leaf Salad which has been served since 1992.
Once you try it, you'll understand why everyone orders it. The salad comes out of the kitchen with the components separated on the plate, and then it's tossed at the table.
But you don't have to travel to San Francisco to try it. Now you can make a copycat version of a Burmese Tea Leaf Salad at home using their ingredients.
Why you'll love this recipe
- It's easy to make in minutes.
- It doesn't require a laundry list of ingredients.
- It tastes just like the version served in Burmese restaurants.
After I ate at Burma Superstar for the first time, I searched online for a recipe for Tea Leaf Salad so I could recreate it in my kitchen. But the list of ingredients required was daunting. So I resigned myself to enjoying it when I could visit the restaurant, or their sister restaurant, Burma Love.
But now you can buy a kit which contains both Laphet (fermented tea leaf dressing) and Burmese Crunchy Mix. Or you can buy these two ingredients separately.
If this salad kit is unavailable, you can find the equivalents on Amazon which contain the same ingredients. Below are affiliate links for your convenience:
- Tea Leaf Salad Mix (This kit contains both the topping and dressing.)
- Tea Leaf Salad Topping
- Tea Leaf Salad Dressing
- Chop the lettuce.
- Dice the tomato.
- Add the lettuce to a large bowl along with the tomato, fermented tea leaf dressing, and Burmese crunchy mix.
- Squeeze a little lemon juice over the salad and toss well to combine. Serve immediately.
What does it taste like?
The fermented tea leaves make the salad savory. And the traditional Burmese Crunchy Mix containing peanuts, yellow split peas, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, and garlic chips is loaded with flavor.
You just have to try it! In addition, if you visit the Bay Area, I highly recommend visiting Burma Superstar or Burma Love and experiencing Burmese cuisine.
As The New York Times says, "The wait for a table may last as long as the meal, but devotees of this spot serving Burmese food don't seem to mind."
This salad is best enjoyed as soon as it's tossed. Refrigerate any leftover tea leaf dressing.
Burma Superstar Tea Leaf Salad is delicious as a light lunch or as a starter. Try it with some of these favorite recipes:
And if you enjoy this salad, you'll find even more Burmese recipes you can make at home in this bestselling cookbook:
And for even more delicious vegan recipes, join the Vegan Mediterranean Diet Recipes Facebook Group for support, inspiration, and fun.
If you love this recipe, please give it 5 stars! ★★★★★
Burma Superstar Tea Leaf Salad
- 1 head Romaine lettuce
- 1 tomato
- 1 package Burma Love Laphet Fermented Tea Leaf Salad Mix, or a jar of Laphet and a package of Traditional Burmese Crunchy Mix
- lemon wedges, for serving
- Chop the lettuce.
- Dice the tomato.
- Place the lettuce in a large serving bowl. Top with the tomato, Laphet (fermented tea leaf dressing), and Traditional Burmese Crunchy Mix.
- Just before serving, squeeze a little lemon juice over the salad, then toss well to combine.
Nutritional information is an estimation only.
My mom and Step-dad introduced me to the Burma Superstar in Alameda. It's one of my favorite restaurants. I am so excited to find this! I live in Los Angeles and I literally was just telling my mom that I was craving the eggplant and Tea Leaf Salad from Burma! We have all switched to plant life so really excited to see they made a vegan recipe. However, they do not have it in stock at Amazon, I will buy the alternatives you suggested.
Hopefully they will have it back in stock soon. But the alternatives should work well, too. I live in Orange County, but I used to go up to SF on a regular basis and always made it a point to eat at Burma Superstar. Did you see they have a cookbook, too!
I too am a fan of the restaurant as well as this salad, which I order every time. Where do you get the fermented tea leaves and crunchy mix in the Bay area?
Hi Paulette! I believe they sell the kits at the restaurants as well as at Rainbow.
Amy, I am so excited that you are sharing this recipe! We used to eat at Burmese Superstar in Alameda, that quaint little island off of Oakland. The food was always incredible! We miss it. A perfect combination of fresh and savory flavors. So I can’t wait to try this recipe and will likely purchase their cookbook too. I will post back after I make it. Thanks again.
I know where that is! Their food is so delicious!
@ Greg Dahlen, you can’t buy any old tea leaves, they must be Sencha or Dragonwell, which are both green tea varieties that are so soft (when steeped) that they are edible and sort of disintegrate into liquids. Other teas will turn it gritty and bitter.
@Amy this recipe is genius. I live in the Bag Area and frequent Burmese restaurants. As real fermented tea leaf dressing isn’t imported to our country, this recipe is the next best thing! Thanks for sharing.
Thank you very much, Jen!
Can you buy tea leaves in an ordinary grocery store and use them in a tea leaf salad? If not, why not? I live in Southern California
Hi Greg, You'll need fermented tea leaves, which are different. You can look for them at an Asian grocery store or online.
Hi, I was recently in Myanmar and brought a bag of fermented tea leaves and crunchy mix with me. I followed your recipe and the salad was surprisingly good. I just added some olive oil and soya sauce. What would you suggest to dress this salad?
How wonderful! I think a little olive oil and a squeeze of lemon is all you need.
I just made this at a dinner party - took me FOREVER to find fermented tea leaves in London but eventually manged to find some. It was a hit - will make again - delicious and healthy too...
I'm glad you were able to find the fermented tea leaves, Matt. And I'm happy everyone enjoyed the salad!
I just ate there last week, the Rainbow salad was A-mazing! I need to find these ingredients to whip it up at home...
Their food is the best!
Oh my goodness, I've been to Burma Superstar and it is amazing. It was so long ago but I'll never forget the Rainbow Salad (22 ingredients! Not all vegan though I don't think...) -- can you recreate that? Pleaseeeee... :-D. I don't remember the Tea Salad, but knowing that restaurant, I know it will be amazing! So awesome you can get the kits to make it yourself.
That is a great idea, Jenny! I will definitely try to figure out the Rainbow Salad recipe. I know it can be made vegan without the dried shrimp. Thanks! 🙂