Nobody Does Chinese Teabagging Like Andrea Gentl Does Chinese Teabagging

A shoutout to the Infinitely Tasteful from the Infinitely Tasteless. It’s no great secret that Selwyn has a favourite Bellender in the ethereally witchy form of Andrea (Now Forager) Gentl. I mean, he has all sorts of favourites for all sorts of purposes. But he has a particular soft spot for his old comrade-in-arms and Ear Inn degenerate; please don’t touch it though (the soft spot) because it’s tender and makes him squeal in a way that disturbs the neighbours.

Whole epic poems could be written on the subject of Andrea’s wonderfulness. What’s even more amazing, is that she does it all despite being a Cyclops and nearly always drunk. Or maybe because of this, who knows?

Whatever the case, she is famously worthy of worship. For now though, let’s confine ourselves to a celebration of her venerable organ, Hungry Ghost, Food + Travel which we assume uses that + because the word and is too long and it’s tough to find an attractive ampersand. Ever teeming with tips about making tempura from the stuff you wrestle out of your bellybutton, Hungry Ghost is the source we at Bell End would turn to if we ever had anything in the fridge other than Nancy Iacoi’s discarded anal beads and a half pack of Winston Lights. For now, take a look at Andrea’s most recent post reproduced here entirely without permission. I took liberties with her 44 different spellings of Araucana.

Bellocq. Tempura Edible Flowers. Teabagging, the Chinese Way

Photographer: Andrea Gentl

We always plant a bed of edible flowers in our garden upstate to add to salads or to eat straight from the garden. So, I was super inspired when we shot our favorite tea atelier, Bellocq, for the most recent issue of Kinfolk. Heidi Johannsen Stewart of Bellocq came up with this brilliant idea to tempura edible flowers and to serve them with tea salt! They were so good and so beautiful! We ate and drank a lot of tea inspired foods that day. We also made Chinese tea eggs and paired it with the same tea salt. I will share them soon! Have a great weekend!

If you are going to try this make sure you have done your research as to what flowers are edible! Never use anything that has been sprayed!

Tea salt can add an interesting flavor to just about anything you are cooking.

More to the point; Teabagging is fun.

1/3 cup tea – we used a smokey tea for this one! (no. 19 Lapsang Souchong) Organic black tea scented with pinewood smoke. Plucked at high elevations in the Wuyi Mountains, this tea has a distinctive earthy flavor, with strong notes of honey and a rich red liquor. You can order this tea online from Bellocq.

1/4 cup of sea salt – mortar and pestle until they are somewhat combined. Store in an airtight jar.

Tea Eggs – Chinese Tea eggs are a popular street food in China. I never ate them while I was there because I kind of avoid street food while working. They were super beautiful however and stayed in my mind long after the trip. Most recipes for Chinese Tea Eggs call for the eggs to be steeped in a combination of  black tea, star anise, cinnamon, soy sauce and black pepper  but you can get creative and add bits of citrus or ginger.

We served these with another fragant tea salt. We used Kiykuya from Bellocq. Beguiling hand-crafted blend of organic Japanese sencha and the essence of Bulgarian rose strewn with rose petals. Named in honor of the first geisha, Kikuya retains an air of elegance and mystery. The emerald leaves of Sencha, delicate with prominent oceanic and grassy notes, balance beautifully with the voluptuous scent of rose. The resulting pale jade liquor is at once fragrant and refreshing with a long blissful finish.

To Make:

Combine your spices in a large non-reactive pot with enough water to cover the eggs. Simmer your eggs for an hour. Set aside to cool but reserve the liquid and spices.  Simmer for about 1 hour. Remove from the heat and let the eggs cool. Reserve the spices and liquid. When cooled, put the liquid in a large lidded jar. In the meantime, once the eggs have cooled, gently crack the hard-boiled eggs with the back of a spoon all over.

Place the cracked hard-boiled eggs in the cooled spices and liquid and refrigerate for three days. The liquid will steep in through the cracks and flavor and stain the white of the egg. The outside will become a beautiful brown. I used Araucana eggs so that when I cracked them, the shell on the inside would be blue. The outside of the egg took on the most perfect Wedgewood brown. I couldn’t help but think that Martha just might fall in love with that color. Heidi and Michael saved the pieces of the egg shell and added them to their famously beautiful Bellocq tableaus.

One dozen Araucana eggs

1/2 cup loose black tea – we used Keemun Panda from Bellocq. An Organic full bodied black tea, prized for it’s sweet earthy flavor and floral notes with a touch of smokiness. You can use any black tea.

6 star anise

4 large cinnamon sticks

4 tsp. cracked black pepper

1/2-cup soy sauce

Props styled by the ever talented Shane Powers. Thank you Shane! xx

Photographer: Andrea Gentl

Photographer: Andrea Gentl

Photographer: Andre Gentl

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