Burma is one of very few countries where tea is eaten as well as drunk. Its pickled tea is unique in the region, and is not only regarded as the national delicacy but plays a significant role in Burmese society. Its place in the cuisine of Myanmar is reflected by the following popular expression: “Of all the fruit, the mango’s the best; Of all the meat, pork’s the best; Of all the leaves, lahpet’s the best”.
There are pickled tea leaves brands such as Pin Pyo Ywat Nu, Yuzana, A Yee Taung, etc. There are also different sorts of la-phet. There’s one type of laphet called “shuu-shel” which is a descriptive word of the condition of your mouth when you eat that extra-spicy la-phet. Another type is chin-set, which means spicy and sour. In this recipe, you gotta have some fermented (or pickled) tea leaves. I don’t know how to make one myself, and I just buy ready-made fermented tea leaves.