Orange Dulce Tea-Smoked Shrimp

July 20, 2014

Tea-smoking is a Chinese tradition. It had become very popular in restaurants a few years ago, but there wasn’t much information available on how to tea-smoke at home. I was reminded when we visited South Africa just how wonderful it really is and how easy it is to do at home. One of the dishes we were presented was thinly sliced ostrich tenderloin rubbed in hot curry powder then tea-smoked using rooibos and blueberry tea leaves with a ginger sauce. Interestingly delicious! I knew that I’d be in the kitchen when we got back home coming up with a tea-smoking how-to and quick recipe for you! So, how do you smoke with tea leaves? It’s actually very easy you can do it on your stovetop or grill in minutes.

Aluminum foil
Small to medium rack or colander
Aromatics, such as orange peel, crushed cinnamon sticks, and star anise Aromatics enhance and deepen flavors. In this recipe, they also give the shrimp a beautiful, burnished hue. The Orange Dulce is a blend of Ceylon and china black teas with hints of orange, vanilla, and jasmine. However, you can use whatever loose leaf tea blend (no tea bags!) you prefer the aromatics will flavor the tea. I used the same recipe with two different preparations to see if one method was easier than the other, but I found both to be equally easy and virtually mess-free. Both preparations produced juicy, flavorful, and tender shrimp with a gentle flavor or orange-spice. I outline both methods for you below, so try one or both and see which you prefer!

Category Main Dish
Usage Orange Shirmp
Prep 0 hours
Cook 0 hours
Ready-in 0 hours


Shrimp: 1 ½ to 2 lbs Large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/3 C jasmine rice
1/3 C Loose black tea leaves (I used Orange Dulce from
1/3 C Light brown sugar
Orange peel (optional)
Cinnamon sticks (optional)
Mixed lettuce greens
Orange zest
Orange segments
Black pepper
Fresh rosemary
Olive oil
Spanish Rosemary Sea Salt (
Cara Cara Orange Vanilla White Balsamic Vinegar (
Soft boiled egg (optional)


  1. Assemble your salad and set aside.
  2. Pat peeled and deveined shrimp very dry with paper towels. Season with sea salt and black pepper.
  3. Method #1 Swipe a small colander with olive oil and add shrimp. Set aside.
  4. Lay out a 12‰Û long piece of heavy duty aluminum foil, and add rice, brown sugar, and tea leaves, along with any aromatics you may be adding. If you're cooking on the stovetop, turn on the exhaust fan (just in case).
  5. Lay the foil with the aromatics in the bottom of a pan, turn stovetop to high, then cover with a lid. When it begins to smoke, nestle the colander with the shrimp inside the aromatics mixture, cover tightly to seal with another piece of foil, and seal the edges.
  6. After 4 to 5 minutes, open and turn the shrimp. Replace the foil and let cook another 5 minutes Remove shrimp and let cool.
  7. Method #2 Swipe a rack with olive oil, lay out seasoned and skewered shrimp, and set aside.
  8. Make an open foil packet (placing the aromatics inside), then set in a wok-type pan over high heat. Place the rack with shrimp over the wok when the aromatics begin to smoke. Cover tightly with a pot lid. After 5 minutes, turn the shrimp and replace the lid. Cook another 5 minutes then remove from the heat. Let cool 5 minutes.
  9. * You can do this inside your grill, as well. Make a loose packet and set it right inside the grill on the fire. Once it begins to smoke, set your food on the grates, cover, and cook until done. Watch your time closely.

Recipe Ratings

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