Citrus Herbal Tea Rub

Try This Famous Chef's Recipe Using Our Green Tea

Famous chef, Ming Tsai of Boston says about his recipe,"I can never get enough of tea rubs, so I keep inventing new ones. This green tea and citrus example is particularly fresh and appealing: The tea is beautifully complemented by lemon, lime, and orange zest while mint and ginger add more invigorating flavor. This tea rub does wonders for lighter protein, like chicken and fish."


Makes about 4 cups. Lasts 3 weeks, refrigerated.

Recipe by Chef, Ming Tsai

  • 1 cup green tea leaves

  • 1⁄2 cup dried peppermint, spearmint, or mint

  • 1 cup lemongrass powder or flakes

  • 2 tablespoons sea salt or kosher salt

  • 2 tablespoons turbinado sugar or raw sugar

  • 1⁄2 cup dried orange zest (for this and the following zests, see Ming’s Tip, below),

  • crushed

  • 1⁄2 cup dried lime zest

  • 1⁄4 cup dried lemon zest

  • 1⁄4 cup ground ginger

    Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl. Use or store.


This recipe calls for dried orange, lime, and lemon zests. You can sometimes buy these, but they’re easy enough to make and have a lot of uses. Zest the fruit, spread the zests on a baking sheet, and bake at 200°F. until the zests are dried, about 2 hours. Store in a tightly sealed container in the fridge.


Use the rub to season scallops, then pan-fry them.

Season chicken thighs with the rub, then braise them in stock. Slowcooking in liquid allows the tea to “steep,” which brings out its subtle flavor.

For a deliciously different vegetable dish, trim and halve zucchini lengthwise, then coat all sides with the rub. Sear them in a medium-hot pan until cooked through and well colored, about 5 minutes.