Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Mongolian Yak Tea, for Americans

Mongolian Yak herders brew a pungent, buttery tea to keep them warm during the long, cold Winter months. Mongolian Tea has more in common with broth or soup than a proper British cup of tea. Despite the absence of sugar the cream adds a surprising amount of sweetness. The original uses raw yak milk, making it thick and a bit gamy. Since the key ingredient is just about impossible to find in the United States, it's also impractical. The following is an adaptation for American palates.

It's important to use a decent black tea. This means no instant, flavored or store brand tea. If you need to heavily sweeten the tea before drinking it, it's the wrong brand to use here.

You need to replace the unprocessed Yak milk. Raw milk straight from the cow is ideal, if you can find it. We're going to make a substitute using skim milk, heavy cream and a little butter. (It's good, but no one claimed it was low calorie.)

2 Cups Raw Milk OR:
1 cup milk (Skim, 1% or 2%)
1/2 cup Heavy Cream
4 Tablespoons unsalted butter

2 cups water
4 black tea bags (Don't use Lipton or Salada.)
Salt to taste, about 1/4 tsp (1/8 tsp if you used salted butter)
1/8 tsp Marjoram
1/8 tsp grated Ginger

1. Bring the water and milk to a low boil.
2. Add the tea bags and reduce to a low simmer.
3. Steep for 10 minutes
4. Remove and squeeze the tea bags
5. Add Heavy Cream, butter and spices.
6. Stir until butter and spices are incorporated.
7. Serve while hot.

1 comment:

Just Julia said...

omg - I can't wait to try this recipe! I had yak butter tea in China a couple times and I tell you it is one of the food products I miss the MOST! Thanks for posting this as I had NO clue as to what seemingly magical ingredients they mixed in there. I thought I remembered something about cheese in there as well though... ? Hmm, maybe a local variation?
Anyway, I'll try it and let you know!
Thx again.