Thursday, November 14, 2013

Oolong Tea Chili with Beans

In the past I've made a chili with black tea and a chili with green tea, but this time when I heard a cold snap was on the way I decided to experiment with a chili made with oolong tea!

Some of the ingredients, interestingly enough, were free. Before going in to Barnes & Noble to meet my friend Deberah for tea and a snack the other day, I sat in the parking lot typing my grocery list into my iPhone. I knew I needed meat, tomatoes and tomato sauce, and when I looked up an old recipe from a past blog post, I realized I had left off green peppers and added that to my list before going to join my friend. So, Deberah and I sat down at B&N to catch up on our lives and the various projects we are working on together. After a while Deberah reached in her tote and said, "Oh, I've brought something for you. I just picked these from the garden this morning." And she hands me two big plastic baggies stuffed full of a lovely variety of peppers, including the very bell peppers I needed! How did she know?

I can't help thinking this delicious and spicy chili tasted even better than expected because of the fresh peppers I was able to use!

Oolong Tea Chili with Beans

1 pound turkey (or ground beef)
1 large onion, diced
1 cup green pepper, chopped (or a mix of bell peppers and chili peppers, as I used)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon chili pepper
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon salt
2 (14.5-ounce) cans diced tomatoes
1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce
3 cups red beans (I cooked mine from dried beans, but canned would be fine)
3 bay leaves
4 teaspoons oolong tea steeped for 5 minutes in 2 cups boiling water

Over medium-high heat, brown the turkey, then add onion, green pepper and garlic, and cook until onions are translucent. Add chili pepper, red pepper flakes, thyme and salt, stirring well. Add tomatoes, tomato sauce and red beans and bring to a boil. Add bay leaves and stir. Add steeped oolong tea and again bring to a boil, stirring well. Lower heat and let chili simmer on stovetop for an hour or two, until beans are of desired consistency and seasonings adjusted to taste. Remove bay leaves before serving. (Best made with peppers fresh from a friend's garden!)


  1. Your oolong tea chili looks yummy, Angela, and perfect for November's cool weather!

  2. I think fresh ingredients, especially from a friend's garden, make anything taste better. The chili does look good, I've never thought about making chili with tea but I'll have to try it.

  3. Gotta love thoughtful friends! This recipe sounds interesting with the oolong tea - were you able to discern the flavor of the tea?

  4. MMMMMM! Oh, so delicious-looking!

  5. Nancy, I'm afraid the actual taste of the tea is overpowered by all the other ingredients, but I still like knowing the goodness of tea is in there!

  6. Sounds delicious!
    Wondering if the oolong tea made a difference? But for sure peppers from a friend's garden would be the touch that took it over the top. Now I see your answer to Nancy's question.

  7. As they say, "you learn something new all the time " never heard of using tea like this. Interesting :-)


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