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Potato and Tuna Salad with infused Sencha Tea Leaves

Shincha first flush sencha tea leaves may be eaten after being infused for tea. Flavorful sencha leaves are being recognized for their health benefits, and there is a growing trend of including them in various dishes. The umami of hanakatsuo and soy sauce reduces the slight bitterness of the leaves. The hanakatsuo, soy sauce and sencha mixture is delicious as an accompaniment to a bowl of warm rice.

(per serving)

Ingredients (Appetizer serves 3)

  • Potatoes, 400 g / 1 lb.
  • Shincha first flush Japanese sencha tea leaves, 4 t / 8 g
  • 2 t cold water
  • 200 ml / 6-7 oz. hot water
  • 3 T shaved hanakatsuo dried bonito flakes
  • 1 T Kikkoman Soy Sauce
  • 1 can of solid tuna, preferably packed in oil, total 140-160 g / 5-6 oz.
  • Yuzu peel, thinly shredded; alternatively, grated lemon or orange zest
  • 3 T extra virgin oil
  • 1/2 t lemon juice
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • 1-2 lettuce leaves or curly lettuce
  • Slice of red bell pepper, finely diced for garnish (optional)
  • *1 C (U.S. cup) = approx. 240 ml; 1 T = 15 ml; 1 t = 5 ml


  1. 1

    Boil the potatoes with skin on and cook until tender. Peel off the skin and cut the
    potatoes into quarters, then cut these into pieces each about 5-7 mm / 1/4 in. thick. Set aside.

  2. 2

    Place sencha leaves in a teapot and sprinkle 2 t of cold water over them to moisten; allow to sit for a minute. Pour 200 ml hot water into a measuring cup to let it cool down a little. Pour it over the leaves and let it sit for about 30 seconds, then pour out the tea.*

  3. 3

    Place the infused tea leaves into a tea strainer and press them with a spoon to drain out excess water.

  4. 4

    Mix 2 T tea leaves with the hanakatsuo and soy sauce. Set aside.

  5. 5

    Drain the tuna, break apart into lumps and place in a bowl.

  6. 6

    Add the potatoes, the tea leaf mixture and the yuzu peel to the tuna and mix lightly with the extra virgin olive oil. Add the lemon juice and season with salt and black pepper; adjust taste as needed.

  7. 7

    Lay out the lettuce leaves on a serving platter. Spoon out the potato and tuna salad onto the lettuce, and garnish with the diced red bell pepper, if desired.

  1. *1The poured tea is not used in the recipe, but please enjoy while it is still warm.

Recipe by Michiko Yamamoto

Vol. 33

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