Chinese New Year Recipe: Green Tea Spice-rubbed Salmon

Vancouver Chef Nathan Wong uses tea to inspire this Chinese New Year menu, serving up salmon with a green tea spice rub

Credit: Optimum West

Infuse your salmon with the fragrant taste of Chinese green tea

Vancouver Chef Nathan Wong offers a three-course Chinese New Year menu featuring entree salmon flavoured with Chinese green tea

Chef Wong has fused the goodness of tea and the nutrition of fresh ingredients to create three distinct dishes featuring Canadian company Four O’Clock teas.

This salmon entree has a flavourful green tea spice rub.


  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 2 sachets Four O’Clock Green Tea or Four O’Clock Green Tea Jasmine & Lotus Flower
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 4 to 6 black peppercorns
  • six 6 oz fresh wild spring salmon fillets


  1. Heat a small skillet over medium heat.
  2. Add the spices and pan-roast, shaking pan over heat until fragrant and they start to brown, about 2 to 3 minutes.
  3. Remove and cool down.
  4. Cut open tea sachets and pour tea into a mortar and pestle or an electric spice grinder along with the salt, sugar, peppercorns and the spices. Grind until fine.
  5. Rub about 1 tsp of the spice rub onto each of the fillets.
  6. Cover and refrigerate to marinate for 1 hour.
  7. Barbecue on a greased grill or bake in a 375F oven for 10 to 15 minutes or until desired consistency.

Chinese New Year Menu

Appetizer: Lime Ginger Mint Herbal Tea Poached Chicken Salad with Wild Berry Herbal Tea Infused Vinaigrette

Dessert: Lychee Ginger Tea Poached Asian Winter Pears with Chocolate Spice-infused cream

Nathan Fong has been an award-winning food stylist for print and film advertising for the past 24 years and is an internationally published food and travel journalist. He currently is celebrating his 21st year on Global BCTV News with his Saturday Chefs and Fong on Food segments. He has been a regular contributor to CBC Radio One as well as a food columnist for The Vancouver Sun and contributor to Taste Magazine and EAT Magazine. In addition he has worked for Enroute, Bon Appetit, Fine Cooking, Cooking Light, Men’s Health UK, and NUVO.
His other television segments have included working with NBC’s The Today Show during the 2010 Winter Olympics, BBC and Sky Television, The Discovery Channel, both from England as well as the Food Network, USA and Canada, and New Zealand and Japan TV. He received the silver medal for the 2009 Food Network Challenge in the Superstar Foodstylist Competition.
In 2002 he was selected as one of the “Top 10 Food Trend-setters of the Future in Canada” by the Globe and Mail and was the recipient of the inaugural IACP/Julia Child Award of Excellence for food styling in 1998. In 2006 he was nominated for the national Gemini Awards (Humanitarian) for his dedicated work with the Dr. Peter Centre, the Vancouver hospice for people living with HIV and AIDS.