{Tazo Cookoff} Tea-Smoked Salmon with Honey & Lavender Glaze


I’ve been in something of a cooking rut lately, struggling to find inspiration and ideas for new dishes. Apparently all l needed in order to get back in the groove of things was a good challenge! When I received an invitation to take part in the Tazo Cook-Off, I almost declined. Somehow, in the bat of an eye, my schedule for August has filled up and I couldn’t imagine how I would find time to participate in a challenge that would require me to come up with three new recipes over the course of three weeks, each involving both tea and a mystery ingredient that would be disclosed to me the cook-off progressed.But, if you know me you know I love a good culinary challenge — of course I ended up saying yes! And boy am I glad I did, because I never would have thought to create this amazing tea-smoked salmon with honey & lavender glaze otherwise. And that would be sad, because this recipe is so good that you should just go ahead and cancel whatever dinner plans you have for tomorrow and make this instead. (And if that’s not enough to get you to keep reading this post, what if I told you there’s a fantastic giveaway opportunity if you keep reading?)


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So I spent the past week thinking about all of the great things that I could make with tea, when a package arrived for me on Monday with my first mystery ingredient. Lavender. Right. There go those ideas! I have to admit, I was a little stumped. I was stuck on the idea of shortbread cookies for a while, but that just seemed so obvious. No, I was determined to go savory with this dish. And I began to think about salmon.The most recent issue of Fine Cooking had an article on tea-smoking that had intrigued me, and this seemed like the perfect time to try it out. I played around with flavors and technique until I came up with the recipe you see here. Which is incredible. The flavors of the teas — orange, cloves, star anise, cinnamon — permeate the salmon and give it an amazing flavor. The honey and lavender give it a floral sweetness that just works. And smoking it gives it the most amazing texture — silky and smooth, yet still flakey and fully cooked. I’ve really never had anything like it before, but this is definitely a technique that I’ll be using again and again.




Tea-Smoked Salmon with Honey & Lavender Glaze

  • 2 bags Tazo chai tea
  • 1 bag Tazo wild sweet orange tea
  • 2 Tbs dry rice
  • 2 Tbs light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 Tbs dried culinary lavender
  • 8 ounces sockeye salmon
  • 1 tsp olive oil

Heat your grill to medium-high.

While the grill heats, prepare the smoking packet by dumpling the contents of the tea bags, the rice, and the brown sugar onto a sheet of tinfoil. Sprinkle the tea with a few drops of water (less than 1/4 teaspoon — just enough so that it’s barely damp). Loosely fold the foil around the ingredients to form a flat packet. Place the packet directly on the coals/burner of the heated grill (under the grate). Close the lid and wait 10 minutes for the packet to begin to create smoke.

Pat the salmon dry and brush with the olive oil. Add to the grill, skin-side up, away from direct heat — if your grill has an upper rack, that’s the perfect place for it. Close the lid and let cook for 5 minutes. Flip and let cook for another 3-5 minutes, or until it’s cooked to your liking.

Meanwhile, add the honey and lavender to a small saucepan set over low heat. Heat through until the honey melts and becomes very thin. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Brush the glaze over the salmon just prior to serving.

Serves 2.


So, what was that I mentioned about a giveaway? Well, this is a cook-off, which implies that I’m trying to win something too, right? Well, to help me win you need to vote. And to vote, you need to leave a comment on my Tazo posts (you don’t need a blog in order to comment — just a valid e-mail address). That’s where the prize comes in. Just in case you need more motivation to leave a comment than to help me out and give me a glimmer of hope in being able to compete against the “popular girls” I’ll pick one commenter from my upcoming Tazo posts (this is #1 of 3) to be the lucky recipient of 12 boxes of Tazo teas as well as a fantastic kit full of tea-brewing essentials. (Anyone is free to comment, but I can only send the prize to you if you live in the US. Their rules – sorry!)

Ready…. Set…. Comment!

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PS – See that casserole up there? Right up there with the salmon in terms of flavor and all-around awesomeness. That recipe will be coming up next. You won’t want to miss it!

I was provided with a selection of Tazo teas and culinary lavender to use as inspiration in this challenge. I have no affiliation with Tazo or Starbucks, and any opinions stated above are my own.


  1. I have no idea where you come up with these ideas, but wow! I don’t cook a lot of fish (or any, really), but I think this is something that would be easy enough to try on a weeknight!

    but where do you find culinary lavender? guess I need to look around my grocery store a bit more!

    • It’s relatively easy to find these day. McCormick’s sells it now, so any grocery store with a well-stocked spice section should have it. Otherwise, I’ve gotten it at places like Williams Sonoma too.

  2. The glaze sounds delicious! Almost makes me want to eat fish. :)

  3. I am not even a salmon fan but this looks lovely! Well done and good luck!

  4. Mary Jane Blaney says:

    This dish is amazing!! I made the dish for my family and they loved it!!
    Thanks Lauren.

  5. I am so intrigued by this recipe! What an interesting combo. I’m sure I probably would have stuck with the shortbread cookies. ;) It looks delicious, Lauren!

  6. I had tea-smoked pork at a cooking event earlier this year and was floored by how amazing it tasted! I love the idea of smoking salmon with it.

    You have such a creative mind Lauren! Good luck with the contest!

  7. You nailed this challenge! What an innovative, beautiful dish and a fantastic use of the tea and lavender.

  8. I would’ve never have thought to use tea packets that way…a great idea! I luv salmon and creating these flavor packets must open up a whole new realm of combinations. Beautifully done.

  9. Wow….this sounds yummy. I live in Australia so not able to win a prize but just had to comment as I see the lovely lavender is being used more in recipes than ever. I love all things lavender and have even started a blog on it.
    Been looking for recipes for my culinary section and this sounds not only interesting but also delicious. Would have to substitute whatever teas I can get here.
    Thanks again for sharing these with us.
    Kind Regards
    Patricia Perth Australia
    all things lavender

  10. Wow, this is very creative! Good luck.

    Looking forward to the casserole recipe.

  11. Lauren, we’re so glad you tried the tea-smoking and loved it. Had to write and tell you how gorgeous your pics of the dish are!

  12. This is making me wish I liked salmon. I’ll have to try tea-smoking something else though!!

  13. How perfect. My favorite fish combined with my favorite scent! I’ll have try this on my family.

  14. Love salmon: great idea to pair it up with tea!
    Good luck in the competition.

    I’ve been in a rut cooking wise lately too: thus all the restaurant review posts. Must get back to the kitchen soon ;)

  15. I’m here courtesy of @eatlivtravwrite. This recipe is right up my alley: unusual ingredients and technique. I can’t wait to try it! Good luck on the contest. :)

  16. This is a very interesting idea…. but could it be recreated without a BBQ? Maybe I just need to wait a few years until I have one again.

    I’m outside the US as well, but I still think this is a brilliant idea! Well done.

  17. Am new to your website and so happy to see your beautiful pictures and recipes that sound delicious.
    I enjoy salmon baked & grilled. Your unique salmon recipe using tea is simply over-the-top. I am a tea-lover and would certainly combine my love of salmon with tea!

  18. I love salmon and this looks great – I won some lavender syrup a while back and I havent even touched it yet – I wonder if it will work as a glaze – hmmmmmm….thanks for the inspiration and GOOD LUCK on the contest!

  19. I love fish and since I’m now pregnant Salmon is the only fish that I can eat in moderation so I’m very excited to find another salmon recipe with some variety. Thank you!

    Creatively Domestic – Simple Cooking

  20. Wow – this is so inspired and it looks fabulous! Can’t wait to see what your next creations will be!

  21. What a fun technique. I love that this inspired you to think outside the box.

  22. I am so obsessed with smoked salmon so this recipe is super intriguing! Never really thought about doing it myself, but you have inspired me! Lovely post!

  23. Wow, that sounds so yummy! I am going to have to tell my Dad about this — he’s been wanting to get a smoker attachment for his grill, so maybe if I just convince him he can do it with some tea in his regular grill he’ll give it a shot (plus, tasty treats for me to sample! :). Do you think it would work as well with foods other than fish?

  24. I ADORE salmon, and I love the idea of tea-smoking them! You’re just so fantastically creative, Lauren!

  25. Amy LEBlanc says:

    This is going to be a great idea for the end of summer weekend at the lake. Simple but delicious.

  26. Your salmon looks wonderful and I can almost smell it from my computer . . . it is irresistable! I’ve never smoked on my BBQ, but it’s high time I tried :)

    Come check out my give-a-way if you have a minute. It’s a cookbook with some darling pictures done by an artist that I know.

  27. This sound great! I love the tea-smoked salmon with honey lavender glaze. Thanks for this recipe :)

  28. I love this method of cooking salmon. I would love to try it.

  29. I like to create and cook new recipes.This ‘Tea-Smoked Salmon with honey and Lavender Glaze’ recipe is new for me and looks delicious.I will surely make this recipe in my holidays.

  30. This looks absolutely delicious, and very inventive. I never would have thought of lavender and salmon, does it really work?

  31. I love the idea of cooking with tea. I don’t eat fish, but I’m thinking maybe this could be adapted to use with tofu somehow. (I found you via a Google search for frozen hot chocolate by the way, and have bookmarked that post. Glad I found your blog!)

  32. That salmon sounds amazing! I have some salmon and wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with it! This is a GREAT recipe! And I do so love some Tazo! :)

  33. oh i love Tazo tea.

  34. I am not a huge fan of fish, but I have made tea smoked chicken (and ruined a pot in the process), so I’m sure this was just as delicious!

  35. This looks great! I would love to not only try the recipe, but also the technique on other things as well. Thanks!

  36. I didnt even see that you posted this! it looks sooo amazing…im just imagining the crispy salmon skin that might have been underneath the juicy slab i see…

    i linked! are you proud? My fingers hurt from all the typing LOL.
    but im on coffee crack so i dont really feel it. I will let you know around 4 when i crash! xoxox

  37. Nelda Dendinger says:

    WOW ! I’m a “TEA-TOTALER”. It’s hot tea in the morning, iced-tea (Sweet, of course, here in the south) throughout the day , and a cup of hot fruit tea in the afternoon.
    SO, the tea smoke packets have blown me away. I really like salmon, and the lavendar glaze sounds divine! Can’t wait to try this on the grill. Thanks for inspitation, and good luck !

  38. Just had poached salmon today, but this sounds delicious and I promised my son matt I would start cooking healthier again, sounds like the perfect easy recipe to start with. Good Luck – By the way how do I get on the website to vote?

  39. Will be firing up the BBQ tomorrow!

  40. looks really good, good luck with the contest!

  41. Marge Vance says:

    Hi Lauren,

    This salmon recipe sounds absolutely wonderful. I love salmon and look forward to trying this.

    Keep up the good and “delicious” work.


  42. Dotty Emma says:

    i made your recipe tonight and we all loved the unique flavor. What a great idea.

  43. GORGEOUS SALMON. I am very sad about the metabolism confirmation. HAPPPPY BELATED [way belated] BIRTHDAY!!!!!

  44. What an interesting technique, and I love the flavors you’ve chosen!

  45. I am going to try and make this for my BF this weekend. This sounds amazing. I am adding you to my google reader.

  46. Annmarie Balsamello says:

    I love Salmon and I love this creative recipe! I will be trying this over the labor day holiday!!
    Good Luck in the contest!

  47. I LOVE salmon- that looks delish! My absolute favorite salmon dish is linguine with smoked salmon. It’s definitely not healthy, but it tastes amazing!

  48. I have seen fish infused with tea but needed that extra pusk to give it a try. Salmon would be the perfect foile.

  49. I’ve never made salmon before, but this looks like the perfect recipe to start on!

  50. I’m a vegetarian, but your photos make me want to eat fish! Maybe, I should try something vegetarian like this after I win the Tazo giveaway. What say?

  51. Is it wrong to say I bet this would even be good on a bagel?

  52. Sclark1013 says:

    I’m not a fan of smoked salmon, but those flavors make me want to give it another try.

  53. You are so creative! I just love the range in nuances of spices, it sounds like an exotic combination. I will definitely have to try this.

  54. This looks delicious! What a great technique :)

  55. Now THIS is something that I’ll be trying. YUM!

  56. Genious! I would have never thought to use tea this way.

  57. Hmm, I do love smoked salmon and tea, but I’m not sure that I’d like them together. I suppose I’ll never know until I try though ;)

  58. My next salmon dish. Sounds wonderful and since I’ve finally gotten my hubby to eat cooked salmon… kateiscooking

  59. I saw a recipe for tea smoked chicken recently and was really intrigued. Tea smoked salmon sounds awesome too!

  60. Ashley D. says:

    This looks amazing!!

  61. This is such an inventive use of tea, I never would have thought of that!

  62. They would have thought to create this amazing salmon, tea with honey and lavender glaze otherwise. And it’s sad, because this recipe is so good that you should just go ahead and delete.

  63. Great stuff over the food recipe. Looks like the food is very fresh and have added all ingredient. As it included. I think it would be very tasteful to eat it.

  64. They are quite delicious food ones. I would like to eat these tonight. I will share these with my mom so that she can make it up…..

  65. Rogelio Mcelvaine says:

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