Saturday, April 4, 2009

Chinese Tea Eggs (茶葉蛋)

I was catching up on my favorite food blogs when I came across a recipe for Chinese Tea Eggs.

Growing up in Taiwan, this was one of my favorite snacks. The eggs, stewed in a black tea, soy sauce, and spice blend, were sold all around Taiwan in snack stands and convenience stores.

I haven't had these delicious eggs in years. In fact, I don't even know where to buy them in the US.

Since I have lots of eggs in the fridge, I decided to try out the recipe. I wasn't sure if the Earl Grey tea bags I have would be authentic enough (I assumed that some type of Chinese tea would be better), but a phone call to my mom assured me that any black tea would do.

The eggs turned out great! Full of flavor! I especially love the marble design! They made the house smell yummy, too.

These eggs can be eaten at room temperature or just slightly warm. Just don't eat too many at once!

Chinese Tea Eggs:

- 6 large eggs
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 2 tbsp black tea leaves or 2 black tea bags (I used Earl Grey tea bags)
- 1 star anise
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 cup water
- few Sichuan peppercorn (optional)

1. Put eggs in a saucepan that can fit the eggs snugly and cover with water. Bring to a boil and gently simmer for 7 minutes. Drain the eggs and rinse them with cold water until they have cooled off enough to handle. Use the back of a spoon gently tap the shell all over so they are slightly cracked.

2. Return eggs to the saucepan. Add soy sauce, tea leaves or tea bags, star anise, salt, sugar, and enough water to cover. (Note: Use a saucepan that can fit the number of eggs you're cooking perfectly. You don't want to use a saucepan that's too big otherwise, you'll need a lot of water to cover the eggs and it will dilute the tea brew.)

3. Bring the mixture to a boil and turn the heat down to simmer for 1-2 hours (the longer the simmering, the better the taste). Add more water if needed. Serve immediately or leave the tea eggs in the mixture overnight to further develop the color and flavor.

{recipe adapted from here, here, here, and here}

8 comments:

  1. my mom makes these all the time. i'm only willing to eat hardboiled eggs this way :)

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  2. These look really interesting. I saw another post on tea eggs the other day, too, and I feel like the blogosphere is telling me I need to try them! Nice photos, too. Oh, and sorry to hear you didn't get to enjoy much (any?) Mediterranean sun during your trip. Rain or shine, I'd still love to get to Spain one of these days!

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  3. These rocked, too bad I couldn't eat them all. Joyce insisted on saving some for her parents. sigh...

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  4. Those "almost" look too good to eat!! I really can not imagine how good those eggs are. I will definitely try them. Thank you for sharing

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  5. I love this! I saw you on Ginger...so had to come over and look what I found a great post and blog!

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  6. This looks like a great idea this time of year :) Thanks for sharing :)

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  7. I'm with you -- I recently saw a recipe on Diana Kuan's blog (appetite for china) and am more than a little obsessed with them now. Yours is beautiful!

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  8. Wow guys, thanks for the love!

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