This recipe is adapted from the Chinese tea eggs that I enjoy eating as a snack or part of a meal.
These tea eggs combine all six flavors our tongues can taste: sweet, salty, sour, bitter, pungent and astringent. This is supposed to be healthy because it gives us a satiated feeling and contains many nutrients.
We take hard-boiled eggs to the next dimension with this recipe.
Cracking the shells gives a pretty stained-glass or mosaic look since the broth stains the egg. The broth can be saved to drink as a soup, hot or cold, and is a good sauce for rice. This broth is especially good for women.
Pack these eggs to go for work, a picnic or a pot-luck. They are not stinky—they actually smell good with the cinnamon, ginger and star anise.
2 T. black tea
1 cup soy sauce
1 cinnamon bark
Fresh ginger slices
3 T. star anise
3 T. sugar
2 T. salt
1 T. pepper
In a pot, boil enough water to cover eggs plus 3 inches. With a spoon, place eggs gently into the water. Let them boil for five minutes. Take out eggs, place in a bowl with cold water. With the back of the spoon, crack the shell so there is a mosaic look and the tea broth can seep in.
Make the broth in the same pot with boiled egg water. Add black tea leaves and other ingredients. Lower heat to simmer. Add eggs. Simmer for 30 minutes to one hour. Turn off heat and marinate for a few hours but no longer than 24 hours, and less time if it is a hot day. Peel the shells and, voila, beautiful stained mosaic patterns on the eggs. The longer it seeps, the deeper the stains will be. Enjoy.
Author: Stephanie Lee
Image: courtesy of the author
Editors: Ashleigh Hitchcock; Emily Bartran