Photo by kattebelletje
Tea leaf eggs, simmered in a fragrant mix of spices, are sold as a street snack food throughout China. I tried my first eggs after about 2 hours of simmering. Nice, but mild. The next time I made the recipe, the eggs set in fridge for about 4 hours after simmering. Nice, robust flavor.
Servings: 4-6 servingsPrep Time: 10 min Cook Time: 1-3 hours
2 tablespoons (or 2 tea bags ) black tea such as Earl Grey, English Breakfast, or Pu’erh (Green tea is too astringent for this.)
6 tablespoons light soy sauce
4 tablespoons rice wine
4 star anise
1 tablespoons sugar
1 stick cinnamon
3 slices of ginger
1 piece of mandarin (or tangerine) peel (optional)
1 tablespoons sichuan (or cracked black) peppercorns (optional)
Cover 8-12 eggs with about an inch of water. Add about a teaspoon salt. Gently boil about 4 minutes or so. This is enough time for the white to begin to set, but leave the rest of the egg uncooked. Place eggs under cold running water to cool. Crack the shells by tapping with a spoon or rolling on a countertop. The trick is to be sharp enough to crack the shells, yet gentle enough to not disturb the egg contents.
Place eggs, tea, and remaining ingredients and water to cover in large pot. A crock pot seems ideal for this.
Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer 1 to 3 hours. Add water if level gets too low. Longer simmering time will intensify flavor. Alternately, you may want to steep the eggs in the spice liquid after the initial simmer. Serve one or two as a snack or with noodles or rice.
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