Recipe: chinese tea eggs
If I go without enough sleep for several days in a row, I start to get a little stabby. But I have been pretty chipper despite my paltry sleep hours of late, because the days have been filled with The Crush of Awesome. Here’s a visual sampler:
our monsoons have begun!
we had my parents and close family friends up for dinner
enjoying the evening on the deck
dramatic sunset clouds
fireweed and monkshood blooming in the mountains
hiking the rockies
cute little pika taking a peek at us
jeremy on the continental divide (aka “another great morning in paradise”)
a stroll around a local lake
kaweah still loves her walkie
My problem is that no matter what time I go to bed, I almost always wake up with the sun. That’s somewhat problematic considering it is summer. I also suffer from the general problem of being both a night-owl and an early bird which translates into cranky pants. All this to say – it’s gonna be a quick post… on Chinese tea eggs!
gather some eggs, ginger, green onion, soy sauce, star anise, chinese five spice, black tea
hard boil the eggs
Chinese tea eggs or marble eggs have a more delicate flavor than Chinese soy sauce eggs. I love both, but the tea eggs are just so pretty. Crack the shells after hard-boiling the eggs. You can do this by tapping the eggs on a counter or work surface, or by smacking the back of a spoon or the flat of a heavy knife on the shell. Then simmer them in the heady black tea mixture to create the beautiful eggshell pattern.
cover the eggs with cracks
place the eggs, spices, tea, and water in a saucepan
simmer for an hour
Let the eggs cool in the tea. The longer they sit in the liquid, the more pronounced the eggshell pattern should be. When the eggs are cool, drain them and gently peel the shells off. They should reveal a delicate marbled effect from the tea on the egg itself. You can serve them whole or serve them sliced. I tend to prefer serving them whole, otherwise the lovely pattern winds up on the bottom. You can serve them as part of a cold plate appetizer, in a noodle soup, with breakfast, on congee, or straight up.
peel the eggs to reveal the eggshell pattern
it might be fun to let people peel their own
Chinese Tea Eggs (Marble Eggs)
from Chef Chu’s Distinctive Cuisine of China
2 quarts cold water
3 tbsps loose black tea (or 3 tea bags)
3 tbsps soy sauce
2 tsps Chinese five spice
2 whole star anise
1 stalk green onion, tied in a knot
1 thumb-size slice of ginger
Place the eggs in a medium saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring the water to a boil over high heat, then reduce to a simmer for 15 minutes. Drain off the hot water and rinse the eggs in cold water. When the eggs are cooled, crack the shells all around on a hard surface (counter top or use the flat of a heavy knife), but leave the shells on the eggs. Place the eggs back in the medium saucepan with the 2 quarts of cold water, black tea, soy sauce, Chinese five spice, star anise, green onion, and ginger. Bring the contents to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Let the eggs simmer for an hour. Remove the pan from the heat and let the eggs cool completely in the liquid. Peel the shells from the eggs and serve whole or sliced. Makes 8 eggs.