Well, they aren’t exactly the brightly colored Easter eggs that are so common in the US. These ‘tea eggs’ are actually a classic Chinese snack food sold by street vendors and at cafes. Easy to make, the eggs are boiled in a flavorful mix of black tea and spices. I made these yesterday afternoon and put them in the fridge to snack on today. Unfortunately, I’m not sure how many are left …
Making tea eggs is simple, although the eggs must simmer in a liquid for up to 2 hours. The marinade varies from household to household, but generally contains black tea, soy sauce, and spices. I also throw in a bay leaf.
3 tablespoons soy sauce (I use dark soy sauce)
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon black tea
5 star anise pods
1 teaspoon chinese 5-spice
1 teaspoon cracked peppercorns
1 bay leaf
Begin by placing eggs in a pan and covering with cold water. Water should be 1″ over the eggs. Cover and bring to a simmer, simmering for 2 minutes.
Remove eggs and gently crack the outer eggshell, but do not remove the shell. This allows the spices to seep into the egg white and to stain the eggs with a spiderweb design. I got a little carried away and cracked them alot. The two darker eggs in my photo are due to the eggs bursting out of the shells while cooking.
Place cracked eggs back into the water and add remaining ingredients. Cover and simmer on low for 2 hours. Drain and allow eggs to cool before peeling.
If you don’t have loose black tea leaves you could also use a tea bag. Green tea isn’t used as can turn too bitter on the eggs.
For stronger flavored eggs, it’s simply a matter of increasing the amount of the ingredients. I find this recipe yields a subtle flavoring that compliments the egg and isn’t overpowering. It leaves a nice medium staining on the eggs which gives a nice presentation as well.
While they may not be as pretty as the traditional Easter eggs, they’ll taste alot better!