Following on from my previous post where I shared my recipe for Chinese Turnip Cake, it seemed only fitting to also include my recipe for Chinese Tea Eggs. If you are planning a Chinese New Year lunch or dinner, or any Chinese-inspired feast, these Chinese Tea Eggs are great to include in the menu, not least because they can be made well ahead of time.
My initial motivation for making this dish was to get our children to eat boiled eggs. Our picky four-year-old has never liked eating plain boiled eggs, which therefore often rules out many quick and easy-to-make lunch or snack ideas which are meant to work for children his age. Then he went through a stage where he would only eat the eggwhites, or only the yolks, but never the two combined. So one day, I thought of making these Chinese Tea Eggs as a way of flavouring the eggs, and now he happily eats 2 to 3 whole eggs with his rice and vegetables!
Admittedly, Chinese Tea Eggs involve a bit of preparation and planning, but there is very little cooking itself to be done; you just need to be patient to let the eggs cook and steep in the tea mixture for a few hours.
The eggs, once cooked in the tea mixture, keep well in the fridge for several days, and need only be reheated in the tea mixture for an instant snack or quick meal. And whilst the marbled eggs themselves look very impressive at the table, I happen to think there is much comfort in serving boiled eggs as part of a meal. These Chinese Tea Eggs just take it up a notch.
- 12 eggs
- 1 litre (4 cups) water
- 2 tablespoons Lady Grey or Jasmine tea leaves
- 125 ml (1/2 cup) soy sauce
- 2 star anise
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 tablespoon light or dark brown sugar
- Place the eggs in a large pot filled with cold water. Bring to a boil and cook over medium-high heat for 10-12 minutes. Drain the eggs and place them in a large bowl of cold water in the sink.
- When the eggs are cool enough to handle, use a teaspoon to gently tap the eggs all over until they are lightly cracked but the shell still remains intact around the egg. The cracks will allow the tea mixture to seep through the shell and marble the eggs and to add flavour.
- Put all of the remaining ingredients into a large saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil, and then turn it down to a low simmer.
- Gently place all of the cracked eggs into the saucepan, and simmer over very low heat for about 3 hours.
- You can serve the eggs right away, or leave the eggs to cool completely in the saucepan in the tea mixture and place it in the fridge overnight. If the latter, the eggs will take on more flavour from the tea mixture. To serve, gently heat the eggs in the tea mixture over medium-high heat until they are completely warm through.
- You can serve the warm eggs as they are and allow your guests to peel the eggs at the table, but I usually peel them first so that everyone can admire the marbled texture on the eggs.
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If you have tried this recipe, I would love to hear how it turned out! Please leave a comment below and share your photos on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter using #eatlittlebird