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Chinese Tea Eggs

Saturday, July 11, 2009
Chinese Tea Eggs

It's not Easter and it's not even Chinese New Year. But I couldn't wait that long to try these gorgeous eggs. After all, I've read that in China they eat them regularly as a simple snack and millions of them are sold each day, not only in specialty stores but also in common markets and street food carts.
I remember seeing them here, soaking in big pots in some of the dim sum places in Chinatown. But to be honest, looking at deep brown eggs floating freely in a black liquid has always sort of scared me. I could have never imagined that hidden inside that dark wrapping one would find such a marvelous thing. Never judge by appearances...
Yet, I kept thinking of a special occasion for this photogenic dish. And why not? I decided I want to celebrate my almost new born blog, which is approximately, about, more or less one month old!
Congratulations and a sincere thank you to those of you who support me.


Chinese Tea Eggs

eggs 6
soy sauce approximately 1/2 glass
black tea leaves 2 tablespoons
salt 1 teaspoon
sugar 2 teaspoons
cinnamon stick 1
star anise 3
cracked peppercorns, orange zest, gingerto taste


Put eggs in a pot with enough water to cover them. Bring to boil, then let cook for 3 minutes.
Remove eggs from the pan, keeping their water, and cool down by placing them in a large bowl filled with cold water.
Crack the eggshell by tapping gently with a knife. Tap until the shell is fragmented all over, but be careful to keep it intact. The more you're able to fragment the shell, the deeper the marble effect.
Add all other ingredients to the cooking water, stir well and place the eggs back in. Bring to boil one more time, lower the heat and cover with lid. Simmer for 1 to 3 hours, adding more water if needed to keep the eggs always covered. The longer you let them simmer, the more intense their color and flavour. I reached a sort of compromise, simmering for approximately one hour and a half and then letting them soak in the same water overnight.
I was really curious to try them and I've been pleasantly surprised with the spiced and peculiar taste. On the side, I made a salad with thinly sliced white cabbage, dressed with toasted sesame oil, soy sauce and white vinegar, and sprinkled with a generous amount of black sesame seeds.
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