The egg is a marvel of nature. If there was a superhero of the food world it would be the egg. What can it not do? I have waxed poetic about this simple orb before, so if you want to read about my treatise to the egg, go here.
In it’s plainest form, I’ll have it fried with a runny yolk. In its hard-boiled state, I love cutting slits in it and tossing it into stews – my favorite is Adobo. So with my predilection to marinated eggs, its a wonder that I have not tried making tea eggs yet.
It’s the simplest thing to make and the end-product is gorgeous. Somehow it reminds me of a map of Ancient China. Must be that tint of sepia that gives it such an old world charm.
I got my recipe from Jaden’s blog Steamy kitchen but made some adjustments. The recipe says 3/4 cup of soy sauce but I added 2 tablespoons more since “medium” pot is fairly subjective. I also added more sugar to mine since I love the sweetened soy sauce and star anise flavor. So yes, taste the liquid before you simmer for the final time.
I wanted to steep the eggs overnight but I didn’t want to just stick the pot in and release the smell of star anise into the refrigerator. So I transferred the eggs to an air-tight container and transferred enough liquid to cover the eggs.
I love these eggs at room temperature or slightly warm. They make perfect snack food.
Chinese Marbled Tea Egg recipe
adapted from Jaden’s Steamy Kitchen
3/4 cup + 2tbs. soy sauce
2 star anise
2 tablespoons black tea (or 2 tea bags)
1 cinnamon stick
2 teaspoons brown sugar
* she also mentions 1 tbs. Sichuan peppercorns and 2 strips dried tangerine but I did not use these.
Gently place the eggs in a medium pot and fill with water to cover the eggs by 1-inch. Bring the pot to a boil, lower the heat and let simmer for 3 minutes. Remove the eggs (leaving the water in the pot), let cool under running cool water. Using the back of the teaspoon, gently tap the eggshell to crack the shell all over. The more you tap, the more intricate the design. Do this with a delicate hand to keep the shell intact. To the same pot with boiling water, return the eggs and add in the remaining ingredients. Bring the mixture to a boil and immediately turn the heat to low. Simmer for 40 minutes, cover with lid and let eggs steep for a few hours to overnight. The longer you steep, the more flavorful and deeply marbled the eggs will be.