Sunday, March 22, 2009

Chinese Tea Egg

Chinese Tea Egg

I made a big batch of Chinese tea eggs this weekend because I had way too many eggs in the fridge (always seems to happen after a trip to Costco...). Tea eggs are one of my favorite snacks, a favorite afterschool treat growing up, but they're also good for breakfast, over plain steamed rice (with some of the tea brew on top) or in ramen for lunch. Don't worry, not all on the same day! Damn cholesterol! The best part is the longer they sit in the soy sauce tea brew, the more flavorful they become. I think they taste best after 2 days in the fridge. Oh did I mention, they're really cool looking too?

The tea you use doesn't have to be the best quality, just use black tea and not green. Sometimes when I'm lazy, I just peel the whole egg after hardboiling the first time instead of cracking it. You don't get the pretty design but it's easier to eat later. *nomnomnom* I'm thinking about braising some chicken with my leftover tea brew. Tea braised chicken?

Chinese Tea Egg
Cha Ye Dan/Chinese Tea Leaf Eggs
6 - 8 large eggs
1/4 C soy sauce
2 Tbsp black tea leaves or 2 black tea bags
1 star anise
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
Roughly 2 C water

Put the eggs in a saucepan that can fit the eggs snugly and cover with water. Bring to a boil and gently simmer for 7 minutes. Drain the eggs and rinse them with cold water until they have cooled off enough to handle. Use the back of a spoon gently tap the shell all over or just hit them against the countertop.

Return the eggs to the saucepan, add the soy sauce, tea leaves or tea bags, star anise, salt, and enough water to cover. You'll want to use a saucepan that can fit the number of eggs you're cooking perfectly. You don't want to use a saucepan that's too big otherwise, you'll need a lot of water to cover the eggs and it will dilute the tea brew. Simmer them in the tea soy sauce brew for 2 - 3 hours. You can even cook them for a few hours in a slow cooker. Halfway through the cooking time, turn the eggs over, add more water if necessary.

After cooking, store the eggs in the brew at least overnight so the flavors can permeate the eggs completely. I like to cut them in half and spoon a bit of the soy sauce brew onto the yolk before eating, it makes the yolk creamy and more flavorful.


Passionate Eater said...

Oooo, your descriptive recipe has me craving those delicious eggs! "Brewing," "permeate," and "creamy" are words that make me REALLY hungry! My mom loves tea eggs, and I haven't had them since I was a little girl. Thank your for sharing this recipe and for giving me a trip back to my parents' house!

thepassionatecook said...

what a great idea. i have seen them featured in food magazines a lot lately, but never attempted to make my own. very cool. thanks for contributing to wtsim!

Wandering Chopsticks said...

Yours looks so pretty! You only boil eggs for 3 minutes? Does that cook it all the way through? I've read 7 for hard-boiled eggs.

Amy said...

Hi PE,
Aww I'm so glad this brings back lovely memories for you.

Hi Johanna,
Thanks for hosting this event! :)

Hi WC,
I didn't remember how long I boiled them, just long enough for the white to solidify so I could crack it. But I went ahead and edited the recipe to 7 minutes just to be safe. Thanks for catching that!

Patricia Scarpin said...

I saw Kylie Kwong making these eggs the other day and found the method very interesting!

Yours looks great, Amy!

Gattina Cheung said...

I love to hunt for your tea eggs instead of ordinary boiled eggs =)

Anonymous said...

Nice marbled eggs! Let me try that.

Amy said...

Hi Patricia,
Thanks! The lines aren't very dark on these eggs, the ones I let soak in the fridge were darker. Maybe next time I'll try using some dark soy sauce. :)

Hi Gattina,
Be careful the soy sauce might stain. ;P Hehe. Thanks for visiting and I love your blog. I still need to try that striped pasta (hopefully I'll be buying a pasta machine in the near future).

Hi Tigerfish,
Thanks! Let me know how they turn out. :)

Melting Wok said...

good choice ! :) I love making my tea eggs w/chicken wings in the crock pot, slow cooked them over the w/end, and come Monday mornings, I'll take my eggs for b'fast, n chicken for lunch n dinner hehe :)
check this out : Tea Eggs With Chicken Wings

Amy said...

Hi Melting Wok,
Cooking them with chicken wings is a great idea! Sometimes I don't like using my crock pot because it's just too darn slow and I want to eat. :D

Anonymous said...

oh this brings me back to my younger years and makes me really miss my parents' cooking. i'm going to have to add this to my "to make" list. it's exactly how my mom used to make it. what black tea do you recommend? any in particular?

Veron said...

love, love chinese tea eggs but never got to make them. this looks simple enough...

Connie said...

I make this recipe ALL the time... it's EXACTLY like ma's!

Amy said...

Sorry about the late response. I just use whatever black tea I have in the pantry. I've been using PG tips for a while now.

I hope you make them! :)


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