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Tea Eggs!

'Cause they're a treat!

I actually like making tea eggs on a regular basis. Like hard boiled eggs usually do, they keep fairly well for about a week in the fridge, and they're ready to be chopped into salads, toppings, stuffings and munched on for a snack. The sauce the eggs need to be steeped in is its own perpetual machine. Once you've made tea eggs once, the sauce can be frozen for as long as you need it around. Further batches can be made with the defrosted sauce, and additional ingredients can always be added to top up the remainder. The same sauce also does wonders for steeping other boiled proteins - shelled boiled peanuts, tofu cubes, boiled beef or chicken - just not fish.

When I first started making this, I ended up making huge batches because I followed my mother's recipe for lots of 24 eggs and up. The recipe below should work for 6 - 12 eggs.

6 - 12 eggs (hard boiled)
1 - 2 tbsp tea leaves or 2 - 4 tea bags (strong black tea)
3 tbsp dark soy sauce
2 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tsp salt
1 tsp five spice powder
1 whole dried orange peel (optional - peel an orange in the morning, bake the peel on the windowsill for a day, and it's ready)
water (enough to cover the boiled eggs)

Optional Eggy Prettification:

1. Prepare hard boiled eggs by gently tapping the shell of each all over with the back of a spoon. You want the shells to be lightly cracked, but still sticking to the skin underneath and not falling away. This faciliates absorption of the sauce, ease of peeling the eggs and results in the lovely marbled pattern tea eggs are known for.


1. Arrange all the eggs at the bottom of a pot.
2. Add just enough water to cover the eggs.
3. Put in all the other ingredients.
4. Bring to boil. Lower heat and simmer for about 5 minutes.
5. Soak for at least 2 hours. I recommend soaking overnight for maximal flavour.

To reheat eggs, either bring it back to boil briefly in the sauce, or put de-shelled eggs in the microwave for 30 - 45 seconds.



( 14 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 21st, 2008 09:11 pm (UTC)
oh! hello you! :)
Nov. 21st, 2008 09:24 pm (UTC)
Hello you! :)
Nov. 22nd, 2008 12:55 am (UTC)
how are things in SF? have you od'ed on pickled tea leaves yet? ^_~
Nov. 22nd, 2008 06:21 am (UTC)
Things in SF are most good! I haven't ODed on pickled tea leaves yet, though I haven't actually made any in a number of months. I ended up using my leftover tea leaves to make ochazuke or to flavour rice while it cooked.

How's it in Boston? Won the war with your oil heater yet?
Nov. 30th, 2008 09:15 pm (UTC)
Boston is cold and icky today. Which makes me sad because I realize that I am without kidney beans and black beans and I wanted to make chili. Urgh, but I really don't want to go back outside.

Not that it matter much, I suppose. I did win the war with the oil heater, but I'm cold in my apartment anyway because I am cheap. I need to invest in some seriously warm slippers. Nothing worse than having cold toes.
Dec. 4th, 2008 05:57 pm (UTC)
Warm slippers! There's an idea. I should bother to wear socks around the house. As it is, I'm trying to build up a resistance to cold weather by going barefoot (or so I'm telling myself).

Made cream of lima bean soup last night. Now I must reheat leftovers for a pleasing, beany breakfast.

Nov. 21st, 2008 11:03 pm (UTC)
ohh interesting, i've never heard of these
Nov. 22nd, 2008 06:23 am (UTC)
I usually see them in Chinese tea shops. They don't look like it while they're cooking, but the eggs are very pretty when you peel off the shells. Imagine these pure white hard boiled eggs with light brown spiderwebs all over them. They can look like marble eggs in the right light.
Nov. 22nd, 2008 02:30 am (UTC)
OMG tea eggs are my favorite! this is one of the more palatable recipes i've seen (as in , it doesnt involve burying htem for a time!)
Nov. 22nd, 2008 06:26 am (UTC)
Goodness! I've never heard of tea eggs needing burial before. Were you perhaps thinking of century eggs?

Seeing you has also reminded me that I never posted my recipe for rendang! Shame on me. I need to get to that.
Nov. 22nd, 2008 04:46 am (UTC)
I've never heard of this, but can't wait to try it - thanks!
Nov. 22nd, 2008 06:19 am (UTC)
Nov. 22nd, 2008 10:34 am (UTC)
Ooooooooh. I had no idea they were so easy!
Nov. 23rd, 2008 08:54 pm (UTC)
They are surprisingly easy! It's hard to believe tea shops charge what they do for eggs soaked in soy sauce. :)
( 14 comments — Leave a comment )