Tea Leaf Eggs
When I’m not out eating, I often am cooking a lot of chinese food. I’ve been hesitant to put the dishes on my blog though because I don’t have exact recipes. I learned to cook from my mom, who doesn’t use exact measurements. I cook the same way. I don’t ever use any measuring cups, spoons, etc. (unless I’m baking.) I put a dash of this, a bowl of that, etc, going on feel and experience. My mom made traditional chinese tea leaf eggs for me recently, and I’m going to attempt to give a recipe for the eggs. These are great to bring to a potluck because they come out so pretty.
2 lipton red tea bags
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons salt
1 spice bag (picture in instructions)
1. Boil eggs until thoroughly cooked (hard boiled). Then set eggs aside and let cool.
2. Once eggs are cooled, crack shells of eggs, but do not let the shell come off the eggs. I usually gently crack them against the counter. And then I use a meat tenderizer mallet to make additional cracks. Make sure to make cracks all around for a prettier cracked egg shell look. You want the cracks to be deep enough to penetrate to the inside of the egg, but not too deep that the egg shell will fall off the egg.
3. Place eggs in a medium pot. Fill water to about one inch above eggs. You can always add extra water if your water level begins to get too low.
4. Bring to boil the water with two tea bags, soy sauce, salt, and mixed spice bag. I got this bag at Ranch 99. Inside are pre-mixed spice bags. You only need to use one bag. If you can’t find this at your local asian grocery store, you can try just using a small handful of the dried spices contained in the bag (cinnamon, fennel, ginger, cumin, clove). You can also add crushed star anise, which is sometimes used and not included in this spice blend. It’s okay if you don’t have all the spices. I don’t think it affects the taste that much.
5. Cook the eggs with the water mixture on a low boil for about 2 hours, on low heat. Keep lid on to keep water mixture from evaporating.
6. Let the eggs, submerged in the water mixture sit in pot overnight (about 8 hours), to allow the eggs to absorb the flavors.
7. Bring the water mixture to a boil, and cook at a low boil for an additional 1-2 hours. Eggs can be served hot or cold.
You can store eggs in the fridge, leaving shell on. This will allow the eggs to store longer. Refrigerated eggs last about a week.