"One of my favorite dishes when I head back home; it combines hard-boiled eggs with the subtle flavor of anise and the deep brown hues of black tea and soy. The cracked patterns from the broken shells make these quite attractive! I eat these sliced in quarters and chilled as a side dish, appetizer, or snack. Recipe courtesy of Mom." — SOYGIRL2
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black soy sauce
black tea leaves
1 (2 inch) piece
Please note that the Chinese "dark/black" soy sauce is VERY different than the "light/regular" one. The dark soy has a sweeter flavor, while giving the color to the egg. It's not salty at all. So the "regular" soy sauce is actually the wrong one to use.
I fudged a bit and only used water, soy, Wort. sauce and tea leaves. Make sure the cracks in the eggs break the thin membrane between the shell and the egg otherwise you won't get the marbling.
This is one of those suprising recipes. You read it and think it just can't taste good, but it turns out remarkably well. I ommitted the black soy sauce since I don't know the difference. I let the eggs soak at least overnight in the refrigerator. I peel, slice lengthwise and place yolk side down on my most elegant glass platter. The appearance is of delicate marble eggs. Even kids love the taste. I call them 1000 year old eggs after the traditional Chinese dish...not the same at all, but they look antique!
I love Chinese tea leaf eggs. Always takes longer to make than you'd think though. This version is okay but search around for other versions on the internet for other spices to put in.
I totally forgot to buy the anise pods, so I had to use anise extract that I had on hand. They still turned out WONDERFUL and I can't wait to make more. I can't stress using the black soy sauce over the regular enough. They are totally different flavors and if you just use double the regular soy sauce the eggs will probably end up being overly salty.
How can you argue with success? I took them to a large group potluck today, and when I brought them in the hostess carried them around to show every guest, even before placing them on the table. Almost everyone who saw them came to me and asked how I did it--including several of the children! I, personally thought they needed a tad of salt.
I love tea eggs! What I usually do is that I just throw the eggs in with the sauce in the initial boil and simmer for a few hours, and just let it marinate in the fridge in a container until I want to eat one. I also save the marinade for the next batch of tea eggs I want to make. I also found that adding a small amount of sugar makes it taste better. And in general, to prevent the egg from cracking in the beginning, it is best to let the eggs come to room temperature.
I have read a lot about these not being good and about it being to salty. Soy sauce is just like making cheese; curds and whey. The whey is the soy sauce and the curds get turned into miso. This is not exact but close enough. The point being that like cheese or wine there are a LOT of soy sauces out there. Find a good one or get some miso and add water if you can't find the type you like to make better soy sauces.
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.
Chinese Tea Leaf Eggs
Serving Size: 1/8 of a recipe
Servings Per Recipe: 8
Amount Per Serving
** Calories: 76
** Calories from Fat: 45
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