Back in 2008, I wrote a post about tea eggs. Upon re-reading it, I came to two conclusions: first, I do believe one could eat and live forever, given a variety of tea, chocolate, and cheese, and two, over the last four years, I have perfected the recipe to a truly remarkable snack or salad ingredient. Do take the time to make up a batch – it will revise forever your impression of the lowly hard-boiled egg.
· 6 eggs
· water to cover
· 3 tablespoons of black tea (empty three tea bags)
· ¾ cup soy sauce
· 3 tablespoons Five Spice powder
· ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
Cover the eggs with cold water (water should be an inch over the eggs) and bring to a gentle boil. Boil 5 minutes. Remove the eggs from the water. Cupping each egg in a pot-holder protected hand, whack the eggs with the back of a spoon, cracking the surface. Then, whack them again to make sure the surface is thoroughly cracked. While you want the shell to remain intact, don’t sweat it if a piece of the shell falls off. That part of the egg will be stained dark from the tea/soy mixture, which many people prefer.
Add the rest of the ingredients to the water along with the eggs. Simmer the eggs for at least 40 minutes – but two hours is better! Add water as needed to make sure that the brine covers the surfaces of the eggs. Turn the heat off and cover the saucepan. Allow to stand for several hours or overnight.
Rinse the eggs to remove the tea leaves and spices. Refrigerate. When ready to serve, peel the eggs – be sure to look at the beautiful mosaic created on the inside of the shells – and eat as they are, or slice and add to a green salad. An egg salad, with red onions, pickles, celery, and mayonnaise is delicious, too.
Hint: I used a blend from Mighty Leaf named “Russian Caravan.” It has just enough Lapsang Souchong to lend a tiny bit of smoky flavor to the eggs. I have used Earl Grey, English Breakfast, and good old Orange Pekoe – all with delicious results.