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Thursday 11 July 2013

Chinese Tea Leaf Eggs recipe - pretty marble look on these eggs!

I haven’t had these in a long time… the last was when one of my Chinese friend’s mom had made some and I had these pretty eggs that look like they’re marbleized with tea and have absorbed a bit of cinnamon, star anise, salt and tea from the tea brining mixture.  So today, I tried making them.
One of the nicest things about this recipe is you don’t have to peel them nicely – if you ever seen my deviled eggs, you know they’re more pitted and cratered than Edmonton streets after all the snow melts… and that’s being kind.  I can’t peel an egg nicely if my life depended on it lol!  You harboil some eggs, and crack them nilly will all over WITHOUT peeling them so the hot tea brine seeps in and marbelises the egg. If you peel the egg and drop it in, you’ll just get a uniformly brown flavorful, if boring egg. 

Traditionally, you use dried mandarin peel for more flavor, but you can sub out with fresh citrus zest – the hint of citrus just won’t be as noticeable.  You can eat the eggs as is, or with some pickled ginger.  Oh, and use 2 "stars" of the star anise.. not two "petals".

Chinese Tea Leaf Eggs recipe – Makes 1 dozen eggs
-12 eggs
-1 teaspoon salt
 -3 cups water
-1 tablespoon light soy sauce
-1 tablespoon black soy sauce 1/4 teaspoon salt
-2 tablespoons black tea leaves
-2 star anise (2 “stars”)
-1 (2-3 inch) piece cinnamon stick
-1 petal of dried mandarin peel or ~1 tablespoon citrus (lemon, lime or orange) zest

How to
1. In a large pot, place eggs in, cover with water and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 15min.  Drain, place eggs into icebath.
2. Gently crack eggs all over – do NOT peel eggs! You can roll on a counter, or tap with a spoon. Set aside
3. In a medium saucepan big enough to hold eggs and hot brine – bring to a boil the remaining ingredients.  Add in cracked eggs, remove from heat and let brine and sit happy overnight.
4.  Peel eggs for a pretty marble pattern and enjoy!  Unpeeled eggs can be kept in brine in fridge up to 1 week.

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