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Chinese tea eggs

: food, May 04 2023

A colleague of mine introduced me to this wonderful recipe a while ago, but I wanted to test it several times, before recommending it. The existence of this article proves successful trials.
A brief history: the tea eggs are typical Chinese street food. Hard-boiled eggs, pickled in a savory five-spice marinade, served as an appetizer (I believe, initially, the main idea is food preservation).
Again, mine thing here is a "variant". In the original recipe, you crack the egg shells and leave them on the eggs during the pickling. Thus you get a beautiful marbling, but less flavor and longer preparation time (that's why I discard them). The best thing is you can keep them marinating in the fridge for up to 2 weeks and quickly grab a snack at any time.
Hint: you can buy pre-made spice mixture from your local Chinese shop. If you do that, you need only eggs, soy sauce, sugar and salt.
- 8-10 eggs
- 2 table spoons five-spice powder (ground cinnamon, star anise, fennel seeds, cloves and Sichuan pepper)
- 2 bags black tea
- 2 cups soy sauce (~300ml)
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 table spoons sugar
- 1 table spoon salt
Preparation - the eggs:
- hard-boil the eggs. Meaning, bring the water to boil, put the eggs in, count ~8 minutes, depending on the size of the egg. 9 mins won't hurt here.
- put them out, cool them down in cold water immediately, peel the shells.
Preparation - the marinade:
- 300-500ml water.
- add the soy sauce, bay leaves, tea bags, sugar and salt.
- bring to a boil and let it simmer for 10 mins.
- cool down completely (room temperature) before moving on.
- use a strainer to remove any hard particles.
Pickling (marinating):
- put the peeled eggs in the marinade. Here you can use a deep dish or a bag. The important part is to have them fully submerged in liquid.
- leave them in the fridge for 48 hours.
- done.