Friday, 22 April 2011

Tea Leaf Eggs 茶叶蛋



Remember my dozen eggs? The best way to use up old eggs, is to make a batch of hardboiled eggs, because they not only peel easier, but can keep in the fridge for about a week or so and serves as my emergency real-food protein snack when I feel a bit peckish. Since Easter was coming up, I thought it'd be a great time to create some naturally patterned and coloured tea leaf eggs.

Tea leaf eggs are a favourite traditional chinese street snack. Apparently, in Taiwan, tea leaf eggs are common in their convenience stores, and my taiwanese friend just loves them. It's commonly sold as street food, especially in pasar malams (makeshift markets) in Singapore too. The key ingredient here is the star anise, which, along with the other spices and the fragrant tea, perfumes your kitchen with tempting aromas.

Tea Leaf Eggs 茶叶蛋
Ingredients
4-8 eggs, however much you can fit in the saucepan/ can eat
2 black tea leaf bags, or 2 tbsp loose leaves (if you have chinese tea e.g. my favourite oolong, or pu-erh, or tie guan yin, or assam tea, it'd be even better!)
2 star anise
1 cinnamon stick
2-3 cloves
1 tsp five spice powder
1 tsp sugar (unrefined cane sugar)
4 tbsp soy sauce (naturally brewed, I use tamari, which is wheat-free and more intense)
2 cups water

Method
1. Make the best hard-boiled eggs i.e. 15 min.
2. Crack the eggshells with a spoon.


3. Return the eggs to the saucepan with all the ingredients added, bring to a boil, and let simmer for 2h. If you can, let it marinade overnight for better flavour and colour. (Or even longer. I like them more 2 days later. And even more 3 days later.)

4. Serve with a little of the broth/brew.



By cracking the eggshell, you get a beautiful marbled appearance, and the flavour and aroma of the spices seep into the cracks and infuse the egg. It's not just style ok, this egg has substance.

25 comments:

  1. Flavored eggs, I never thought of that. Worth exploring.

    Thanks for passing by my blog. You have an interesting, I would gladly follow your blog :)

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  2. It's worth your effort, these are beautiful and yummy!

    http://treatntrick.blogspot.com

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  3. This is a great idea! My daughter's going to love the agate/marble look. We're definitely making some of these today. Thanks!

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  4. OH YES! I used to have these at the street markets when I was growing up. I totally love these. The broth certainly gives it a slightly bitter-sweet and savoury taste. I really do miss eating these. I wish I'm not as allergic to eggs now.

    I think you've done an awesome job!

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  5. Thank you!

    I loved them when i was young I really hope your daughter likes them Eric(:

    Oh I would hate to be allergic to eggs ): That said, Kayla you have amazing ideas and recipes despite your food allergies!

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  6. Love making this, the whole house smells so yummy!

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  7. I've thought about making this several times, but wasn't sure about the details of how to do it. Thanks for the reminder and the tips for trying it!
    -Krista
    www.thebeetreporter.blog.com

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  8. I almost didn't read your post because I had seen demos of making the pretty marbled designs on eggs before. But NOBODY ever told me about the possibility of making flavored eggs! This is a total revelation to me. I am very curious about the taste and can't wait to try it.

    I've also seen eggs cracked and soaked in beet juice to make a red marbled egg.... but I'm not sure about the flavor.
    Thanks for the post!

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  9. yes,the smell is what draws me to the pasar malam or herbal shops every time ;)

    great, i hope you try them and like them (:

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  10. indonesian has telur pindang the method is pretty similar , the different only lies at the brew ingredients as my mom telur pindang used guava leaves, garlic skin, onion skin and bay leaf(daun salam)
    * i book-marked your tea eggs, thx

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  11. telur pindang? this is my first time hearing it, and the ingredients that go into the brew sound really flavourful! really cool that it's using onion and garlic skins instead so nothing goes to waste! I'm going to try this next time, thanks ira!

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  12. I remember how I used to walk past any Chinese medicine hall and the lovely smell of these herby 'Cha yie dan' would just hit me. Good times!

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  13. These eggs are lovely, I plan to make them shortly. The designs are breath taking. Thank you for the post!

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    Replies
    1. thanks! hope you have fun making (and eating) them (:

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  14. I am so going to attempt this tomorrow!!! I love eggs and more so, tea-leaf eggs, i always remember how its fragrance always draw me into the shop in Msia, sometimes buying more eggs than I can eat. <3

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    Replies
    1. haha me too, i think that's the trick that the chinese medicine shops use to draw people into the shop!

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  15. Finally making this after many years of procrastination! The chinese medicinal hall always have this in their slow cooker. Amazing fragrance… I am using english breakfast tea though (the only black tea I have at home!)… so let's see how that turns out!

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    Replies
    1. Preposterous! But forgiven.

      SO HOW!! I saw the photos, looked yum. If you steep it for longer, there will be more of the tea flavour and fragrance :)

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