At the last blogmeet, FXH and I were talking about Taiwan. I spent six months there in a gap as a student, while FX spends quite a lot of time there. Now that Easter’s almost here it got me to thinking about the Tea Eggs I used to buy in Taipei, from a street vendor with a bucket just like the one shown in the linked Wikipedia article.
Tea eggs are great picnic food, and they’re a nice salty/savoury change from all the chocolate eggs you’ll be eating. Their main claim to fame is that they take on a fabulous marbled appearance, so that they’re also sometimes called Marble Eggs.
To make them couldn’t be simpler, and all the ingredients will be available from your local supermarket (if they don’t have star anise, your Asian grocery will, of course.) Measurements aren’t needed for this recipe. Just think “strong, brown salty liquid.”
Take however many eggs you want to cook, and make enough very strong black (not green) tea to just about cover them. Chinese is best of course, but I use Indian tea sometimes and it’s fine.
Add a few sloshes of soy sauce and some star anise – about one piece for every three eggs I guess, but YMMV once you’ve made this recipe yourself. You need to put in a fair amount of soy so the mixture is dark and salty. You can also add some Chinese Five Spice if you have some. The information I’ve googled up says that most people put salt in as well, but once the soy goes in, to me it’s well salty.
Bring the eggs, in their shells, to the boil until they’re hard boiled. Now take them out, let them cool a little, and gently crack them all over on a hard surface, without removing the shells.
Return them to the soy mixture and soak them overnight or for a few hours. The soy/tea mixture will soak in through the cracks and create the beautiful marble effect that you see in the photo. (H/T)