My mother would always talk about her childhood trips of hiking in the mountains with her family in China. There were two things that were customary. The first is they would always fight the entire time. She does have a large family, and anytime you put that many Chinese people together it has a chance to turn combustible.
The other thing they always had with them were Chinese Tea Eggs. Chinese Tea eggs are the go-to snack of all of China. They are easy to pack, and are fantastic whether hot or cold.
Here is a recipe that has been passed down from my mothers family
It is light on the Chinese 5 spice powder, so if you do like that seasoning I would ad a touch more.
It is all in the cracks
And if done correctly, tea eggs have this really cool marbling effect that makes them look really delicious. The key to this is to crack the eggs in their shells before soaking them in the liquid. The more cracks, the cooler they look.
The Tea is Crucial
I like to use Lapsang Souchong to add a Smokey flavor to them. But others like plain black or oolong tea.
My friend Elyn told me a trick . Keep the used leaves from your favorite Oolong tea and use them for the eggs. Since the tea will be boiling for so long, the flavor will be strong enough to give the eggs a rich flavor.
- 8 large eggs
- 3 tablespoons of Lapsang Souchong
- 1/2 cup soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 pieces star anise
- 1 tablespoon Chinese 5 Spice Powder
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 teaspoon cracked black peppercorn
- 3 strips dried orange peel
1) Place the eggs in a medium pot and cover with cold water
2) Bring the eggs to a boil
3) Boil for 4 minutes
4) Remove the Eggs from the pot (make sure to keep the water in the pot)
5) Gently crack the eggs. The more cracks the better
6) Place eggs and the remaining ingredients to the pot
7) Simmer for 40 minutes
8) Cover the pot and when cool enough transfer to the refrigerator overnight
These will keep for a few days. But if you are like me, they will almost certainly be gone long before that.