The Cheat's Guide - Tea Eggs

Thursday, September 11, 2008

I stewed a batch of tea eggs the other week. Not too many, only ten, as the consumer was a grand total of one person - me. These traditional eggs, typically sold by street vendors and eaten as snacks, are one of my comfort foods. And I must have needed lots of comfort for as soon as the eggs were done, I gobbled down three. It's funny how certain foods trigger off memories. In between eggs one and two, I was five again.

While I have a few 'from scratch' tea egg recipes, here I've decided instead to try one of those ready mixed spice bags from the local supermarket.

For the next hour or so, my kitchen was a heady mixture of five spice powder, aniseed, cinnamon, liquorice and a whole bunch of other aromatics, including the all important black tea leaves. Can't have tea eggs without the tea leaves. Where would we all be then.

Tea Eggs

You need:

10-20 eggs
1 bag of ready mixed spices
4-6 cups of water
3 tbsp light soy sauce
2 tbsp dark soy sauce
splash of hua tiao wine

You do:
  1. Cook eggs in boiling water until hard-boiled. Drain and leave to cool for a few minutes.

  2. Tap eggs on work surface or with a spoon to get cracks all over, taking care not to break open the shells itself. This step is to achieve the pretty marbling effect of the eggs.

  3. In a medium sized pot, add in water, bag of spices, light and dark soy sauce and hua tiao wine. Bring to a boil.

  4. Season with salt and sugar and do a taste test. Add more soy sauces if needed.

  5. Gently place the eggs into the mixture and let boil for 10 minutes.

  6. Lower the flame, cover the pot and leave the eggs to simmer slowly for 1 - 1.5hrs.

  7. Turn heat off and let eggs cool slightly before eating.

Tea eggs can be eaten hot or cold. I personally prefer them warm, with a cup of Pu-erh tea. And just between you and me, I get a childish kick when peeling the eggs. I love discovering the patterns on the egg whites underneath their shells. Today, I had a spider web thing going. How purdy!

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The Dutchess of Cookalot whipped this up at 2:27 am

3 calories
Tea eggs will always remind me of Taipei. They are so popular there, they even sell them in their 7-11s.

Gosh I need to go make a batch right now.
Oh I love tea eggs too!!!

Though 10 for yourself - wouldn't that give you indigestion? :-)
petit fleur - Because the aromatics used are so similar, tea eggs remind me of our flat in Toa Payoh where my mum used to cook tau yew bak and she'd put lots of tau pok and boiled eggs.

beau lotus - Good heavens woman! Not 10 in a row! Just 3. :P Haha. The rest I spread out over the week. I'm sure my cholestral level spiked up during that period.
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