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Thursday, March 26, 2009

Chinese Tea Leaf Eggs




This ugly things you see in the picture is an egg. Well, it was an egg, now it is a Chinese Tea Leaf egg.

As a show of gratitude to everyone that takes time out of their busy day to read my endless drivel, I am going to give you the recipe. When I first decided to make these I trawled the net for hours, looking for suitable recipes in an attempt to re-create the tea egg I had eaten in a restaurant earlier that week. Since then, I have made more than a few batches of tea eggs, through a process of trial and error. Here is my adapted egg recipe:

Chinese Tea Leaf Eggs (cha ye dan)

8 Eggs
3 tbsp dark soy sauce
1 tbsp light soy sauce
2 tbsp black leaf tea, loose
3 star anise
3 cups water

First, you need to boil the eggs in plain water, for about 7 or 8 minutes. This seems like a long time, but you need to make sure they are cooked right through.

Take the eggs from the water, and roll them on a flat hard surface to crack the shell all over, but do not peel the eggs. This is what gives the final product a lovely marbled texture.

Place eggs back in saucepan, add soy, anise, and tea. Bring to the boil and simmer for 3 hours. This process will both preserve the egg, and give the yolk inside a creamy flavor.

Remove the eggs, place in a storage container. Pour the liquid over the top, straining away any residual tea or star anise. The eggs can be stored in the fridge in their broth, and will develop more flavor over time.

So there you have it, my secret recipe. So delicious. Apologies that the photograph is slightly out of focus. I only realised this after I had eaten the last egg. See, I told you they were good!

8 comments:

Tangled Noodle said...

Wow! This looks so beautiful - I'm terribly impatient but if this is the end result, I'm willing to wait as long as it takes.

Lisa said...

Not only is the egg beautiful, you picked a perfect backdrop for it. Gorgeous!

Maggie said...

Was a bit of a challenge really. Where does one photograph a solitary egg? Luckily the light outside was nice at that point!

Sapuche said...

I agree that your tea egg turned out beautifully...though I must admit that at first glance I thought I was staring at a bloodshot lima bean. (I really need to wear my glasses and lay off the hallucinogens. Or at least wear my glasses.) This sounds like fun to make, actually, and I love the inclusion of star anise, black tea, and two kinds of soy sauce. Nice job of recreating the tea egg you came across in that restaurant, by the way. I've tried duplicating meals I've had out only to fail spectacularly. Every. Single. Time.

Maggie said...

Sapuche, I think the key to restaurant food recreation is research. Luckily I like research, a little too much. And having a few mates who are chefs doesn't go astray either!

You should make some tea eggs and let me know how they turn out. Warning, the whole house will have a soy/tea small for a few hours. I happen to like that smell though.

Dragon said...

Your egg turned out gorgeous. :)

Dave said...

That looks marvelous! I can't wait to try to make some on my own...

Bingo said...

That's brilliant. It's possibly the most beautiful thing I've ever seen. I must have it.