I'm excited to share with you all the first cooking video on Appetite for China! For a while I had considered adding video to enhance the content on this site, and finally the took the plunge after being inspired by fellow bloggers including Pinch of Yum, Crepes of Wrath, and Steamy Kitchen, plus a great panel on creating video at the Roger Smith Cookbook Conference a few weekends ago. So here's the first, born out of a fun Saturday afternoon. Let me know what you think!
Chinese marbled tea eggs, stewed in a black tea/soy sauce/spice blend, are a ubiquitous and cheap snack sold all around China in snack stands and convenience stores. The aromas of tea, cinnamon, star anise, and soy sauce are intoxicating, just perfect for fall.The eggs are also easy to make at home. Getting the marbling effect is as simple as cracking the eggs once they're cooked. You can use any black tea; just avoid green tea since it's too astringent to use for simmering.) The eggs can be simmered for 1 to 2 hours; longer simmering means a more intense flavor and color.
Once the eggs are cooked, you can eat them hot or cold as a snack. I've made lazy meals out of just 2 eggs over ramen noodles, or chopped up eggs over fried rice. Or serve them as appetizers at a party, cut in half with caviar on top.
Update: Check out How to Make: Chinese Tea Eggs, the first of many cooking videos on Appetite for China!
Chinese Marbled Tea Eggs
- 6 to 8 eggs, any size
- 2 tea bags of black tea
- 1/2 cup soy sauce or tamari
- 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
- 2 pieces star anise
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 teaspoon cracked black peppercorn (optional)
- 2 to 3 strips dried mandarin peel (optional)
- Add enough water to a medium pot to cover the eggs. Bring the water to a boil, then lower the heat to simmer for 10 minutes, until the eggs are hard-boiled.
- Remove the eggs with a strainer and run under cold water until they are cool enough to handle. Tap the eggs with the back of a butter knife to crack them evenly all around, being careful not to peel off the shells. Return the eggs to the pot.
- In the same pot, add the tea bags, soy sauce, brown sugar, star anise, cinnamon, black peppercorns, and orange peel (if using). Add enough water to cover the eggs by an inch. Bring the liquid to a boil, then lower the heat to a bare simmer. Allow the eggs to simmer for 1 to 2 hours, longer for a more intense flavor and color.
- Remove from the heat and drain the eggs, saving a little of the liquid to serve with the eggs if you choose. You can either peel and serve the eggs immediately or store them in the fridge for up to 4 days in a tightly covered container. Serve as a snack as-is or as an addition to rice or noodles.
Updated February 19, 2013. Original recipe posted May 8, 2008.