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Tea Eggs

In my travels throughout China, the one breakfast item that has been seen in nearly every place I have visited was the tea egg. It’s easy to spot a big pot of tea eggs sitting outside any train or bus station.

They are easy to make. Tasty. Nutritious. How can you do better than that?

Breakfast of tea eggs and Korean caramel buns.
They’re also very portable!

Essentially they are eggs that have been boiled in a mixture of tea and spices, so that the egg is infused with flavor.

After the eggs are hard boiled,  you crack the egg and return it to the tea mixture for the delicious spices to further soak in.

Seriously wonderful!

You can pick up a pre-made packet of tea egg spices for convenience or you can make it from scratch.

The following is a tea egg recipe from Jaden Hair of Steamy Kitchen.

Try it with an Earl Grey or Pu’er tea for some different flavor profiles.

Chinese Marbled Tea Egg Recipe

6 eggs
3/4 cup soy sauce
2 star anise
2 tablespoons black tea (or 2 tea bags)
1 cinnamon stick
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon Sichuan peppercorn (optional)
2 strips dried tangerine or mandarin orange peel (optional)

Gently place the eggs in a medium pot and fill with water to cover the eggs by 1-inch. Bring the pot to a boil, lower the heat and let simmer for 3 minutes. Remove the eggs (leaving the water in the pot) and let cool under running cool water. Using the back of the teaspoon, gently tap the eggshell to crack the shell all over. The more you tap, the more intricate the design. Do this with a delicate hand to keep the shell intact. To the same pot with the boiling water, return the eggs and add in the remaining ingredients. Bring the mixture to a boil and immediately turn the heat to low. Simmer for 40 minutes, cover with lid and let eggs steep for a few hours to overnight. The longer you steep, the more flavorful and deeply marbled the tea eggs will be. In the photos above, I steeped for 5 hours. Mom likes to steep overnight.
Serves 4-6

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