Tea eggs or Cha Ye Dan in Chinese has been a popular snack food in China for centuries. Fast food establishments like 7-11 stores and local grocery stores have a display of tea eggs for sale in large glass jars next to the cash register. Tea eggs is a lunar year staple. I tasted tea eggs during my trip to Beijing and loved it. In the Caribbean Island, they also have a similar egg dish called Dot Heart Eggs , meaning hunger appeaser. It is served for breakfast, taken on picnics and snacks. There is something about the flavor and aroma of these eggs that wants me to eat more. Although high in cholesterol, about 236 mg per 1 medium egg, the protein in the egg is high in biological value protein so you get more bang for your dollar.
1/4 C soy sauce
1/4 C sugar
1 tbsp 5 spice seasoning
2 whole star anise
2 cinnamon sticks
2 cups water
2 tbsp loose tea such as Oolong ,or Lapsang Sauchoy
12 Fresh large raw eggs
4 C cold water
1. Combine all the ingredients above except the loose tea and eggs in a 2 quart saucepan and bring to a boil. Simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Add the loose tea.
steep loose tea in the hot spice solution for 10 minutes ,then pour into a strainer into a saucepan. Keep the marinade hot. Discard residues.
2. Place eggs in a 4 quart saucepan and cover with 4 cups cold water and 1 tbsp salt.
3. Bring eggs to a boil for 1 hour. Drain eggs and immerse in cold water
4. Gently crack the eggs one by one by tapping the shell with the back of a teaspoon.
5. Put cracked egg into the saucepan with hot marinade. Bring to a boil. Simmer for 30 minutes. Remove from heat. Let egg sit until water is cold. The egg will develop the marbling that we are trying to achieve.
6. The longer the egg sits in the marinade, the better the flavor becomes. When egg is cooled, peel, put in a bowl. Cover and keep in refrigerator. Eggs will last for 3 days