Seldom do I drink tea, be it black or red, but have been attracted to the smell from the snack shops selling tea eggs down the street corner. This snack is not only found in Hong Kong, but also in most Chinese communities. Among those visited, Taiwan seems to be the one who like it most – hawkers selling them on streets and in the night markets; even the convenient chain stores, Seven-Eleven, displays tea eggs right at their entrances. Whether the stall or shop is big or small, they all try to store the tea eggs in a large pot and keep simmering them continuously, thus releasing much flavors from cooking.
Tried to make my so-called tea eggs, without any tea leaves, but still love that flavor.
- 8 hard boiled eggs
- 1/4 portion of an aged tangerine peel
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 pods star anise
- 2 tbsp dark soy sauce
- 2 tsp soy sauce
- 1 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 2 tsp rock sugar or brown sugar
- 1 tsp ground white pepper
1) Let the hard boiled eggs cool down. With the back of a metal spoon, gently tap each egg to form crack lines, but not to actually crack the shells apart.
2) Soak the tangerine peel for about an hour and scrap off the inside white pith. With 3 cups of water, add all remaining ingredients, soaked tangerine peel and eggs into a saucepan or pot (optional: add 1 to 2 tea spoons of red or black tea leaves according to your own preference). Bring it to boil over medium heat, then turn to low heat to simmer for about an hour. Remove from heat and let the eggs steep for one day or at least overnight.
Eggs should all be covered by liquid during boiling, so do not use a pot that is too large for this purpose. Making crack lines on eggs is to allow the flavor of sauce to seep through, and also (after peeled) to produce an appearance resembling the crazing of some ceramic glaze surfaces.
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