Recipe: Tea Leaf Eggs
Tea leaf eggs [茶叶蛋] is one of my favorite snacks since the 80′s. I was attracted by the five-spice fragrance when I first walked into a Taiwanese Chinese Tea house in my hometown. I have to order one to try. The look of the tea leaf egg really surprised me, “Hey… it is cracking and I think it is HATCHING”!!!! I believe when you first see the photo of the tea leaf eggs I cooked, you will probably relate my reaction.
Now, tea leaf eggs is a common snack that we can find in most Chinese populated area and even in shopping complexes. You don’t have to find it, just smell it and you will know which shop or stall is selling it. Cooking tea leaf eggs isn’t difficult if you can get the spices, most Asian shops should have them, if not, you can get them from AsianSupermarket365.com.
If you love easy Chinese cooking, probably this is the best book you should buy, Easy Chinese Recipes: Family Favorites From Dim Sum to Kung Pao. It is not merely a recipes book that provides recipes. This 144 pages recipes book full of bountiful photos and awesome information from utensils, ingredients, tips & tricks to basic cooking method. You will never get lost half way through cooking the recipes from this book, authored by Bee Yinn Low who owns a popular website Rasa Malaysia: Easy Asian Recipes.
After flipping though the book over and over again, I decided to cook this tea leaf eggs because it seems so easy and simple to follow. The most important thing is that I wanted to try out if I can get the same authentic tea leaf eggs taste ever savored in my taste bud. This recipe didn’t fail me and I will cook more for my family with this recipe book.
Recipe from: Easy Chinese Recipes: Family Favorites From Dim Sum to Kung Pao
Makes: 12 eggs or serve 6 as an appetizer
4 cups (1 liter) water
12 large eggs
4 cups (1 liter) water ( I used 5 cups since I simmered the eggs for overnight)
3 heaping tablespoons Chinese puer tea leaf or black tea (I used Tie Guan Yin tea leaf 鐵觀音)
1 cinnamon stick
3 star anise
6 tablespoon soy sauce
3 teaspoon dark soy sauce
1 teaspoon Chinese five spice powder
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
- Add 4 cups (1 liter) of water to a pot and gently drop in the eggs. Make sure the water covers the eggs. Bring the water to boil over high heat. Boil until the eggs are cooked, about 10 minutes.
- Remove the hard-boiled eggs from the boiling water and rinse them with cold running water. Using the back of a teaspoon, gently tap the eggshell to crack the shell. Discard the water in the pot.
- To make the Tea Mixture, heat the water in a pot and bring it to a boil. Add the rest of the ingredients and return to a boil.
- Transfer the eggs to the pot and boil the eggs with the Tea Mixture for 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to low. Simmer the eggs for at least 2 hours. (I placed my them in a slow cooker and simmered for overnight.)
- Serve the eggs immediately or leave them in the Tea Mixture overnight to further develop the color and flavor. Tea Leaf Eggs are best served the next day.