Cooking Food Taiwan

Taiwanese Tea Eggs

Taiwanese Tea Eggs

I just made a batch of Taiwanese tea eggs, which are hardboiled eggs stewed in a tea and soy sauce-infused brine.  They were one of my favorite snack foods growing up, and super simple to make at home, although they are sold in pretty much every convenience store in Taiwan.

First you take some regular chicken eggs, put them in a pot and just barely cover with cold water.  Bring to a boil and cook for about 3 to 5 minutes.  Drain the eggs and rinse with some cold water to cool down.  Then lightly crack the shells all over, but don’t remove the shells.  This process is what gives the eggs their unique marbled pattern.

Return the eggs to the pot, just barely cover with water.  Then add seasonings.  There are many variations, but I just used what I had in the pantry: 1 tablespoon of black peppercorns, 1 teaspoon of whole cloves, 1 cinnamon stick, 3 whole star anise, a 3 inch piece of dried kombu, 1 inch knob of ginger (peeled and cut into strips), 4 tablespoons of strong black tea, 2 tablespoons of soy sauce, 1 tablespoon of mirin (sugar works too), and a bit more salt to taste.  Bring everything to a gentle boil, then turn way down to a simmer.  Simmer for about an hour; the smell of the spiced tea brine simmering transports me right back to Taiwan.  Eat warm or cold.  You can store them in the fridge in the tea brine.

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