This year for Easter, in addition to our regular colored eggs (including these sauerkraut soaked beauties), we made some Chinese marbled tea eggs.
When we visited China last fall, I was struck by the ubiquitous displays of various eggs, like these in Tong-Li.
To make these marbled eggs, the strategy is to cook them, then crack them all over,
and then soak them in a delicious brew of tea, soy sauce, star anise, cinnamon, sugar, and Szechuan pepper corns. We followed a recipe from Steamy Kitchen.
The resulting eggs have a beautiful marbled pattern. The prettiest part are the shells. We ate these in a pan-Asian hodgepodge of kimchi fried rice and a kinpira made with rutabaga and carrots. A tasty and fun way to celebrate the return of spring.
Marbled Tea Eggs
(from Steamy Kitchen)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 a 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.