Marbled Tea Egg Experiment

I was doing a search for the brown Japanese pickled eggs they serve atop ramen in restaurants and stumbled upon Appetite for China, an excellent blog of Asian fare which also includes adobo! The blog featured Chinese Tea Eggs a couple of years ago and I thought the photo was so attractive that for the rest of the week I became obsessed with making my own marbled tea eggs.
My marbled tea eggs, not perfect but pretty enough for me!
According to R, these were sold on the streets of Hong Kong where she lived for a couple of years. They reminded me of salted red eggs and so I had to make an attempt! (Recipe below)
The shells kinda look creepy and veiny but you have to admit they look interesting.
To make marbled tea eggs, eggs are boiled for three minutes and then cooled in cold water.
Using the back of a spoon, the shell is tapped all around to produce tiny cracks in the egg.
The eggs are then returned to a pot of tea, soy sauce and sugar and simmered for an hour.
The original recipe calls for star anise and cinnamon which I omitted.*
After simmering and steeping for about five hours, careful peeling of the eggs result in a marble appearance which I still think is pretty cool.
Refrigerating the eggs overnight or during steeping darkens the design.
Chinese Marbled Tea Eggs (adapted from Appetite For China)
4-6 eggs
3/4 cup soy sauce
3 black tea bags
1 teaspoon sugar
Place eggs in a pot with enough water to submerge them. Boil for three minutes and using a spoon, fish out the eggs and cool them in cold water. In the remaining water in the pot, add the remaining ingredients. Tap the eggs using the back of a spoon  until small cracks are made all over the eggs. Don’t be shy about tapping! You need to have a good spread of cracks for the mixture to seep through. Return eggs to the pot and simmer for about one hour then turn the heat off. Steep eggs in the pot for at least five hours, refrigerating once the mixture has cooled. Carefully peel the eggs and admire the marbling pattern. Eat!
* I omitted the anise and cinnamon because I was unsure as to what I was going to do with the eggs. That was probably a good idea since R decided to make them them an egg salad sandwich for our breakfast the next day. Yum 🙂
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