Our family has embarked on virtual travels to various countries and regions. To explore these countries and their cultures, we have followed along with the festivals, cooked and eaten traditional foods, learned of traditional handicrafts with hands on exploration, along with many activities to immerse ourselves. Chronicled here are some of these activities.

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Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Recipe: Chinese Tea Eggs

Commonly eaten for a light breakfast or snack, made at home or picked up from a street vendor, tea eggs are yet another way the Chinese enjoy their eggs.

Preparing snacks for the cooler as we headed out for our mini vacation, it felt like the perfect time to try out the tea eggs. After trying the strong flavor of preserved duck eggs for the zongzi and the disaster of trying what we thought were century eggs, hubby and the girls were apprehensive about this latest egg snack. Especially hubby. He hoped upon hope that we would try these without him, and was crestfallen when he saw them packed up for the trip. 

Left: Salted duck eggs; Right: Century eggs (?)
This was an easy recipe to make, one in which the girls really enjoyed doing. Pea fancied herself a witch preparing a potion, and they both got a huge kick when it was time to peel them and reveal the marbled eggs. You just need to set aside a few hours for the eggs to simmer in the concoction. The recipe works for six to eight eggs, but for fear of wasting them, we only made four - one for each of us.

Chinese tea eggs

recipe adapted from Appetite for China


4 eggs 
2 bags of black tea
1/2 cup soy sauce
1 tbsp light brown sugar
2 pieces of star anise
1 cinnamon stick
1 tsp peppercorns

First, you want to hard boil your eggs. Place your eggs in a pot, cover with water, bring to a boil, and simmer for 10 minutes.

Remove the eggs from the water and run cold water over them so that they are cool enough to handle. Using the back of a spoon or a butter knife, tap the eggs to crack them all around, without peeling the shell.

In the pot, add the rest of the ingredients to the water, and stir until the sugar and soy sauce are dissolved. Gently place the eggs into the mixture, and add enough water to cover the eggs by an inch. Bring the water to a boil, then simmer on low for two hours. (Pea and I loved the way the kitchen smelled during the simmering.)

Drain the eggs, and when they are cool enough, peel them. They can be served immediately, or refrigerated for up to four days. 

We pulled the eggs out to share with hubby's brother and family, who very kindly (and seemingly happily!) tasted the eggs with us. 

The eggs tasted.... good! Slightly sweet. Slightly... cinnamon-y. Despite Elle's initial reaction, she said she thought it was good. And Hubby? Well, he ate two eggs. 

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  1. I just roared with laughter at no one being particularly interested in trying out your new experiment with eggs!! Glad they were tasty after all!

    1. :) Not the first time new food makes the rest of the family cringe (the Mexican tripe stew seems to come up as a regular anecdote - though after one taste myself, I didn't make the girls have any. The apartment building we lived in at the time stunk for days!)
      You know, Pea asked to have one today for a snack. I guess we'll be making more.

    2. Mexican tripe soup sounds revolting!

  2. I love this. It is simple and yet authentic. I love the before and after tasting pictures.

    1. Thanks Phyllis - and despite the wariness, the eggs were enjoyed, and Pea has already asked for more.

  3. Hahahaha I love it that your hubby's brother and family were willing to give the eggs a try! I don't think I can pull that off with our family. ;) Thank you for linking up at the Creative Kids Culture Blog Hop #6!

    1. It really was great of them to join us! It's fun when other families participate with us - and it's great to hear their impressions and perspectives.

  4. Oh, your family is adventurous :) It's pretty hard to convince my daughter to try even more "tame" new things. The recipe itself sounds like fun and relatively easy to make.

    1. I kind of "force" being adventurous on them :) I find it always helps when they have had a hand in making it. And our house rule is you have to taste everything, just a small taste, though you don't have to eat it all. The rule does get groans...

  5. Thanks for sharing..
    My mother often do it for me.


  6. What fun! I love your daughter's image of being a witch stirring up a potion :) Thanks for sharing at the Culture Swapper!

  7. In one of south east asian country, it usually use leaves of guava tree to cook egg. the taste will be different than using tea

    1. There are so many interesting ways to cook eggs! Thanks for stopping by :)


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