We all love 茶叶蛋! I thought my kids wouldn’t but was surprised that after their first try, they are hooked to it since then. I have learnt how to prepare these eggs many years back at a course in a community club. However, I was pregnant with my second girl then and was trying to abstain from tea and herbs, so I did not get to try out the recipe at home. It was only when my girls were introduced to these eggs bought from Eu Yang Seng, they fell in love with them and began to pester me to buy for them. The prices for these eggs went up quite a bit and so, perhaps, it was time I make these eggs at home instead.
We are quite picky with the store-bought tea leaf eggs. Those sold at Eu Yang Seng are good! At tea chapters too, the eggs are so fragrant and yummy. However, fewer Eu Yang Seng outlets are selling this now, and also we hardly frequent nor pass by any tea chapters in Singapore anymore. Some of the outlets selling snacks like muah chee at basement level of shopping malls do sell these herbal eggs as well, and they are better than those sold at pasar malam (><) I would think that the vendors at pasar malam are using a less superior tea leaves to brew these eggs?
Hubby drinks Pu Er at home, and so we always have the tea leaves available. Quality Pu Er doesn’t come cheap but well, to satisfy the picky taste buds we have, I have to “steal” some of hubby’s tea leaves to brew these eggs (Anyway, I’m the one buying and paying for the tea leaves, so what’s the problem here? Hehehe)
Have shared the recipe previously in our Culinary Kitchenette blog. Sharing again here for alternative reference and following.
6-12 eggs (I put 9 eggs but remaining sauce was sufficient to further use)
4 cups water
6 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
3 tablespoons pu-er tea
1 cinnamon stick
1 star anise
3 cloves of garlic
1/2 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
1 teaspoon sugar
If you prefer spicier taste:
1/2 teaspoon Sichuan pepper
50g old ginger
50g spring onion
If you prefer darker colour:
2 tablespoons of dark soy sauce
Add 4 cups of water to a medium pot and gently drop in the eggs. Make sure the water covers the eggs. Bring the water to boil on high heat. Boil for about 10 minutes or so to make sure the eggs are cooked.
Transfer the hard-boiled eggs out of the hot boiling water and rinse them with cold water. Using the back of a teaspoon, gently tap the eggshell to crack the shell. Return the eggs to the water and add in the remaining ingredients. Bring the tea mixture to a boil and immediately turn the heat to low. Simmer for 2 hours (the longer the simmering, the better the taste). Add more water if needed. Serve immediately or leave the tea eggs in the mixture overnight to further develop the color and flavor.
* I used my tanyu pot to brew the eggs. You may wish to use a slow cooker.
* If the eggs are cracked only a bit, the inside will be of marbled effect. Crack more to get a darker and more stained colour on the eggs.
* Largely adapted from http://rasamalaysia.com/chinese-tea-eggs-tea-leaf-eggs-recipe/ with modifications.
Better get this post uploaded soon before the girls are back from school. Else they would be pestering me to brew the eggs for them now if they see the pictures (^-^)