During this time of year, close to Easter, you can’t help but think about eggs and what they symbolize. Birth, rebirth, life, and new beginnings to name a few. It makes sense that they’re frequently how we start our first meal of the day here in the States. While traveling abroad I realized what a cultural breakfast item they were when I saw “American Breakfasts” being advertised with eggs and a side of meat. I’m going to walk you through how to make Chinese marbled tea eggs which can be a fun Easter project using naturally dyed eggs! They turn a deep brown color seen in the cracks.
It’s a recipe I grew up eating as a Chinese American. And now what I find most comforting to have. It reminds me of fragrant herbal teas slowly being simmered on the stove filling up the house with its aroma.
They’re great as a mid-day snack packed with flavor, protein, and are easily portable.
Adapted from The Steamy Kitchen:
Place the eggs in a pot and fill with water to cover the eggs by 1-inch. Bring the pot to a boil, turn the heat off after it comes to a boil and let them sit in the hot covered pot for 8 mins.
Remove the eggs with a slotted spoon into an ice bath. Don’t toss the hot water! We’re going to use it again!
Making the marble pattern: Using the back of a spoon, gently tap each egg to gently crack each shell until the desired marble pattern is achieved. The more you tap, the more intricate the design. You want to be delicate so that you don’t damage the egg inside. This helps the flavor seep in and makes a beautiful pattern. If you want to just dye your eggs a uniform color, you can skip this step.
Put the eggs back into the pot and add in the remaining ingredients. Bring the mixture to a boil. Once it’s boiling turn the heat to low. Simmer on low for 40 minutes, cover with a lid and let eggs steep for a few hours to overnight.
I’ve played with steeping overnight. As the huge wildfires were occurring last time I made a batch. I didn’t feel great about leaving a flame unattended overnight. You could transfer it all to a slow cooker and let it go low and slow, OR I put it all in the fridge to see how the cold brew method would play out. The answer is that the cold brew method takes longer to develop flavor. I only liked the flavor after 48hrs of fridge time. If you want more flavor faster, I would suggest the low simmer/crockpot method.
A lot of people have asked how I developed a deeper color and ultimately more flavor. The answer is more time steeping.
Aside from being delicious, marbled tea eggs are naturally dyed with black tea into a deep brown. (Again this depends on steeping time.) They can be a fun Easter project, a new recipe variation for hard-boiled eggs, or a gateway to trying new cuisine. I hope you try them out and enjoy!
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