I used to live in Taiwan, and “tea eggs” were available 24/7 as a high protein snack on the go. For about 8 cents, you could walk into the nearest 7/11 and purchase one from a boiling pot of spiced tea. I got so accustomed to seeing them everywhere, that I actually missed them upon returning to Canada. Alas, here is the recipe I have been using the past year to satisfy my “tea egg” cravings:
- 6 eggs
- 3 1/2 cups cold water, or as needed
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons wheat-free tamari (I used Bragg’s All purpose)
- 1/2 cup brewed black tea
- 2 star anise, broken into individual pieces
- 1 cinnamon stick
Place the eggs in a saucepan with the water, making sure that there is at least 1/2-inch of water above the eggs. Cover and bring to a rolling boil. Remove the saucepan from the element and let the eggs stand in the hot water for 15 – 20 minutes, until they are cooked. Remove the eggs and run them under cold running water to cool. (Reserve the water in the pan).
Tap the hard-boiled eggs gently with the back of a spoon, to make a series of cracks all over the eggshells, while making sure the shell remains intact. (If the shell does come off, don’t worry – it just means that egg will have a darker color than the others).
Bring the water in the pan back to a boil. Add the salt, soy sauce, brewed black tea, star anise pieces, and the cinnamon stick. Add the eggs. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 2 hours. Turn off the heat and let the eggs sit in the hot liquid until ready to serve.