Marbled Chinese Tea Eggs are a traditional lucky food for Chinese New Year. Symbolizing fertility and wealth, they will be prominent on most menus. They are easy to make filling the kitchen with exotic smells of star anise, cinnamon, black tea, Chinese five spice and orange peel. Hard boiled eggs are lightly cracked and soaked in the tea-spice mixture for several hours revealing artistic, delicious eggs.
1teaspoonChinese Szechuan Peppercorns, cracked (black peppercorns can be substituted)
½teaspoondried Orange Peel(spice)
Place the eggs in a medium saucepan that allows room for all the eggs and at least ½ inch of water over the top of the eggs. Bring to a boil and lower heat to a simmer. Simmer for 20 minutes.
With a slotted spoon, remove the eggs from the hot water (retain the water in the pan for the tea mixture) and place eggs in a bowl of cold water. Allow the eggs to fully cool. Note: cracking the eggs before they are cold may lead to the shell coming off.
Using the back of a small dining spoon, gently tap the shell all over causing cracks (as shown in the photo). The goal is to crack the shell all over but not dislodge the shell from the egg. Once cracked, set the eggs aside.
Add the remaining ingredients to the saucepan of water: black tea, star anise pieces, cinnamon stick, brown sugar, tamari sauce, Chinese five spice, peppercorns and orange peel. Add the eggs to the saucepan and bring to a low boil; then lower heat to a low simmer.
Simmer the mixture for two hours watching to ensure the water level continues to cover the eggs. Turn off heat and allow the eggs to soak in the tea mixture another 2-3 hours. To deepen the coloration inside the egg further, place eggs and tea mixture in a covered container in the refrigerator overnight.
After soaking, remove the egg shell to reveal the marbled eggs!