tea marbled egg with shell removed

Recipe: Tea-marbled eggs

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This recipe is a reasonably authentic example of Chinese culinary tea. The egg is hard-boiled, then lightly cracked and soaked in a mixture containing tea which imparts the marbling effect.

I say “reasonably authentic” because the original recipe calls for Lapsang Souchong, which imparts a delicately smoky flavour, but as this was my first attempt at marbling eggs I opted for a basic black tea.

I was surprised and rather impressed with the results so I will try this again with different teas to see how it alters the flavour.

tea marbled egg with shell removed
My first tea-marbled egg!

You can adapt this recipe for as few or as many eggs as you like: as long as they all fit comfortably in the boiling pan without bumping into each other too much, you could do a dozen or more at a time.

As I was doing this for just me, I used one egg but felt, after it was successful, that it was a bit of a waste of ingredients to do just one egg.

Ingredients

ingredients for the tea-marbled egg
Ingredients for tea-marbled eggs

Method

    1. Put the eggs in a saucepan large enough for them to sit in a single layer, preferably with some room to move about.
    2. boiling eggs in tea and soy sauce mixture
      Eggs simmering in the tea broth

      Cover the eggs with cold water, put the lid on and bring to the boil over a high heat.

    3. Allow to boil for two minutes before removing from the heat and let them stand in the hot water for 10 minutes, cover
      ed.
    4. Transfer the eggs to a bowl of ice water and allow them to cool enough to handle – discard the water used so far.
    5. Tap the shells all over, gently, with the back of the spoon so that they are lightly cracked but the shell stays stuck to the egg.
    6. Put the soy sauce, tea, sugar and spice powder in the same saucepan, add water to the level needed to cover the eggs and bring to the boil.
    7. Reduce the heat to a simmer and carefully add the cracked eggs. Make sure the eggs are completely covered by the liquid.
    8. Simmer for 10 minutes then remove from the heat and allow the eggs to stand in the liquid until cool enough to chill.
    9. The eggs should steep in the liquid for at least two hours, or up to two days.
    10. When ready to serve, remove from the liquid, peel and serve.
tea-marbled egg on toast
The result, chopped up on toast

I was impatient to see whether it had worked, so used my egg after about 18 hours. A longer steeping time would almost certainly yield a more vibrant result.

I chopped my egg up and mashed it with a little cream cheese, some chopped cucumber and some fresh mint from my garden and served it on toast. It was absolutely delicious, and now I have a little confidence in my abilities, I will do this again.

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