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Chinese Tea Leaf Eggs

About this recipe: One of my favourite dishes when I head back home; it combines hard-boiled eggs with the subtle flavour of anise and the deep brown hues of black tea and soy. The cracked patterns from the broken shells make these quite attractive! I eat these sliced in quarters and chilled as a side dish, starter or snack. Recipe courtesy of Mum.

SOYGIRL2

Ingredients
Serves: 8 

  • 8 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 750ml water
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon black soy sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons black tea leaves
  • 2 pods star anise
  • 1 (5cm) piece cinnamon stick
  • 1 tablespoon tangerine zest

Method
Prep:20min  ›  Cook:3hr  ›  Extra time:7hr40min  ›  Ready in:11hr 

  1. In a large saucepan, combine eggs and 1 teaspoon salt; cover with cold water. Bring to the boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from heat, drain and cool. When cool, tap eggs with the back of a spoon to crack shells (do not remove shells).
  2. In a large saucepan, combine 750ml water, soy sauce, black soy sauce, salt, tea leaves, star anise, cinnamon stick and tangerine zest. Bring to the boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer for 3 hours. Remove from heat, add eggs, and let steep for at least 8 hours.

Chinese New Year

Most of the dishes served during Chinese New Year are symbolic of something positive and hopeful.

Chicken and fish, for example, symbolise happiness and prosperity - especially when served whole.
Dishes made with oranges represent wealth and good fortune because they are China's most plentiful fruit.
Noodles represent longevity: therefore, they should never be cut!
Duck symbolises fidelity, while eggs signify fertility.
Bean curd or tofu, however, is avoided because its white colour suggests death and misfortune.

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