There is a cute little tea place near my office that has delicious food as well as an awesome, ever-changing selection of teas. One of my go-to lunches there is a twist on the egg sandwich made instead with Chinese tea eggs. The flavor is an awesome mixture of soy sauce, star anise and black tea. I spoke to Kat, the owner, about the traditional Chinese snack, and I was inspired to hunt down how to make these delicious concoctions. I found a great recipe online, complete with video.

Ingredients for Chinese marbled tea eggs.
Ingredients for Chinese marbled tea eggs.

The ingredients for Chinese marbled tea eggs are relatively few, but they are spices that pack a wallop. The star anise, in particular, gave off a powerful aroma as soon as it started heating up in the saucepan.

Cracked egg
Cracked egg

The first step is to hard boil the eggs, let them cool, and then gently tap the shells until they crack in pretty patterns. It was quite fun.

The shells looked a bit like chocolate. The taste was totally different.
The shells looked a bit like chocolate. The taste was totally different.

After cracking the eggs, I let the eggs boil slowly for about two hours. Since it was a Saturday, I made breakfast, then let the eggs simmer while I went about my late morning routine. The house filled with a heavenly aroma of licorice, tea, and soy sauce. After a couple hours, the shells turned a dark chocolate-brown color. It was beautiful.

Close up on the marbling
Close up on the marbling

The result of the slow simmer was a gorgeous marble. I paired the eggs with sauteed green beans and rice for a complete lunch.

Lunch is served!
Lunch is served!

The flavors of the tea eggs were amazing. It was a simple, but completely satisfying meal. If you’re looking for a good meal that doesn’t require too much hands-on time, try the Chinese tea eggs. It will be a mixture of flavors you’ve never experienced.

 

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I’ve had a whirlwind of travel and household guests the last two months, and the blog suffered as a result. But I’m back with renewed energy and ready to continue cooking my way around the world!

One culinary treat I discovered when I moved up to Northern Nevada is Basque food. I did not know a lot about the Basque, who primarily live in Spain and southwestern France, until I got up here and found out there’s a good number of Nevadans who claim Basque ancestry. With that comes no shortage of Basque restaurants, which I associate with several courses of hearty food and complimentary red table wine. (There’s also Picon Punch, which is our state drink, but I *gasp* don’t really care too much for it…) Ask anyone in Northern Nevada what their favorite Basque restaurant is, and you can get any number of answers. Suffice to say, I enjoy something about each of the restaurants I’ve tried up here.

Some of the ingredients for making Basque chicken and chorizo
Some of the ingredients for making Basque chicken and chorizo
There were any number of dishes I could have chosen to make for my Basque feast. Lamb is generally a popular choice because typically many Basque were shepherds. However, I have a particular fondness for Basque chorizo and determined that this dish was the way to go.

Prepping everything to cook up.
Prepping everything to cook up.
I’m not sure how difficult Basque chorizo is to get elsewhere, but up here in Northern Nevada, it’s pretty much at every store. The spices are slightly different than Mexican chorizo, and it usually isn’t as spicy.

Cooking up chicken and chorizo.
Cooking up chicken and chorizo.
I did make one substitution in this recipe. I didn’t have any dry sherry, so I opted for red wine instead. I researched a few versions of this recipe before settling on the one I used, and most of them used red wine, anyway (or even a combination of red and white). Cooking with wine means I have an excuse to enjoy a glass with dinner, which is always a major plus.

Voila!
Voila!
I wasn’t able to pull off the multi-course feast of the Basque restaurants in town, but I did enjoy a warming, hearty platter of chicken and chorizo. Try this out, and I am sure your tastebuds will thank you.

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