We live in New York City where there is a high Chinese population, including three Chinatowns, so why do I feel like its so hard to find tea eggs? When I was little, I remember seeing these elderly street vendors selling it in Manhattan's Chinatown right outside the Grand St station. They had something that was like a shopping cart with a big tub in the cart. They sold tofu in these wooden planks and covered it with a big, wet cheese cloth and also dao fu fa (a delicious silky tofu dessert). At that time, I had a chaperone whenever I visit Chinatown. Sometimes we would stop by to buy tofu but almost always, they wouldn't let me buy the tea eggs because its 'bad for you.' I think its due to the high cholesterol I had when I was younger and they thought the eggs were dirty. However, I remember once they budged and bought it for me! I don't know why but I loved the smell of the tea eggs. When I got older I always passed by the cart on the way to the station but along with the rush of NYC I didn't stop to buy it. It wasn't until a few months ago I was in Flushing I saw a small eatery selling it. I'm sure there are places that still sell it but like a lot of foods, it taste better on the street. haha, sometimes.
It just so happens we have six eggs left and its the weekend, so why not! The boyfriend helped boil the eggs while I went grocery shopping.
The ingredients I used. I Googled a few recipes and there are several variations. Some suggest the Chinese herb packs, some suggest black tea leaves. More ingredients to try out next time.
I cracked the shells by tapping on it with a spoon. Countertops also work too.
The recipe I used said to let it boil, then simmer for 40 minutes, then let the eggs steep from a few hours to overnight is recommended.
Two hours went by and I couldn't help myself but to try one. It tastes good but doesn't have the deep tea flavor. You can also see from the marbling on the outside that it wasn't steeped long enough. I'm leaving the remaining five until tomorrow to try!
This is a really simple recipe but definitely not an instant gratification type of recipe. I can't wait until tomorrow!
Recipe used: http://steamykitchen.com/2147-chinese-tea-eggs-recipe.html