I’ve always enjoyed my aunt’s homemade tea eggs, and after pigging out on them when we were back in Singapore for Chinese New Year, I asked for her recipe so that I could try to recreate the same goodness here in Jakarta. However, I completely forgot what ingredients were needed, so my cousin very helpfully got a photo of the ingredients from my aunt.
My aunt’s recipe
For my first attempt, I didn’t have the Tie Guan Yin tea that she specified, so I just used some random black tea that I had. BIG MISTAKE. The tea eggs ended up tasting a bit bitter, and didn’t have that fragrance that tea eggs usually have. Oops.
I managed to find Tie Guan Yin tea leaves at the supermarket here one day, so I decided to try making the tea eggs again. This time round, the tea eggs tasted pretty good, so I brought some for a gathering we had. My friends said they were yummy and some even asked for the recipe, so here it is!
Ingredients for my aunt’s tea eggs
Half a small bowl of Tie Guan Yin tea leaves 0.5 to 1 tbsp of salt (depending on your personal preference) 5 star anise seeds About 10 cloves 2 cinnamon sticks About 1-2 tbsp of five spice powder (depending on your personal preference) 20 eggs
1. Boil the 20 eggs in plain water until they are hardboiled.
2. Drain the water, and use a fork or spoon to tap lightly on each egg to crack the shell. Do not, I repeat, do NOT, peel the eggshell off! (Refer to the photo below if you’re not sure what I mean.)
3. Put the eggs back into the pot, and fill the pot with water again. The water should cover the eggs, and be about 2 inches above the eggs. Add all the ingredients into the water.
4. Boil the eggs in the tea mixture. When it is bubbling furiously, turn off the stove, cover the pot, and let the eggs sit in the tea mixture. Repeat this for the next 5 to 7 days, ie you have to bring the eggs in the tea mixture to a boil, and then turn off the stove, every day, as long as there are still eggs in the tea mixture. You can sample the eggs after maybe 3 days, but the flavour becomes more intense when you boil them for more days.
5. Peel the eggshell off, admire the pretty and unique design on the tea egg, and enjoy your tea egg!
The whole “boiling the eggs daily” thing might sound tedious, but it actually doesn’t take that long, maybe about 5-10 minutes every morning? Try it and let me know if this recipe works well for you. Enjoy!
PS. Someone asked where I store the eggs and tea mixture when I’m not boiling them, so I thought I’d add the info here. I leave everything in the same covered pot, and put the pot back on the stove daily to boil. Very little fuss and mess!