Ravens Nest Farm Chinese Tea Eggs
2 cups soy sauce plus 1 cup water
4 whole star anise
4 tablespoons black tea (or 3 black tea bags)
2 cinnamon sticks
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons Sichuan or black peppercorns (optional)
4 strips dried tangerine, clementine, or mandarin orange peel (optional but recommended)
Place the eggs in a large saucepan and fill with water to cover the eggs by 1 inch. Add 1 tablespoon salt. Bring the water to a boil, lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove the eggs, drain, and then place the eggs in cool water for 5 minutes, then remove eggs to dry. Using the back of a teaspoon, gently tap the eggshells to crack the shell all over. The trick is to make as many small cracks on the egg surface as you like. The more cracks, the more mottled the underlying egg will appear. You can even try experimenting with cracked “bands” around the egg midsection, etc. Now mix the other ingredients in a saucepan that will hold the eggs, and add the eggs. Bring the mixture to a boil, and then simmer on the lowest heat setting for 20 minutes turn off heat, cover with the lid and let eggs steep for a few hours to overnight. The length of steeping will determine the depth of color (and flavor) in the marbling on the eggs. Anywhere from 4 hours to overnight is good.
Once done, we recommend serving them slightly warm. These are great to share over a good cup of green tea
Ravens Nest Farm Pickled Beets and Eggs
2 (15 ounce) cans whole pickled beets, juice reserved
1 onion, chopped into ¼ inch wide slices. A large Vidalia onion is wonderful
1 cup white sugar
3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon salt
12 cracked black peppercorns (crack with the side of your knife just before adding to the saucepan)
2 bay leaves (optional)
12 whole cloves
2 pieces of 2 inch long cinnamon stick
Place the eggs in a saucepan and cover with water. Add 1 tablespoon salt, and slowly bring to a boil. The salt will make the shells come off very easily. Cover the eggs, remove from heat, and let eggs sit in hot water for 10 minutes. Remove from hot water, cool, and peel.
Place the beets, onion, and peeled eggs in a glass, glazed pottery, or plastic container.
In a stainless steel, porcelain, or Pyrex glass saucepan, combine the sugar, the reserved beet juice, vinegar, salt, peppercorns, bay leaves, cloves, and cinnamon. Bring to a boil, lower heat, and simmer 3 minutes.
Pour hot liquid slowly over beets and eggs. Let the mixture cool for a few minutes, add the lid, and refrigerate 48 hours before eating.
Try experimenting with some of your favorite spices next time. Allspice, mace, lemon peel, and others are some possibilities. We have also used star anise, and it adds a very exotic flavor.