Do... or do not.
There is no try.
Yoda: You must unlearn what you have learned.
You did not know there is a Jedi training school for making Chinese tea eggs. I did not either. But now I'm enrolled. There is no drop/add, no withdrawn passing.
- Place eggs in saucepan.
- Cover with water.
- Let eggs warm up to room temperature.
- Set pan on a wire ring on top of the burner, turn burner to high, and cover pan.
- Listen for the rattle that says the water is boiling.
- Turn the burner off.
- Set a timer for ten minutes.
- When timer rings, set the pan in the sink and run cold water over the eggs.
- Tap egg on kitchen counter to crack, then remove eggshells under running water.
Marion Cunningham's directions for hard-boiled eggs in The Breakfast Book involve an egg piercer. Who knew there was such a contraption?
So, I pierced the egg shells with a pushpin, then followed her directions.
After an outing for lunch and errands, it was time to begin the Chinese Tea Eggs. I'd read fennel seeds could be substituted for star anise. Into the brew I put four tea bags, a tablespoon of fennel seeds, a tablespoon of soy sauce, a shake of cinnamon, a tablespoon of salt, and some coriander seeds. After rap-a-tap-tapping the eggshells all around with the back of a spoon, I lowered them into the pan.They simmered away for a year and a day to the land where the bong tree grows, and there in a wood a piggy-wig stood...
No, no, no!
The eggs simmered in the brew for an hour and a half or two, then cooled in the pan for another half hour. Drained and cooled under cold running water, the eggs declined to be peeled smoothly. The tea dye markings under the shells were nice, but not dramatic. There was an unavoidable grey ring around the yolks, but the one I ate was tasty.
Appetite For China
Fat Girls Guide to Life
I have made it through the trial by fire in Cooked, and am studying the three Ps of braising in the trial by water with Michael Pollan:
And when you come up for air, don't miss Michael Pollan's New York Times essay about germs.
© 2013 Nancy L. Ruder