Tea eggs, stewed in a black tea/soy sauce/spice blend, are a ubiquitous and cheap snack sold all around China in snack stands and convenience stores. They’re also easy to make at home.
6 medium to large
2 tablespoons or 2 tea bags of black tea or Pu’erh
1/2 cup soy sauce
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons sugar
4 pieces star anise
1 cinnamon stick
1 teaspoon cracked black peppercorn (optional)
2 to 3 strips dried mandarin peel (optional)
1. Put eggs in a medium-sized pot with enough water to cover the eggs. Bring water to boil, then lower heat to simmer for 3 minutes. Remove eggs from heat and allow them to cool a bit before handling (running them under cold water does the trick quickly.) Take the back of a knife and crack eggs evenly all around.
2. Return eggs to the pot and add the rest of the ingredients. Bring liquid to boil again, then simmer for 1 to 3 hours, longer for a more intense flavor and color, adding water if level gets too low. Remove from heat, and serve as a snack or addition to rice or noodles.