From the Farm

FROM the FARM: Chinese tea eggs offer flavor and international flair to menu

2014-02-26T00:00:00Z FROM the FARM: Chinese tea eggs offer flavor and international flair to menuBy Philip Potempa 219.852.4327

Sunday brought to a close the XXII Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia. The 17 days of competition, which cost Russia an astounding $51 billion investment, gave the world a chance to experience an international connection.

Up next, the Olympic Winter Games are held again in 2018 presented by the next host city, Pyeongchang in South Korea.

Today's below zero temperature readings are a reminder that this season's long winter has felt like its own Winter Olympics competition.

Today, I'm sharing a wonderful, very easy recipe that is centuries old and provides an international nod to a menu favorite in China.

One of my students this semester in my public speaking course at Valparaiso University is Yixian Liu and she hails from Zhengzhou, China.

While Russia might have garnered the most medals at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games with 33 (13 of which were gold), followed by Norway with 26 (with 11 gold), then Canada's 25 (10 gold) and next, the U.S. bringing home 28 (9 of which were gold), Liu is very proud of China's total of 9 (with 3 gold).

For her demonstration speech last week, she shared the ages old recipe prized in her country for making tea eggs, which are a favorite menu item served for breakfast or a light lunch. These beautifully marbled hard-boiled eggs are also an ideal international idea to help with adding something special to the start of lenten menus next week when Ash Wednesday is observed.

While Easter Sunday is very late this year, April 20, Jewish Passover begins the night of Monday, April 14 and ends the night of Tuesday, April 22.

I'm told the recipe for "huevos haminados," the marbled hard-boiled eggs served for Passover, the Sabbath meal or at funerals are very similar to these Chinese tea eggs, with the flavor and culinary effect created by simmering the eggs gently with a combination of onion skins, oil, vinegar and black tea leaves.

I hope Times readers enjoy this delicious recipe from around the world as much as I did, along with my students, as we watched Liu create them to share and sample with my class this semester. Last week, she made 60 of these eggs for a "sisterhood event" on campus celebrating Chinese heritage.

Chinese Tea Eggs

12 eggs

1 teaspoon salt

1 1/4 cups soy sauce

4 tablespoons black tea leaves (preferably loose tea leaves or 4 tea bags)

2 teaspoons white sugar

1 1/2 tablespoons "five-spice powder" (found in Asian ingredients aisle of store)

2 tablespoons ground huajiao (flower peppers) (found in Asian ingredients aisle of store)

NOTE: ground flower peppers can be eliminated and rather than using "five spice powder," subtitute 2 pods of star anise and 1 cinnamon stick

 and 1 1/4 teaspoons ground fennel seeds and 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves.

DIRECTIONS: In a large cooking pot, arrange eggs and cover with water and 1 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from heat, drain, and cool. When cool, tap eggs with the back of a spoon to crack shells creating a spiderweb effect (but do not remove shells). Discard the hot water and using the same cooking pot, fill with 5 cups of water and add the soy sauce, tea leaves and spices and bring mixture to a boil and then reduce to a low simmer. Add the eggs and additional water, if needed, to cover the eggs. Simmer the cracked-shell eggs covered for 3 hours. Remove from the heat and allow eggs to stand in the water until cooled (or overnight). Peel eggs when serving. Store any unused eggs unpeeled in a tightly sealed container in refrigerator. They will keep 4 to 5 days. Makes 6 servings.

The opinions expressed are solely those of the writer. He can be reached at or (219) 852-4327.

Copyright 2014 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Follow The Times

Featured Businesses



Does political infighting hamper economic development in NWI?

View Results