Fun to make and a nice addition to a Chinese meal, not just for decoration and they are always a talking point. The flavour is despite the spices not very strong--delicate is a better word. I like to serve them with the Chinese porridge/soup Congee.
- Boil the eggs in water for approx 8 minutes, depending on size.
- Lift the eggs out and place in cold water.
- To the water in the pot add the salt, soy, star anise, five spice powder and tea.
- When eggs are cool enough to handle, gently crack the shells with the back of a spoon until the entire shell is a network of cracks, do not peel!
- Bring the water in the pot back to the boil, and return the eggs to the pot, they need to be covered with water, add more if needed.
- Gently boil them for 30 minutes.
- Switch off the heat and allow the eggs to cool in the liquid for the minimum of 3 hours.
- Peel and serve them cut in half or quarters as a snack or use them as a garnish.
The taste was fine, but a lot of time spent for not much flavor difference from regular eggs. Also, although I cracked them all over, I got very little color in terms of the shade and not even a lot of lines. I will try again using more spices/tea plus soak them longer to see if I can get them darker.
These have to get a 5-star rating for pure visual appeal. As Pets mentions, the flavour is not measurably different from a plain, boiled egg, but the eggs are stunning little masterpieces. I used them to decorate a potato salad and everyone was quite taken with the way they looked. Definitely worth making for any occasion as they're so easy.