3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon black tea leaves or 1 tea bag
4 pieces star anise
1 small stick cinnamon or cassia bark
1 teaspoon cracked peppercorns (optional)
2 strips dried mandarin peel (optional)
1. Place unshelled eggs in saucepan of cold water – water level should be at least 4 cm (1-1/2") higher than eggs.
2. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 2 minutes.
3. Remove the eggs. With a knife, tap each egg to slightly crack the shells in two or three places. Return to saucepan.
4. Add other ingredients and stir. Cover and simmer for 2 hours, adding water as necessary.
5. Drain, serve hot or cold.
Cook longer for a stronger flavour and a deeper colour. Tea eggs are also known as Chinese marbled eggs for the unique marbling effect on the surface of the egg. Sauce can be frozen and reused.