• tworedbowls says:

      January 21, 2014 at 4:33 pm

      Aren’t they funny? I don’t blame you for not trying them, they can look awfully suspect/dirty when sitting in a pot of black water out on the street! But they are pretty tasty, I promise 😉

  1. says:

    January 21, 2014 at 10:11 am

    i’m a fan of bright yellow yolks but i do find these eggs to be incredibly beautiful to look at.

    PS. i was the girl in the dorm who heated up the most random things in the kitchen. my stepmom always hooked me up with the best freezer foods to nosh on during the semester.

    • tworedbowls says:

      January 21, 2014 at 4:35 pm

      Me too! I think half the I just make them because I like the patterns. (Although once I had someone come in while I was eating one and shriek “WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOUR EGG?!” and declare she’d never eat an egg that looked like that as long as she lived.)

      Bahaha! Oh man, mom-supplied frozen foods are the best. I definitely smelled up the dorm on more than one occasion making odd homecooked dishes. 😉

  2. says:

    January 21, 2014 at 10:14 am

    Ooh!!!! I had these eggs rarely as a kid but I always loved them–so want to give these a try!! My friends are throwing a Chinese New Year potluck on Saturday and maybe I’ll bring these!! Although question: is the star anise essential? That’s the only ingredient I don’t have!

    And I am loving your smoky, moody lighting!! Gorgeous!

    PS. Your egg-burning story is HILARIOUS. Glad you didn’t burn the dorm down!

    • says:

      January 21, 2014 at 4:50 pm

      Awww thank you lady!! :):) hahaha and yes, I was mortified at the time but now I think it’s pretty funny (especially knowing I didn’t cause a catastrophe). Although I do know that these things can be very serious, so it’s still a lesson learned… 😡

      And same here growing up! When I told my mom about them she was like “you want to make.. those? but why?” I imagine it’s kind of like wanting to make street vendor hot dogs at home. (Not that I don’t think those are delicious too.) As for the star anise, I don’t want to say that they’re not essential, because they do lend a pretty distinctive depth of flavor to the eggs, but the eggs will definitely still be tasty without them! The first time I made them I made them without star anise and they were fine — they’re just better with them if you can find them. (But I know they can be tricky to track down!)

      Have you seen these deviled tea eggs by Princess Tofu, by the way? If you’re game for a challenge, you could devil yours and that would really be a showstopper at your party!

  3. says:

    January 21, 2014 at 10:43 am

    Lovely! I’ve only eaten a tea egg once in Taiwan, but I really enjoyed it.

    I also made some crazy things in my dorm room in college—yes, the room not the communal dorm kitchen—since I invested in an illegal hot plate, rice cooker, blender, and mini fridge and had them all lined up along the (hardwood) floor and plugged in next to each other. (And I used to throw mini dinner parties on the floor of my room!) I’m sure that was a fire hazard…

    • tworedbowls says:

      January 21, 2014 at 4:53 pm

      I love it!!! That’s called being resourceful. I definitely had a mini rice cooker and water kettle set up in there too — but the hot plate is real dedication. Whew .. glad we made it out of those days safe! 😉

    • tworedbowls says:

      January 21, 2014 at 4:54 pm

      Ooh, hope you like it if you give it a try! It’s definitely odd, but fun to make, and I bet it would work with different combinations of spices or flavors, too.

  4. says:

    January 21, 2014 at 10:59 am

    Ha!! That is too funny! I used to cook on a hot plate in my dorm room. And served meals to my dorm mates.. That’s where I got the nickname Southern Souffle.. Until that time I might of set some stuff on fire and got kicked out.. True Story.. Oh and gorgeous pics..

    • tworedbowls says:

      January 21, 2014 at 4:56 pm

      HAHAHA Erika!! Girl but I bet it was worth the fire damage for your food. (As long as no one got hurt, obviously. How did we all make it out of school alive?) Aw and thank you for the kind words!!

    • tworedbowls says:

      January 21, 2014 at 4:57 pm

      Hahaha so embarrassing! And I was so upset at the time because I’d been convinced that that batch was going to turn out delicious — right combo of spices, the right level of simmer …. Alas. But the important part was that no one got hurt!

      Thanks, Christina 🙂

    • tworedbowls says:

      January 21, 2014 at 4:59 pm

      Haha! To be fair, Bowl #2 tried them and said, “Well, they’re good, but they kind of just taste like salty eggs…” I think I like them half for their flavor and half for their pretty skins… lol. You could maybe try sticking them in the pot with braised meat like my mom did and give them a savory stew flavor instead. That was my other favorite way of having them. Thank you so much, Michelle! 🙂

    • tworedbowls says:

      January 22, 2014 at 11:15 pm

      Hahaha, isn’t it embarrassing?? I’m glad those poor neglected eggs can at least be a source of humor now. Thanks so much, Cate 🙂 I hope you like them if you ever try one!

    • tworedbowls says:

      January 22, 2014 at 10:48 am

      Ha, right? I’ve never met an egg I didn’t like — and definitely not when dressed up in some funny tie-dye patterns. Thank you so much, Lindsey :):)

    • tworedbowls says:

      January 22, 2014 at 10:49 am

      Oh yay!!! Hope you like them if you try them 🙂 I don’t know if I’m at Asian Mom level (my lifelong dream! hehe) but I hope so! And SO glad you commented, because I love your blog!! So much admiration for you fashion bloggers — you provide much-needed inspiration. I’m excited to keep following you, Nancy!

  5. says:

    January 22, 2014 at 5:48 am

    Ha, I would definitely have denied all knowledge too – it’s exactly the kind of thing I would have done at uni. Sleep-deprived multi-tasking is a recipe for disaster. These are so pretty though, it’s such a clever way to make something so stunning out of a humble egg!

    • tworedbowls says:

      January 22, 2014 at 10:52 am

      HA! Right?! And yet I could never keep myself from doing it — cooking/baking was always the best post-stress celebration, even if the things I made while sleep-deprived never tasted that great. Thank you so much, Kathryn 🙂

  6. Anonymous says:

    January 22, 2014 at 9:40 am

    Tea eggs are my childhood memory: after school, off-street in Shanghai, 8 cents for a smaller one; but 10 cents, wow, a BIG one! Yours look as good as those! 🙂 Thanks.

    • tworedbowls says:

      January 22, 2014 at 4:29 pm

      Aw, thank you, lady!! They’re kind of incredible, aren’t they? Definitely a big part of why I like to make them!

  7. says:

    January 22, 2014 at 1:54 pm

    Omg Cynthia, I’m dying from laughter over you almost burning your law school down from making these. I totally wouldn’t have owned up to it either. I’d probably have just secretly thrown the entire pot away! I’m glad you made these again the responsible way 😉 The eggs look fabulous and I’m loving the dark and moody quality of your photos. Beautiful!

    • tworedbowls says:

      January 22, 2014 at 4:31 pm

      Hahaha! I know, I was so mortified. Lol. But no harm, no foul (I guess?) Thank you so much, my dear!! I hope you’re doing fabulously in your new digs!

  8. says:

    January 22, 2014 at 4:36 pm

    Okay…how have I never heard of nor eaten Chinese tea eggs before?!? This is pure craziness, because looking at the ingredients list, I can only imagine them to be AMAZING. I must try this out! And btw, I totally laughed OUT LOUD when I read your Do Not’s and Do’s list while making these…omg, I wish I knew you in college!! xo!

    • tworedbowls says:

      January 22, 2014 at 11:11 pm

      Hahaha aww I wish I did too girl! (Maybe you could have saved me from ruining all those eggs…) But soo glad we know each other now <3 And yess give these a try! I love them for a quick protein-y breakfast 🙂

  9. says:

    January 22, 2014 at 5:15 pm

    Hey, I roasted a butterball turkey in my dorm until it looked golden brown. We tried to carve it–and encountered a layer of roast turkey concealing a core of frozen raw turkey–none of us realized you had to defrost a bird before you cooked it. The tea eggs look great. A roommate and I used to make them decades ago–thanks for the reminder. Ken

    • tworedbowls says:

      January 22, 2014 at 11:13 pm

      HAHA that’s too funny! (A bit tragic, but funny!) Isn’t it amazing how far we’ve all come since those days — especially knowing what fantastic things you and your wife do with your impeccable blog and Rialto 🙂 And you know, I’d pretty much forgotten about these eggs too! Always fun to bring back old favorites.

  10. says:

    January 23, 2014 at 11:42 am

    Omg gorgeous gorgeous GORGEOUS MOODY PHOTOS, ME LIKEE!!! I have a recipe for “soft boiled” tea eggs! Maybe I will make them soon when I am not on house arrest being my dog-son’s 24/7 personal nurse…

    • tworedbowls says:

      January 23, 2014 at 11:56 am

      WHAT. Soft-boiled TEA EGGS. I was just thinking that I really needed something like that in my life, holy crap. Your wee dog obviously comes first (and my heart goes out to him 🙁 ) but I can’t wait to see that. You genius you.

      And THANK YOU re: the photos! I was actually just thinking when I processed them earlier this week that i was very pleased with how they reminded me a bit of your chiaroscuro effect. Love your photos always. (And obsessed with the fact that you use artificial lighting. I need to figure that out…)

    • tworedbowls says:

      January 25, 2014 at 9:48 pm

      Oh my gosh, fellow lawyer? Or former, I see? Fly free, wise one. Fly free. Thanks so much for the kind words, lady 🙂 I absolutely love your blog (and always end up snort-laughing when I read!)

    • tworedbowls says:

      January 25, 2014 at 9:53 pm

      Irene, thank you so much for your sweet comment! Ha, I never thought of savory food as the “mom domain” but now that you mention it, that totally makes sense … I can’t imagine myself ever reaching my mother’s level of cooking, can you?

      I just popped over to your blog too and love it! Such gorgeous photos. You go girl — so happy you commented so I could find you!

  11. Miriam says:

    April 20, 2016 at 11:33 am

    Hi there!

    I’ve got a question!
    Yesterday I made your tea eggs and they are delicious!!! But how do I store them?
    If I leave them in the broth, they might get to intensive.
    They have a broken shell and some bacteria might get in, even in the fridge, no?
    Unfortunately I didn’t find anything about storing tea eggs, how do you do it???

    And I added bay leaves, ginger slices and sechuan pepper to your recipe, which is also very nice. I just added too much salt in the first place, because the broth was tasting bland at first.

    • tworedbowls says:

      April 20, 2016 at 12:20 pm

      Thank you so much for your question, Miriam! You’re right that the broken shells are more likely to let in bacteria than unpeeled hard-boiled eggs. For that reason, I always do just store them in the broth, actually — I like the flavor they continue to develop! If you’re concerned that the eggs might get too intensely flavored after a few days, you could always pour out some of the broth and dilute it with water, and store them that way. I hope that helps, and I’ll add this to the headnotes now that you’ve asked!

      PS I’m SO SO glad that they turned out well for you!! Your additions sound wonderful. You’ve reminded me that it’s been way too long since I’ve made these for a snack.

      • Miriam says:

        April 21, 2016 at 4:31 am

        Thanks for your answer, it helped a lot! The eggs taste better everyday and next time I’ll make more than “just” 12. I divided the delicious broth and now use the other half to marinate tofu for a few days – I’m curious how that will turn out 😉

        Tea eggs – are the best snacks ever. Are there more recipes for these kind of pickles?

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