Originally published on Nomiku's blog
Happy Chinese New Year everyone! It seems very fitting that my post today is about cooking eggs and it is the "Fire Rooster" year. One of my favorite things to eat as a snack (especially when camping!!) when I was little were tea eggs (aka marbled eggs). These are classically hard-boiled eggs that have been cracked gently and placed in a fragrant mix of soy sauce, black tea, and star anise. The only thing I never liked? The yolk. By the time the tea had fully saturated the egg white, the yolk would be overcooked and grey.
So fast forward to the age of food technology. Now with sous vide, you can take the humble tea egg and turn it into something extraordinary. My favorite part of anything sous vide (or molecular) is its ability to reimagine classics. While tea eggs are often overlooked as a "staple", making a perfect one is actually quite a culinary feat! Many crimes have been committed against the marbled egg: green, overcooked egg yolks; bland yet overly salty soy marinades; too little time spent “marbling” and the worst – being eaten cold! I felt it imperative to cast a new light on the Chinese tea egg, so after some intense sleuthing on the interwebs I present to you: fragrant, warm, ooey-gooey 63°C Chinese Marbled Eggs. I use earl grey tea in these, but you can always use the classic black tea mixture or beet juice, as seen on Modernist Cuisine.
63C Chinese Marbled Eggs
Yield: 4 eggs
Cook Time: 1 hour sous vide; soaking for 24-36 hours
Set up immersion circulator (I use Nomiku) and turn temperature to 63°C (145.4°F).
Combine soy sauce, water, earl grey tea, sugar and mirin in small stockpot.
Bring to a light simmer, then cover and let steep for 4 minutes.
Remove cover, whisk together to ensure sugar is dissolved, strain.
Chill in ice bath or refrigerator until completely cool.
Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a rolling boil.
Add eggs and boil for 4 minutes. Shock eggs immediately in ice water & leave eggs in ice water for 20 minutes.
Place eggs in Nomiku water bath and cook sous vide for 1 hour.
Remove from Nomiku and shock eggs immediately in ice water for another 20 min.
Once eggs are cool, remove from water and crack very gently all over with the back of a spoon. Do not peel completely.
Pour in container with enough marinade to cover and let sit in fridge for a minimum 24 hours, maximum 48 hours.
Before serving, reheat eggs gently at 55°C (131°F).