I know 7-Elevens sometimes get a bad rap here in the U.S. (nevermind the prepared foods that are offered within), but I discovered a few years ago that 7-Eleven’s are legit in Asia.  I’m talking about pretty good sushi in the Japanese locations (not the best sushi, like, ever, but surprisingly delicious), prepared hot meals in Taiwan, and the like. The stuff is actually good.  One of the snack foods that was especially popular in the Taipei 7-Elevens I visited were tea eggs marinating in a cauldron of delicious broth.  Hard boiled eggs from 7-Elevens? You betcha! Don’t knock it till you try it (in Asia, at least – can’t speak for the eggs you get here in the American 7-Elevens!).

Luckily for me, my recent discovery of the fabulousness that is Asian 7-Eleven was not my first foray into the world of tea eggs.  My mom used to make tea eggs when I was a kid, before my capricious young self decided I didn’t like them anymore.   Silly me – I tried them again as an adult, and tea eggs are pretty much the best way to prepare hard boiled eggs.  The soy/tea/spice “broth” in which the eggs steep is intensely flavorful and lends a warm and spicy aroma that I haven’t seen replicated elsewhere.  And from a purely fun standpoint, the rolling and cracking of the shell before steeping yields some pretty cool looking eggs!  When I saw that the Lucky Rice cookbook featured a recipe for tea eggs, I knew I had to try it for the second recipe of my Lucky Rice cookthrough.

As you’ll see from the short ingredient list, you can probably find all of these ingredients in your local grocery store…

– so definitely give this a try at home!

Tea-Smoked Eggs (from the Lucky Rice cookbook)

  • 6 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup dark soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp black tea leaves (smoky teas, like Lapsang Souchong, are best)
  • 4 star anise pods
  • 3 strips fresh orange peel
  • 1 tbsp whole black peppercorns
  1. Place the eggs in a saucepan that is large enough to hold them in a single layer. Add enough water to cover the eggs by an inch, bring it to a boil, and cook for 2 minutes, just to lightly set the egg whites.
  2. Drain the eggs and rinse them under cold running water. Gently tap each egg on the counter top, rolling it carefully to lightly crack the surface without breaking it open.
  3. Return the cracked eggs to the point and just cover them with fresh water. Add the soy sauce, tea leaves, star anise, orange peel, and peppercorns.  Bring to a boil. Then reduce the heat to just a simmer, cover the pot, and simmer the eggs for 2 hours.
  4. Remove the pot from the heat and let the eggs cool in the cooking liquid.  Then put the pot in the refrigerator and let them steep overnight. Peel when ready to eat or refrigerate for up to a week.

For best results, you should definitely make sure the eggs steep overnight. As an added plus, they taste better and better the longer they steep!  Downside, I didn’t make enough eggs and I finished them all in 3 days. But that last 3rd day egg sure was deelish.  But don’t take my word for it, try it for yourself! Remember to tag your photos with #BigAppleNoshLuckyRice and let me know – can’t wait to check it out! 🙂

Other recipes I’ve tried from the Lucky Rice cookbook: