As beautiful as they are delicious, these popular Chinese snacks, called cha ye dan, are made by hard-boiling eggs, gently cracking their shells, and simmering them in a fragrant brew of black tea and spices—cinnamon, star anise, whole cloves. The flavored tea imparts a sweet flavor that carries right through to the yolk, and a sepia tint that lends an antique, marbled look to the white. Home cooks, chefs, and street vendors across China have their own takes on the centuries-old recipe: Some add soy sauce to the brew; others up the sweet and spicy quotient by mixing in sugar and peppercorns. No matter how they’re made, they have pride of place on our table.
Chinese Tea Eggs
In this year's SAVEUR 100, we take stock of our favorite things: recipes, people, places. We consider every last one a new classic.