Tea-Smoked Eggs with Caviar (Xunlong Yuzi Yanxun Dan)
These smoky, creamy-in-the-center eggs are topped with spoonfuls of caviar—a luxurious combination of flavors and textures.
Yield: serves 4
- 4 duck eggs
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1⁄4 cup black tea leaves
- 1 Tbsp. long-grain rice
- 2 Tbsp. flour
- 1 Tbsp. sugar
- Pinch of five-spice powder
- 9 shiso leaves, 1 julienned
- 4 tsp. caviar, such as sevruga or osetra
- Put the eggs into a small pot, cover with water, and bring to a boil over high heat. Add salt, reduce heat to low, and simmer, covered, for 1 minute. Remove the pot from the heat and let sit, covered, to gently cook the eggs for 2 minutes. Immediately transfer eggs to a large bowl of ice water and let chill for 10 minutes. Drain. Gently crack and peel the eggs. Pat the eggs dry.
- Put the tea, rice, and 1⁄4 cup water into a small bowl and let soak for 3 minutes. Drain the tea mixture in a fine sieve, shaking out any excess water. Line a large flat-bottomed wok and its lid with heavy-duty aluminum foil, pressing the foil against the bottom. Spread the tea mixture in the bottom of the wok, sprinkle the flour, sugar, and five-spice powder over the top, and place a small metal heatproof rack over the mixture. Place the eggs on rack spaced 2" apart.
- Open your windows and turn on the exhaust fan. Heat the wok over high heat until the tea mixture begins to smoke, 2 1⁄2–3 minutes. Cover tightly with the lid and continue to smoke until eggs are tinged golden yellow, 5–6 minutes. Remove from the heat and transfer eggs to a clean work surface. (Cool and discard the tea mixture.) Slice the eggs in half lengthwise and place each half atop a whole shiso leaf on a platter. Garnish the yolk of each egg with a dollop of caviar and a little of the julienned shiso leaf. Serve promptly.