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Té Company's Taiwanese tea egg

This post originated because I wanted to share recipes from some of my favorite NYC restaurants, which had closed in March. It’s taken me so long to get this newsletter out the door that, happily, they’re slowly reopening. For those of you lucky enough to be outside the city, here’s a taste of King, Té Company, and Shopsin’s — the kind of small, labor-of-love restaurants that make the city so great. Please support them, and your local favorites, as soon as you’re able.

You’ll find the recipe for Té Company’s Taiwanese tea eggs here. They serve them both solo for snacking and nestled into their pork bowl. These days, I either eat one standing in front of the fridge or smashed on  crackers.

King’s recipe for fresh (or frozen!) pea risotto is adaptable to the veg of the moment. Should you have any leftovers, roll walnut-size balls of cold risotto in flour, then beaten egg, then finely ground breadcrumbs — though I’ve gotten lazy and just done the breadcrumbs — and fry in an inch or two of oil. (Bonus for tucking a cube of mozzarella into the balls first.)

As for Shopsin’s chicken avocado tortilla soup, I’ve been comforted by it since I started going to the original Bedford Street location. Three spaces later, it hasn’t changed. When Eve Shopsin would ask me how spicy I wanted it on a scale of 1 to 10, I’d always say 5. Once I said 6, and she sucked her teeth in pain. I tried it anyway, and have never done it since. So when the recipe says to add spicy peppers, that is totally up to you.



Té Company's Taiwanese Tea Eggs

Serves 4

  • 2 tsp./10g black tea
  • 2 star anise pods
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • ¾ cup/200g water
  • 4 tsp./20g sugar
  • ¼ cup/50g white or apple cider vinegar
  • 1¼ cup/250g soy sauce
  • 4 large eggs
  1. Add tea, star anise and cinnamon to the water in a small pot over medium heat. Remove from the heat and add sugar. Make sure the sugar is dissolved before stirring in the vinegar and soy. Pour the brine into a container and put in the fridge until cool.
  2. Bring a pot of abundant water to a boil and gently lower in the eggs one at a time. If the eggs came straight from the refrigerator, the water will stop boiling for a few seconds. Wait until it comes to a boil again and then turn down the heat slightly. (Gentle boiling will avoid the egg white tasting rubbery — we are being picky here.) After the time is up*, rinse the eggs under cold water for a minute or add them to a bowl filled with ice. Peel immediately, which might upset the purists.
  3. Place the eggs in the cold brine and allow them to sit, submerged, for at least 1 hour, and up to 3 hours. Ensure the eggs are fully submerged with the help of a plate. The longer they marinate, the more flavorful — but also saltier. Do not toss the brine, as it can be re-used at least three times.
  4. We prefer to eat the tea eggs on the same day that they are prepared, however, you can make them in advance, keep them refrigerated, and snack on them within 3 days. After that, you are on your own.

* Although we prefer eggs cooked in the 7-minute ballpark, boil them to your preference. How long should you boil eggs? Using the method of adding cold eggs to boiling water, soft-boiled is between 6 and 7 minutes, and hard-boiled is in between 10 and 12.