These unique, savory hard boiled eggs feature a beautiful crackled pattern on the surface of the egg white, from being steeped in a mixture of black tea, soy sauce, and spices overnight. A favorite snack in Chinese-speaking countries, these are especially favored during the Lunar New Year. 恭喜发财!
Place 6 eggs in a saucepan and cover with cold water, leaving 1 inch between the egg and the water surface
Bring eggs to a boil over medium-high heat. Once boiling, take off heat and cover. Let eggs sit in the saucepan for 8-9 minutes.
Drain eggs and carefully transfer eggs into a bowl of ice water to cool.
While eggs are cooling, combine soy sauce, water, sugar, and spices in a saucepan and bring to a rolling simmer. Once simmering, remove from heat and let steep for about 10 minutes.
While the tea marinade is steeping, take a hard boiled egg and gently crack the eggshell with the back of the spoon. Crack all sides of the egg, being careful not to dislodge any shell pieces, until the surface is completely covered in cracks. Place the cracked egg in the saucepan with the warm tea marinade.
Once all the cracked eggs are in the saucepan, place the saucepan over low-medium heat and bring to a simmer. Let simmer for 1 hour.
After 1 hour, remove from heat and let the saucepan cool to room temperature. Let the eggs continue to steep in the tea marinade for at least 4-5 hours, preferably overnight for a stronger flavor and deeper color.
Remove eggs from tea marinade and pat dry with a paper towel, then crack open and enjoy!