Lucy's Tea House Eggs

While Tammy and I were struggling with her graduate degree and my sucky job during the recession of the early naughts, we would treat ourselves to one night a week at a local establishment called Lucy's Tea House. The proprietor knew us--and our order--so that all we had to do was sit down, and soon bok choy, seasoned tofu, and rice with a hot coconut tea would appear before us. But the real treat was the tea egg. It was mis-named, as it didn't contain any tea, but it was oh-so delicious.

Lucy's Tea House is closed for several years now, and Tammy and I observed a day of mourning for its passing.

But I've never forgotten those eggs. I have worked diligently in my kitchen to recreate their flavor. What follows will not bring you back to Lucy's, but you can enjoy a taste of what goodness was within.

Lucy's Tea House Eggs:
In a crock pot set to low, combine:
6 c. water
1 tbsp. sugar
3/4 c. soy sauce
1 tsp 5-spice powder
2 whole star anise cloves
1/4 c. sea salt
a few cracks of black pepper

Finally, add:
1 dozen hard-boiled eggs*, shelled

Make sure that the water submerges the eggs completely. Cover and let simmer overnight. In the morning (or eight to twelve hours later), remove from the broth and let cool. You can serve them immediately or you can keep them as snacks. They will keep for up to a week in the refrigerator.

* How to hard-boil eggs: add eggs to boiling water in a single layer (no stacking). Return water to boil, then immediately reduce heat to simmer. Start the clock, and remove the eggs to an ice-water bath after 14 minutes.

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