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March 17, 2011

Tea Eggs
Posted by Jim Macdonald at 04:01 PM *

Tea Eggs are apparently a popular savory in China. I ran into these things at Boskone, whilst manning the Viable Paradise Sunday Brunch. They look interesting, and they taste pretty darned good. So, the other day, we tried making them.

There are all kinds of recipes around on the web for ‘em. Here’s what we wound up doing, based on what we had in the house:

  • Half-dozen eggs
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon five-spice powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cracked black pepper corns
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 2 teabags (black tea)

Soft boil the eggs. (In a saucepan just big enough to hold them, cover the eggs with cold water. Bring to a boil. Allow to boil for three minutes.)

Remove the eggs from the boiling water with a slotted spoon. Put the eggs in a bowl of cold water.

While the eggs are cooling, add remainder of the ingredients to the hot water in the pan. Heat the liquid.

After the eggs are cool, crack the shells all over but do not peel. You want ‘em spider-webbed with cracks.

Replace the now-cracked eggs to the pan. Simmer covered for an hour. Make sure the liquid covers the eggs. Then transfer to a ceramic container in the refrigerator and allow to marinate for two hours. (Some folks apparently marinate ‘em overnight.)

Drain and serve.

Cooking with Light (recipe index)
Comments on Tea Eggs:
#1 ::: Zak ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2011, 04:45 PM:

I've made these a few times.

The recipe I used was different, it used star-anise and loose tea. I'd guess the five-spice powder is a richer flavor.

The first time I made them, I used assam. Those turned out pretty good.

The second time I used lapsang souchong. Those turned out awesome. The eggs had a kind of bacony-savory flavor from the smokiness of the tea.

I also experimented some with marinating them longer. More than 24 hours didn't really do more than make the patterning on the eggs prettier.

We need to provide some snacks for friends this weekend. Now I know what to make!

#2 ::: Denise ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2011, 04:53 PM:


#3 ::: TexAnne ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2011, 04:58 PM:

Drat, I haven't any 5-spice powder. But I do have galingale. Hmmmmm.....

(I also lack eggs, but that will be fixed when I go to the farmers' market tomorrow morning.)

#4 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2011, 05:08 PM:

Lapsang Souchong sounds like a plan.

#5 ::: eric ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2011, 05:24 PM:

I'm always looking for something to do with eggs, given that we're getting 10+/day now from the flock.

And, I think there's some looseleaf lapsang souchong in the tea cabinet.

#6 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2011, 05:55 PM:

I'm told that tea, "liquid smoke," chipotle, and seczuan pepper gives good results too.

#7 ::: Debra Doyle ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2011, 06:12 PM:

Tea eggs certainly solve the main problem with hard-boiled eggs, which is that egg whites in their natural state don't taste like much of anything.

(At least, to me they don't. I understand that there are some people who think that they're the best part.)

#8 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2011, 06:28 PM:

Finally, a use for that Lapsang Souchong I've been using as a moth repellent!

#9 ::: TexAnne ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2011, 06:28 PM:

Jim, 6: ...wait. I have anchos and smoked sea salt! A little dinking with the soy-sauce quantity and I think I'll be in business.

#10 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2011, 06:47 PM:

Hmmm. The only soy sauce we have in the house is sweet soy, which we use in making the sauce for Sate Chicken. I wonder how that would work for this?

#11 ::: Ceri ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2011, 06:51 PM:

These sound delicious.

I wonder if they'd be safe to take in a lunchbox? I'm thinking the spiderwebbing would make them a nice display piece in a bento.

#12 ::: OtterB ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2011, 07:24 PM:

Do you leave the teabags in the whole time the eggs are simmering, or only steep them in the liquid while the eggs are cooling?

#13 ::: Incoherent ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2011, 07:26 PM:

Would these work as a base for deviled eggs, or would that be gilding the lily?

#14 ::: SamChevre ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2011, 07:28 PM:

I expect that tea eggs would be safe(ish) in a lunchbox; hard-boiled eggs are one of the classic lunchbox foods in the community I come from. (Hard-boiled eggs, buttered bread with the butter melty from the heat, and salt--I still think it's a good lunch, preferably with peppermint water (heavily sweetened water with peppermint oil, ice cold.)

#15 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2011, 08:38 PM:

My understanding is that you leave the teabags in the whole time.

Experiments seem to be in order.

And these would probably make spectacular looking-deviled eggs. Yes, here's someone who's done that very thing.

#16 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2011, 08:46 PM:

These sound completely delectable. What, I wonder, is the overall sodium content?

#17 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2011, 08:49 PM:

.. not to be confused with egg tea.

#18 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2011, 08:50 PM:

I have eggs in the fridge, intended for hard-boiled (for lunch). Might as well make tea eggs.

#19 ::: thomas ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2011, 09:28 PM:


The sodium content should not be that much increased, since the stain doesn't penetrate that far into the egg.

All the recipes I looked at that had sodium levels listed very high values, on the order of a gram per serving. A little computation showed that this was actually the total sodium content of the ingredients, nearly all of which stays in the liquid and is thrown out.

#20 ::: ebear ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2011, 10:07 PM:

I use strong boiled loose tea, soy sauce, five spice powder, star anise, pepper, whatever else suits my mood.

Also? You can boil the simmering liquid down, freeze it, and re-use it indefinitely.

#22 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2011, 10:52 PM:

re eggs... when we were getting 18+ a day, I did all sorts of things with them.

I just learned a new trick, which I need to try; cured egg yolks.

Mix sugar/salt 60/40. Make a bet of about 1/2 inch in a container.

Separate the eggs, laying the yolks on the curing mix.

Cover with curing mix.

Close the container and leave in the fridge for a week.

Remove from fridge and see if they are cured to the center by taking one and slicing it in half (be careful in the excavation, they are a bit soft). If they are grainy/sort of translucent/opaque, remove to a cheesecloth, and hang in a dark, cool place with airflow for 3-4 weeks.

Crumble as garnish, or use a microplane.

#23 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2011, 10:54 PM:

Re the passover tea eggs: I'm not used to doing anything but the slow roasting (2-6 hours) in a low oven.

They are quite tasty that way, nutty and rich and the yolks are intense.

#24 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2011, 11:04 PM:

Hmm! I used to get tea eggs all the time down in Flushing Main Street, usually from that dumpling booth just off the main drag. (For non-locals, this is the second of New York City's three "Chinatowns", with a broad mix of Asian folks and cuisines.)

The "locals" tended to eat them shell and all (CRUNCH!). I tried that a few times, and I suspect the treatment does weaken the shell, but even so, I kept getting bits of shell caught in my teeth.

The "Passover Eggs" look like they used sprigs of parsley to shadow the eggshells. That is *very* apropos! By "low temperature" (for an oven) I'm guessing they mean around 200°F?

#25 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2011, 11:41 PM:

Terry Karney #21: I'm a little confused. Are the yolks after the first week or so ready to eat sometime in the next 3-4 weeks, or are they to be aged for a month or so total?

#26 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2011, 11:54 PM:

David Harmon: They need to age for another 3-4 weeks before they are really done, though one could eat them at one week. At that point they look like the yolks of a "mollet" egg.

#27 ::: Paula Helm Murray ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2011, 12:00 AM:

Yum! Wish I wasn't the only one in the house that would consume a hard-boiled egg of any kind.

And I find that Lapsang Souching has too much of a scent/taste reminiscent of a petroleum product, the smell of which (even Vaseline) really annoys me. (does not make me sick, but I can smell even the smallest touch of it on my skin, and I don't like it--the pump your own gasoline thing has made me Real Careful).

I have made pickled eggs for an SCA event and they were really popular--we had them out as snacks and they vanished with impossible speed (I made about six dozen...). The trick with them is that you have to make them and then serve within 24 hours, because they are best left in the pickle until served. But after 24 hours you can just about use them as handballs... (per experiments, I'd kept a few for myself, obviously didn't consume the same day because of the event and they were HARD, rubbery hard-cooked eggs.)

#28 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2011, 12:02 AM:

P J Evans, #16: When I saw that link went to, I clicked on it with great trepidation! Fortunately, I can report that the definition of "egg tea" is nothing that requires the use of brain bleach.

#29 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2011, 12:06 AM:

Lee, I checked it first. I even had a backup URL for a completely different site:

#30 ::: Zak ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2011, 01:07 AM:

So I looked at a bunch of recipes. Everyone likes to do different stuff.

As a result, I'm totally winging it in the basic theme.

Here's what I did:

Two smallish strips of cinnamon bark
two pods of black cardamom (I added two because they're old and tired)
A teaspoon of sugar
A teaspoon of the only five-spice I could find (McCormics, which is the variety sans-szechuan pepper)
Some quantity of soy sauce significantly less than the first recipe I looked at but probably more than is ideal.
Two tablespoons of Lapsang Souchong (a very non-piney varietal)
A dash of Qi Lapsang Souchong liqueur (can you tell I like Lapsang?)

I brought the eggs to a boil in a sauce pan, cooled them in running cold water then crazed the shells. Now they're set to simmer for 2 hours in the water with the spices and tea. After that they go into a bowl, into the fridge and into the future*.

I'll report back Saturday evening on how they turned out. The house already smells awesome.

*Time travel for this recipe is provided by standard linear time.

#31 ::: John Murphy ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2011, 09:19 AM:

I'll have to remember this the next time I make egg salad. I bet these will add some very nice flavor and color.

#32 ::: thanate ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2011, 09:54 AM:

I tried these a while ago using thai tea and soy sauce (and possibly something else, but I don't recall what) and was disappointed by how slight the flavor infusion turned out to be. The boiling liquid smelled much better, and may have led to unreasonable expectations.

Possibly I should try the overnight version, although I think I trust my crock pot more than my oven if I'm leaving it on semi-indefinitely.

#33 ::: KayTei ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2011, 10:45 AM:

Terry @23

Recipe, please? When I married into my husband's family, I was informed that they had a "traditional way of preparing the baked eggs" but nobody is really fond of it, so it's just done for the symbology. IIRC, there was a bit of discussion in the haverah about whether it was even possible to bake eggs in a way that would taste good. So if you've got a recipe that works...

#34 ::: theophylact ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2011, 10:49 AM:

My first acquaintance with these was in Joyce Chen's Cook Book, first published in 1962. She uses just black tea, soy sauce, salt and star anise, and she lets the eggs steep in the liquid anywhere from eight hours to two days.

#35 ::: praisegod barebones ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2011, 11:47 AM:

Zak @ 30

Add a pinch of thiotimoline, and you can have them ready in time for yesterday's lunch.

#36 ::: Fred ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2011, 11:54 AM:

My old boss was from born in China, and at the group picnic every year his wife would make tea eggs. I'd actually almost forgotten them, though they were always quite good.

#37 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2011, 12:00 PM:

Re huevos haminados, I have a cookbook recommendation. Olive Trees and Honey is a collection of traditional Jewish recipes from all over the world. There's some pretty cool stuff in there.

#38 ::: Tracie ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2011, 12:36 PM:

Way back when large cans of jalapenos weren't available in practically every supermarket, my mother would venture into Mexican neighborhoods (she's bilingual English/Spanish) to buy them. Then she'd boil up some eggs, peel them, and layer with jalapenos in a big glass jar. Pour in the jalapeno liquid and vinegar if needed, and put in the refrigerator. One day rightside up, one day upside down, then eat or they'd turn into rubber. She would also replace pickle relish with chopped jalapenos for really deviled eggs.

#39 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2011, 12:54 PM:

Kay Tei: No recipe, eggs, a low oven (mine gets down to 140F), time. When the smell of the eggs fills the house, and the shells are all over with brown spots, turn off the oven and let them cool.

I recommend placing them on a sheet of tinfoil, in case some of them break, and I don't recommend a baking sheet/dish, because that localises a hot spot. You'll need to anchor the foil to the rack, because most eggs will be too small to be held by the wires.

#40 ::: Lexica ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2011, 01:04 PM:

Paula Helm Murray @ 27 - Sounds like you and my dad pick up on the same flavor note in Lapsang Souchong*, only Dad likes it. When my grandparents were planning a trip to Victoria, including a trip to Murchie's, Dad put in a request for "half a pound of Lapsang Souchong, please... the extra-creosote variety."

*When I was a little kid, Grandpa used to refer to it as "Lapsang Dingdong". To this day, if discussing the stuff I have to take a micro-pause before calling it by name to make sure I'm using the right one.

#41 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2011, 02:14 PM:

Paula Helm Murray #27, Lexica #40:

I was always taken by the character in Michener's Centennial who characterized the stuff as tasting like charred jockstrap. Didn't, however, keep me from trying it, liking it, and possibly offending an entire workplace with the smell of it (foggy, to me) in the mid 80s.

I'm not much of a tea drinker anymore, but it's one of the kinds I keep around. For some reason, it seems to go perfectly with Pepperidge Farm Bordeaux cookies.

#42 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2011, 02:18 PM:

Count me in the crowd of Lapsang lovers. My colleagues have simply had to get used to the smell. (My mother still complains, "What have you got in there? Old cigarette butts?")

I gather PNH was introduced to it by someone telling him, "Try this! It tastes like bus exhaust! You'll love it!" And he did.

#43 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2011, 02:23 PM:

Since I'm a Southerner, it tastes like turpentine to me. Or more precisely, like an old-timey, wood-fired, turpentine distilling operation (which accounts for the smoky note).

#44 ::: Rikibeth ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2011, 02:26 PM:

Lapsang Souchong tastes like campfire to me. Which, while it is a fine smell, is not especially something I care to DRINK.

it also strongly suggests that most of my campfires have not been fueled by hardwood.

#45 ::: Kyndra ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2011, 03:03 PM:

Yup, you can count me into the Lapsang lovers crowd to, my mother used to complain that it smelled and tasted like crayons! I find it really good cold/iced- need to go see if I have any since it's in the 80's today!

#46 ::: Lori Coulson ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2011, 03:39 PM:

Count another Lapsang Souchong lover here -- and Michener's Centennial was what got me to try it.

To me the flavor says, "Autumn" and I love it.

#47 ::: C. Wingate ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2011, 03:43 PM:

Back in the days when I had Lapsang at the office, one of the guys here referred to it as my "hambone tea".

#48 ::: Lexica ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2011, 03:51 PM:

I gather PNH was introduced to it by someone telling him, "Try this! It tastes like bus exhaust! You'll love it!" And he did.

Oh, hey now... PNH, assuming you like Indian food, have you encountered curry leaves? Many people claim that they have a citrus scent, but to me (who loves loves LOVES citrus) they smell distinctly like motor vehicle exhaust.

But oh, the difference they make in a dish... *happy sigh* *stomach growls* Oh, it's lunchtime, isn't it?

#49 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2011, 03:56 PM:

I grew up with Lapsang Souchong as the family default tea. Now that I do incredibly small amounts of caffeine, it still smells homey even though I don't drink it.

#50 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2011, 04:10 PM:

In my family we called Lapsang Souchong "Charles W. Morgan tea" because it smelled like below decks on a wooden whale ship (at Mystic Seaport).

This was before they'd cleaned her up and pumped the bilges, and put in tourist-friendly stairways and such. You know all the artifacts that were found in the ballast that are displayed in a case in another building now? At that time those artifacts were still in the bilges.

#51 ::: Zak ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2011, 04:43 PM:

praisegod @ #35

I've always had a hard time keeping track of which one is theobromine and which one is thiotimiline. This has lead to some impressive mistakes. Like that time I needed to get from Tierra Del Fuego to Sitka in only two days. A car full of chocolate did not help that happen.


On the larger subject of Lapsang Souchong, I've had three identifiably different flavors all called Lapsang Souchong. There are two common ones, and they seem to be seasonal variants. One has a sharp resinous smell, like it was smoked over slightly green wood. The other is darker and less sharp. It's been a long time since I've found the third and my memory of it isn't clear, but I do recall it was distinct from the other two. Maybe with a sweet note in it?

There are also a couple of other tea blends made with Lapsang, like Russian Caravan (Lapsang + Assam). My favorite is Tzar Alexander, which is smoked Earl Grey with some silver tips thrown in. I don't think the tips do more than add visual interest to the loose leaves. The bergamot, on the other hand, most definitely punches right through the cedar smoke.

#52 ::: Thena ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2011, 05:16 PM:

I suppose I ought to try drinking some of the lapsang souchong I keep on hand for adding smoky flavor to vegetarian bean dishes...

#53 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2011, 09:12 PM:

I thought they usually used pine needles for smoking the lapsang. (Love it. It's much less smoky as sun tea, nearly delicately flavored, and still good.)

#54 ::: Anne Sheller ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2011, 12:59 AM:

Mmmmmm - lapsang souchong. I think I just used cheap black tea last year, the kind I buy to dye socks with. My Easter eggs last year were tea eggs, yellow pickled eggs (onion skin, mustard, and jalapeno in the pickle), and pink pickled eggs (beet juice, cloves, and a little sugar in the pickle). Small batches, about 3 eggs each, since they were juse for me. I hope I wrote something down on an index card and dropped it in my recipe box, or I'll be regenerating the recipes for this year.

#55 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2011, 05:25 AM:

Ooh, there's a stinging tea review. I can imagine a Mark Twain rant about tea so bad its purest purpose in life was to dye socks with. heh.

#56 ::: Bruce Cohen (Speaker to Managers) ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2011, 06:49 PM:

It's been way too long since I last had any lapsang from me to remember the taste; you'd think it couldn't have been all that distasteful or the memory would still be there. And I have a fondness for strong, almost soapy tasting teas; at one time I had a major jones for Russian Caravan, which I bought in bulk in large tins.

On the other hand, comparing lapsang to turpentine reminds me of just how much I dislike retsina. Long nights of ouzo, retsina, and other recreational chemicals when I was young left me with a healthy respect for the resultant hangovers.

#57 ::: janetl ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2011, 09:05 PM:

Another voice for lapsang souchong! I never thought of using it for iced tea -- must do that this summer. I wish I could drink more black tea, but I can't take the caffeine. I mostly make mint iced tea, and I'm pleased to see that both my big pots of mint have survived the winter. I was just out pruning and tidying, and found that I've lost several other plants this year.

#58 ::: Zak ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2011, 02:57 AM:

The tea eggs I made the other day have been consumed. The verdict is a hair on the enthusiastic side of 'eh'.

I liked them pretty good, but that's partly because I've done them before and remembered that the flavor wasn't as intense as I'd expected. The other folks, who'd never had them, heard the ingredients and expected more.

My black cardamom and fancy liqueur added nothing discernible. The black cardamom is clearly too faded for use.

For the sake of SCIENCE I also tried one of them last night. An extra 12 hours of soaking really did intensify the flavor a bit, but for something that changes the smell of the house for days I expect a bit more flavor.

For reference though, I am very much of the Apicius school of flavor. The more of them you can get in one place, the better.

I can enjoy subtle. I'm a mid-range coffee snob, frex, and cannot be bothered with beans I don't know the origin of. Minute changes in water temperature, age of beans and brewing method all matter to me.

But with food, I really like for it to be run over by the flavor truck and air-lifted to the recovery oven via Spruce Goose.

I would have been one of those Romans helping drive silphium extinct.

So mild tea eggs seem like a bit of a failure to me. Your mileage may vary.

#59 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2011, 06:05 AM:

Zak: You do realise a large part of the driving force behind the extinction of silphium was it's function as an abortifacient?

It's also probably true that roman cookery wasn't as overwhelmingly flavored as all that. If I were to list the things I used in the pumpkin bread I just made, absent quantities, it might seem a lot different to the actual outcome (Cloves, nutmegs, maple syrup, vanilla, sugar, butter, ginger, cinnamon).

Or the makings of barbeque sauces.

We have descendants of garum and liquamen, but we use them in moderation. There is no reason (esp. given the delicacy/understanding which the actual descriptions of technique show in Apicius (I really like my copy, and have used it to make some interesting dishes, based on my knowledge of how food work/balance).

/end discursion.

#60 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2011, 06:35 AM:

Terry @59:

Apropos of nothing in your comment, I dreamed last night that you and I were making tea eggs in my parents' kitchen in California.

#61 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2011, 06:40 AM:

I am a great fan of Lapsang teas. Maia (an assam fan) describes my tastes in tea (Irish Breakfast, russian caravans, Lapsang, Keemun, oolongs) as "goat turd teas".

I drink them anyway, sometime with milk, occasionally with sugar, never with relish (that goes on the sausages).

#62 ::: praisegod barebones ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2011, 07:28 AM:

Terry @ 61

relish (that goes on the sausages).

Heresy - even my children (who get to eat sausages approximately once in a fuller moon) know that the correct condiment for sausages is orange marmelade.

#63 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2011, 08:10 AM:

Praisegood: I am not putting marmelade on wurst, be it brat, wiesse, or liver.

Nor yet on any "kolbass", banger, or frankfurters.

What you do with your "breakfast sausage" is one thing, what I'll do with my suppers is quite another.

#64 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2011, 08:24 AM:

pgbb @62: Not in Chicago, it ain't! :->

#65 ::: praisegod barebones ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2011, 10:12 AM:

Terry Karney @ 63

I am not putting marmelade on wurst, be it brat, wiesse, or liver. Nor yet on any "kolbass", banger, or frankfurters.

Ah, it's a translation issue, then. Those aren't (hyper-locally) sausages, they are 'saucisses' - or, at a pinch, and if we have German-speakers in the vicinity - 'wurst'. You can put what you like on them.

'Saucisse' is clearly cognate with but equally clearly not a French translation of the English word 'sausages': I'm reliably informed that the correct translation is 'tube a abats de bas qualite rempli de graisse'. (with a scattering of accents, which my keyboard is not well-adapted to.)1

'sosis' - the Turkish cognate - is, of course, something else again: pork-free, acceptable to Muslims and typically made from turkey. (or, as they call it here, 'hindi', which means 'Indian')

(incidentally - normally only one 'o' in the first word of my 'nym - unless that's for some reason untypeable.)

1. That's a bit of a mouthful, so my daughter normally refers to them as 'des sausages'.

#66 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2011, 10:28 AM:

Terry Karney #59: /end discursion.

0001  Nesting Error:  Open parenthesis
0002  Missing dependent clause for "There is no reason..."


#67 ::: Anne Sheller ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2011, 11:36 AM:

My favorite condiment for bratwurst is kimchee. Just sayin'.

#68 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2011, 11:44 AM:

Korean-style sauerkraut?

#69 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2011, 12:21 PM:

As the Cooking Season Turns: I often put kimchee on gefilte fish, but lacking kimchee at the moment, I've been using sriracha sauce on it.

#70 ::: Zak ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2011, 02:53 PM:

Terry @ #59

Re: Silphium

I certainly do like the theory that its use in contraception/abortion contributed to its decline and ultimate extinction. The belief that contraception (reliable or otherwise) is relatively modern annoys me. But when I compare the usage as a contraceptive (roughly a teaspoon once a month) to it's frequency in Apicius' recipes, regular old consumption seems more likely a culprit for its death.

And, well, I don't get the impression it was a particularly subtle spice... The rest of what I said was pretty self-consciously hyperbolic.

(Every time I use Worcestershire sauce I cheerfully shout FISHPICKLE!)

#71 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2011, 08:34 PM:

Zak Apicius was filthy rich. I don't think most people could afford to eat like that, so his frequency of ingredients I take much as I'd take the way truffles appear in modern writing on cookery, or caviar in the '30s.

The day to day predations of how many people who wanted that monthly dose (more than a million in Rome, and how many in the other large polities the Romans seemed to think were important to maintain )[hence the welfare state to support them]) strike me as adding up to a lot more than the use as an herb by those who were flavoring meats most people never ate.

#72 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2011, 02:35 PM:

One thing I've found is that, if you want the flavor to penetrate, the marinade must be quite salty.

#73 ::: Mycroft W ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2011, 07:49 PM:

I don't know, the concept of anything sweet - although I assume that Terry's "relish" bears as much resemblance to Heinz Green Crap as my "mustard" does to French's Yellow Crap - on sausages; English, German, or veggie; seems anathema, the same way anything sweet on ham does (yes, I know, that makes me immediately apostate. But I scrape off all the sauce anyone puts on ham that distracts from the true accent taste of the meat - salt). But I know I'm weird that way.

Sauerkraut, preferably dug out of the ground by the owner, is the correct thing for wurst (I cheat, and my Polish relatives may never forgive me - I put it on kielbassa, too). Korean Kraut sounds like a really good idea; I need to try that.

I've been avoiding this discussion, because my belief is that the proper flavouring for eggs is about a pound of ground beef or a cake's worth of flour per egg. Eggs qua eggs I can only take devilled or egg-saladed. I've been known to eat scrambled eggs-with-salsa, but I need enough salsa that it's really more salsa-with-egg. Which makes travelling in North America a bit of a Monty Python Vikings sketch when it comes to breakfast - "well, the French Toast doesn't have *much* egg in it". That was one of the (many) things I liked about the trip to India though; I could actually *eat* in the morning (as opposed to subsist)!

#74 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2011, 12:31 AM:

Mycroft: There are all sorts of relishes. I tend to prefer more acidic ones. I eat my various sausages with some mix of onions (fresh/grilled/pickled), kraut, relish, mustard, mild peppers, celery salt, chopped tomato (or pickled).

Ketchup... no.

As to Kraut... I make it, but I don't bury it. Kimchee is as easy to make; the big difference is that kimchee uses more salt (one could salt/spice european krauts, the same way. It's the salt that changes the way the cabbages react; it affects the crispiness, and the lactic acid balance).

Ham ought not be sweet, esp. when the meat is the primary element. This is not so hard and fast as the ban on ketchup, but I am more a salt/spice, than sweet/unctuous fan when it comes to ham.

#75 ::: praisegod 'Sam I am' barebones ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2011, 01:26 AM:

Mycroft W. @73

I wonder if you would like

#76 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2011, 05:27 AM:

I like scrambled eggs with Terlingua-style chili, but it's been a long, long time since I've had it.

#77 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2011, 05:34 PM:

Mycroft W @73 yearned for eggless (or mostly so) North American breakfasts ...

If you can handle the amount of egg in pancakes/waffles, those are almost universally available on breakfast menus. Most diners and breakfast-all-day places will also have a dish called "biscuits and gravy," which is fluffy Southern-style biscuits (not UK ones -- in UK terms they're more like bizarrely light and flaky and buttery scones, but that's inexact), sausage patties, and some kind of gravy. If you're lucky, it's made with drippings; if you're not, it'll be from a package and kind of floury. However, it contains exactly zero egg of any kind in any version I've ever seen.

Now whether you LIKE it is another problem, but at least it's not automatically disgusting. :->

#78 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2011, 09:33 PM:

Elliot Mason: Speak for yourself on the not automatically disgusting. :)

#79 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2011, 11:00 PM:

Praisegod #75: Ooo, that recipe looks good. When I visited Costa Rica, I was big on beans-and-rice for breakfast. (I've been known to do that at home too, but there it depends on having some B+R around already. My big issue with breakfast is that I want a fairly solid breakfast, but before I've eaten, I'm usually not up to cooking anything fancy.

#80 ::: paula Helm Murray ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2011, 11:15 PM:

I like all kinds of breakfasts. When I want to spoil myself (and no more than once a week( I go to the company cafeteria, get one scoop (one egg) of scrambled egg and one scoop of hash browns. Then I pepper all of it really good and put sausage gravy over the potatoes and some of the eggs. and re-pepper the hell out of the gravy because it doesn't have any strong flavor.

I maybe do this twice a month, otherwise my breakfast is home-made flavored plain yogurt or home made oatmeal packets.

#81 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2011, 11:19 PM:

Terry Karney @78: Not automatically disgusting to Mycroft because of its egginess, I mean. :-> Not my fave thing to order, personally ... I get the French toast, most times it's on offer. With bacon, butter, and minimal powdered-sugar dusting. Mmmm.

#82 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2011, 11:26 PM:

Paula #80: I still haven't successfully made biscuit gravy. :-( Part of that is I don't eat bacon enough to get much practice, and when I do it's often going into something non-breakfasty.

#83 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: March 23, 2011, 05:06 AM:

Biscuit gravy with ground sausage and lots of pepper! heh.

#84 ::: Mycroft W ::: (view all by) ::: March 23, 2011, 04:20 PM:

PGBB: I'm guessing I'm going to think of menemen the way I think of scrambled eggs "with stuff" - there's too much eggs and not enough stuff (enough stuff, of course, would be "enough that I can't taste the eggs"). But it does look interesting, and I may spring it on some of my less egg-averse friends - and try some myself.

Terry: That's what I expected. No, I wasn't meaning Ketchup - that's Heinz Red Crap. I guess you don't automatically think of this when you think "relish for hot dogs/sausages". That's Heinz Green Crap.

Elliott: Pancakes/waffles - yeah, that's about what I meant with the "doesn't have *much* egg in it". I like those - but after about 4 days of either pancakes or waffles or french toast (or most restaurant's laughable attempts at actual cereal, cold or hot), one gets a bit - bored.

And that doesn't even start to talk about McD-alikes. "Oh, it's before 1100. You can't get anything that doesn't have egg in it, it's Breakfast Time. What's wrong with you?"

Biscuits/gravy - heh. "Most diners and all-day places...", sure, if you're in the U.S. In Canada, you'll get the same reaction to that that I get when I ask for vinegar for my fries south of 491. Unfortunately, because while being very bad for me, I do happen to like biscuits and gravy occasionally (something about knowing someone who was married to a Louisianan, and liked cooking).

1 "Well, we do have a bottle of something in the cupboard, but we use it to clean the floors. You mean that?" Sigh, yes. You can cook/eat with it, too, that's why it's in the food section of the grocery, not in the cleaner section.

Note: you can tell the American-owned restaurant chains up here; if you ask for vinegar for the fries, you get it - in a bowl, like the gravy, rather than in a shaker, like the salt. Ever tried to sprinkle liquid from a bowl?

#85 ::: Allan Beatty ::: (view all by) ::: March 29, 2011, 07:57 PM:

Well that was an interesting experiment. But it took a lot of time if the only result is to get some mildly flavored hardboiled eggs. And my five-spice powder even had seven spices in it. Maybe the peppercorns should have been cracked more. Lacking proper implements, I spread them on a plate, covered with a paper towel, and whacked away with the back of the coffee measuring spoon. For some reason the cats thought this must be for them.

The pot likker I sipped had a pretty strong flavor though.

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