For reasons which are probably familiar to many diabetics using an insulin pump, every six months or so I spend eight days (usually spread over a couple of weeks) skipping meals or in medical terms checking fasting blood sugars. It’s not a great hardship but it’s never something I like doing since it entails fasting for 10 or 12 hours and a lot of finger pricking. The problem is that I spend so much of my time thinking about food and planning meals that to deliberately skip one is like torture. I’m not supposed to eat anything at all which I can just about manage overnight or when missing breakfast but if I have to miss lunch or dinner I struggle. If I start to feel really empty I cheat and eat something small that has no carbs so it (in theory) won’t alter my blood sugars.
This is where tea eggs come in. A boiled egg is a great snack, they’re healthy, handy and you can make several at a time and keep them in the fridge to munch as and when they’re needed. Best of all for me, they’re carb free. Only, they can be a little boring, which is why the last time I was doing a series of ‘fasts’ I decided to make some tea eggs – a traditional Chinese snack made by soaking crack boiled eggs in black tea and soy sauce. As you can see from the picture up top, the tea and soy permeate the cracks in the egg shell and all that delicious flavour and colour is sucked into the egg leaving a beautiful marbled effect. The soy provides the salt that a boiled egg needs making these the perfect simple snack. They’re great for lunch boxes too and are a fun recipe for Easter which is just around the corner.
Makes 6 eggs
- 6 fresh eggs
- 2 tea bags
- 60ml soy sauce
Place the eggs in a medium pan of cold water and bring to the boil. Boil for 1 minute then remove the pan from the heat and leave the eggs to sit in the hot water for 5 minutes.
Cool the eggs in ice water, once cool take a teaspoon and crack the shells all over so the tea can permeate.
Place the cracked eggs back in the pan and cover with cold water, add the tea bags and soy sauce. Bring to the boil then simmer gently for 30 minutes. If the water evaporates and the eggs become exposed turn them from time to time so they are fully bathed in the tea.
After 30 minutes remove the pan from the heat and allow to cool. Chill the eggs over night in the tea before serving.