I decided to make some tea eggs using quail eggs because, well, I love miniature food.
Quail eggs are easy to find – back when I was a grad student, I would go to UC Davis meat lab and get a flat of 30 or so for $3 or $4. Now I just go to Ranch 99.
Once they’re cracked, simmer them in a broth of tea leaves (I like using black teas, like oolong), salt, star anise, cloves, coriander seeds (pretty much the solid versions of the ingredients in 5-spice powder), a bit of sugar. You can add soy sauce to make is really dark and murky. I like to add spicy peppers to the mixture too, but didn’t this time because there would be kids eating them. I like to simmer the eggs for a few hours and then let them sit and cool in the goop for another few hours.
For variation, you can use leftover broth from beef noodle soup or five spice beef and leave out the tea. Add more salt/pepper, etc to taste.