Adobo eggs

Ever since I saw all those tea eggs in Taiwan, I have been obsessed with doing my version. My first attempt, made with tea leaves, yielded sickly looking marbled eggs. Thinking I should perfect the hue of the marbling first before attempting to perfect the part about infusing flavors, I practiced using food color. I came up with two red-veined eggs and two green-veined eggs. Pretty. Christmassy even. But they tasted like ordinary hard-boiled eggs. So, one time, I was cooking adobo and I was worried that I didn’t have enough pork to satisfy everyone. It isn’t uncommon to add hard-boiled eggs to extend the adobo and that was when the inspiration hit me — hard-boiled eggs cooked in adobo sauce following the Chinese tea egg principle.

To make adobo eggs, well, you have to happen to be cooking adobo first. Even if you boil the eggs in a mixture of vinegar, soy sauce, garlic and pepper, they won’t have the richness and body that can only come from a sauce in which meat has been braising for at least an hour. Adobo eggs

Start by first boiling the eggs in plain water. Boil for only a minute — just long enough for the outermost part of the egg whites to solidify. Next, take the eggs out of the water and tap the shells all over with the back of a spoon. It is through these cracks that the adobo sauce will seep in to create the marbling effect. That’s why pre-boiling the eggs is important. If you crack the shells while the eggs are raw, the eggs will seep through the cracks and there won’t be anything left to cook in the adobo sauce.

When all the shells have been cracked, uncover your still simmering but otherwise cooked adobo, push the meat (or chicken) to the sides and place the eggs at the center of the pan. Simmer for ten minutes or so, rolling the eggs every two to three minutes. Turn off the heat and leave the eggs there for another 15 minutes or so. Adobo eggs

For best results, shell the eggs just before serving the adobo.

Notes: While adobo is always better the day after, if there are leftover eggs and they are chilled together with the meat and sauce, they are likely to acquire a uniform dark color in parts that are in contact with the sauce. I bet they’ll taste even better but they won’t look as pretty.

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  1. Ebba Myra says

    Oh gosh, I would sure try this “recipe” sometime this week. I had placed boiled eggs in adobo before just like you did and because of same reason, para madagdagan ang meat, but I did not crack the eggs, and also I added it at same time as the meat, and another time, last minute before serving, both times came out not so good, kaya nga hindi koo na inulit. But with this new “experiment” of yours, hahaha, I know for sure it will be a hit. Thanks again Connie, you take out the hard part thinking of cooking. Happy New Year nga pala. Hhaha, for me Happy New Cooking.

  2. brenda says

    another marvelous idea, Connie! Yeah, usually sa mga karenderia may hard boiled egg na kasama ang adobo as extender but your version really looked better.

    Try ko nga to minsan pag nag adobo ako…

  3. says

    If it weren’t for those Chinese tea eggs, I wouldn’t have thought of cooking the eggs this way. But, really, adobo infused hardboiled eggs are tastier than Chinese tea eggs.

  4. says

    Cool! I tried it before with congee but I soaked the hard boiled (cracked) in soy sauce. Got the same effect. It’s a brilliant idea to have it with adobo! Happy Holidays! Cheers!

  5. Marie says

    Hi Connie!

    A belated Merry Christmas and an advanced Happy New Year to you and your family. By the way, I’m sorry that they edited out your segment because I had all my (non-Filipino) flat mates sit with me so, they can see you cook. (You’re a celebrity in my house because I when they ask me what’s for dinner, my normal response is “Pinoy Cook”. Heh.) They all thought that Jessica Soho was you and were a bit ticked off that she didn’t feature you. Heh. But, I digress.

    Anyway, the brown eggs you saw in Taiwan are sold everywhere in Shanghai. They’re called “Cha Ye Dan”, literally, “Tea-leaf eggs”. I’m a huge fan of eggs and my ayi (helper) would cook them for me. I asked her for the recipe so that I can share it with you:

    Ayi’s Tea Eggs

    1 dozen eggs, washed
    3 tbsps salt (or more, depending on what you like)
    2 tbsps sugar (or more, depending on what you like)
    A small handful of tea leaves
    5 star anise(s)
    3 bay leaves
    Optional: 1 tsp of MSG, 1 tsp of all-spice

    Boil clean eggs in water at a simmer. Once they’re cooked, fish them out and gently tap the shells until they crack. (You should aim for a spidery web of cracks on your eggs).

    Combine all the ingredients in some water and simmer the solution. Once you see some smoke wafting out of the pot, add all the eggs in. Make sure that you have enough, but not too much water (Water should be cover all the eggs evenly.) Let the eggs simmer away in the tea solution for a MINIMUM of 4 hours.

    Taste the solution and adjust salt, sugar and spices accordingly.

    I’ve made tea eggs a couple of times. I don’t use MSG and I substituted all-spice for it. Some people liked it, but my Chinese friends thought that it was too overpowering.

    Hope that helps! Still waiting to take you food hopping when you happen to visit Shanghai. Hehe.

  6. Marilou says

    Yum! I will definitely try this next rime I make adobo. I’m all snowed in today and rooting in my fridge I see I have the makings for bistek tagalog but not adobo. That will have to wait until I’ve dug out of my driveway so I can get to the grocery. Thanks for the yummy idea!

  7. Maria Cullano says

    Hi Connie! I am looking for a delicious recipe of lugaw bec. we are thinking of putting up a small restaurant selling lugaw and mga kakaibang recipes. I found your adobo eggs and I got an idea to mix it with lugaw. We will see if it will be a big hit. Do you have any recipes you can recommend? Thanks and more power.


    • Connie says

      Well I have over a thousand recipes here in the blog. Why not comb through the archive and decide which are “kakaiba”? :)

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