|bai zhou topped with spinach, roasted chicken, Adafina Culinary's fabulous kim chee, and the perfect soft-boiled egg|
Mayumi made tea eggs, and posted a question about them to my Facebook page: "Once (the eggs) had sat in the marinade, I had a hard time removing the shell without losing significant chunks of egg. Tips?"
Truth be told, Adam and I had the exact same problem. Peeling the first tea egg for the pretty photo was a huge, time-consuming pain in the booty. The next time we make them, we're going to go back to the way my mom did it: completely hard-boiling the eggs and peeling them fully before putting them in the marinade. This way, you get richer flavor, and you get it quicker, but the trade-off is, of course, that you don't get that gorgeous marbled effect.
Lots of friends chimed in with their best egg-boiling and -peeling tips: my friend Kim reminded us that fresher eggs are much harder to peel than older ones and a couple of other friends agreed; Kristina suggested white vinegar in the boiling water; Andrew mentioned shocking boiled eggs in ice water after cooking; and Suchandra linked to this really neat idea for tidily baking your hard-"boiled" eggs. (I'm totally trying baked boiled eggs the next time I need to make a really large batch!)
When Adam boils eggs, they always turn out perfectly and are super-easy to peel. Here's his tried-and-true method. And it absolutely does help to start with eggs that are a couple of weeks old. Supermarket eggs are pretty much always old enough.
Adam's Perfect-Every-Time Boiled Eggs
1. Bring enough water to easily cover your eggs to a boil.
2. Every egg has one rounder end and one end that's more pointy. Pierce the rounder end of the egg (Adam uses a thumb tack). Sounds tricky, but this is easy to do once you're used to it. 3. Carefully lower your eggs into the boiling water--a slotted spoon is a perfect tool for this--and adjust the heat to maintain a simmer, not a rolling boil.
4. Set a timer for six minutes if you want very soft-boiled eggs, nine if you want hard-boiled eggs, and somewhere in between for somewhere-in-between eggs. Keep in mind that eggs of different sizes will cook a little differently. (The eggs in the photo above are large eggs, but not extra-large, and they cooked for seven minutes.)
5. Drain the water and then run the eggs under cold tap water for 30 to 60 seconds.