Yield: 48 half eggs
Preparation time: 40-50 minutes, plus unattended refrigeration time
Shelf-life: 1-2 days

If you thought deviled eggs were old-fashioned, this traditional Chinese appetizer (eggs soaked in tea) is an up-to-the-minute version of that idea. Hard-cooked egg yolks are blended with crab, wasabi and pickled ginger. As the peeled eggs are exposed to the air, the pattern becomes more pronounced.


2 dozen eggs
1 1/2 quarts water
12 Darjeeling or other black tea teabags
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 1/2 pounds crabmeat, picked and flaked
4 ounces shallots, minced
1/2 cup pickled ginger, minced, plus additional pieces to garnish
1/4 cup pickled ginger liquid
1/4-1/2 teaspoon powdered wasabi or a dab or wasabi paste
12 ounces mayonnaise, regular or reduced-fat
2-3 teaspoons rice wine vinegar
Salt and white pepper, to taste
Chives, cut into 1-inch lengths, to garnish


1. Put the eggs in a saucepan and cover with water. Bring just to a boil, then reduce the heat and gently simmer for 10 minutes. Lift out eggs with a slotted spoon and set aside; when cool enough to handle, gently roll them on a counter to crack the shells all over. Do not peel. 

2. Meanwhile, bring the water to a boil, add the teabags and soy sauce, and steep for 5 minutes. Discard teabags, squeezing to extract as much liquid as possible. Return eggs to the liquid, simmer gently for 10 minutes, then refrigerate for 6 to 8 hours in the liquid.

3. Drain the eggs, peel and blot dry. the whites will be marbelized. Carefully cut them in half lengthwise; remove and mash yolks. Combine the yolk with the crabmeat, shallots and minced pickled ginger. Blend the pickled ginger liquid, wasabi, mayonnaise and vinegar together, then combine with crab mixture. Season to taste with salt and pepper. 

4. Fill each egg half with a rounded mound of crab mixture. Top with a small slice of pickled ginger and a piece of chive.

Ingredient Cost Sheet

2 dozen eggs$1.58-2.64
12 Darjeeling or other black tea teabags$.36-.60
1/2 cup soy sauce$.10-.16
1 1/2 pounds crabmeat, picked and flaked$8.14-13.56
4 ounces shallots, minced$.67-1.12
1/2 cup pickled ginger$.84-1.36
1/4-1/2 teaspoon powdered wasabi$.06-.10
12 ounces mayonnaise, regular or reduced-fat$.34-.56
2-3 teaspoons rice wine vinegar$.06-.10

Joanna Pruess is a regular contributor to Specialty Food Magazine.