No matter how good a dish is, I almost never want to eat it two days in a row. I am just not a leftovers person. The one exception to this rule is eggs. Now I could tell you that the reason I can stomach eggs every day is that there are so many amazing ways to prepare them—scrambled, fried, boiled, and omeletted; poached and smothered in rich and tangy Hollandaise sauce; simmered in a tomato-and-chile sauce and served atop tortillas in huevos rancheros; or fried sunny side up and laid over steamed rice with an assortment of Korean pickles and marinated and seared beef strips in bibimbop. Don’t get me wrong, I adore every one of those preparations. But here is my deep, dark secret: I have eaten the exact same egg breakfast almost every weekday for the last four, maybe five years: A one-egg omelet with a small sliver of creamy cheese and a hefty sprinkling of Tapatio hot sauce. I usually eat it with a slice of whole-wheat toast. I hope you won’t judge me for my lack of morning creativity, but hey, it’s delicious, nutritious, and thanks to my handy 8-inch non-stick omelet pan and the tiny whisk I stole from my son’s play kitchen toolset, it’s a breeze to make. What can I say? It makes me happy.
Alas, you cannot make an omelet with a hard-boiled egg. Yet as a parent of a toddler, I know, come Monday, I’m going to be stuck with a whole lotta leftover hard-boiled eggs. Here is one of my favorite ways to use up leftover Easter eggs.
Thousand-Year-Old Eggs with Gomashio
Also sometimes called Tea-Smoked Eggs, these are eggs that have been hard cooked, cracked, and then cured in a mixture of tea, soy sauce, and other flavorings. The dark curing liquid seeps into the shell’s cracks so that the egg inside develops a beautiful marbled pattern. The long steeping also infuses the eggs with the delicate flavors of soy, tea, and spices. This recipe is adapted from a 1984 edition of Martha Stewart’s Hors D’Oeuvres, which is worth a look just for the hilarious picture on the cover. I used Irish breakfast tea and substituted whole fennel seeds for the star anise because that is what I had on hand. Gomashio is the addictive Japanese sesame salt condiment Juliana wrote about a while back.
8 hard-boiled large eggs
2 tablespoons kosher salt
¼ cup soy sauce
1 teaspoon whole fennel seeds or two whole star anise pods
2 tablespoons black tea (I used to tea bags’ worth of Irish breakfast)
Use the back of a spoon to crack the eggshells all over in a nice, crackly pattern. Place the cracked eggs in a single layer in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Add the salt, soy sauce, fennel seeds or star anise, and tea and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to the lowest possible setting and simmer very gently for 2 to 3 hours. Turn off the heat and let the eggs sit in the liquid at room temperature for 8 hours. Peel the eggs and serve at room temperature with small bowls of Gomashio for dipping. The cooked eggs can be stored, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap or in a ziploc bag, in the refrigerator for several days.