Neil Perry's tea eggs and sang choy bao

Tea eggs and sang choy bao.
Tea eggs and sang choy bao. Photo: William Meppem

I serve the tea eggs with Asian pickles and both dishes with steamed rice. The stir-fry is delicious spooned over rice, so you don't need the lettuce wrap. The meat can be all pork, quail or chicken mince, just don't overcook it as it's much leaner.

Ingredients

FOR THE TEA EGGS

6 free-range eggs

3 tbsp black tea leaves

2 cassia bark sticks

3 whole star anise

5 tbsp dark soy sauce

½ tsp sea salt

FOR THE SANG CHOY BAO

6 dried shiitake mushrooms

1 dried Chinese sausage (lup cheong)

1 iceberg lettuce

2 tbsp peanut oil

4 skinless quail breasts (about 220g), minced

150g pork belly, minced

8 water chestnuts, chopped

2 shallots, finely sliced

1/3 cup shaoxing

1/4 cup fresh chicken stock

2 tbsp light soy sauce

1/4 cup oyster sauce

pinch of salt

freshly ground black pepper

Method

TO MAKE THE TEA EGGS

 1. Place the eggs in a small pot, cover with water and bring to the boil. Simmer for 10 minutes, then drain and plunge into iced water. Tap the eggs gently with a spoon to cover all over with small cracks.

2. Pour fresh water into the pot, then add tea, cassia bark, star anise, soy sauce and salt. Simmer gently for 2 minutes, then return eggs to the pot and simmer for 1 hour. Remove from heat and leave eggs in the stock until cool.

3. Take the eggs out of the stock, remove the shells and serve in a simple bowl.

TO MAKE THE SANG CHOY BAO

1. Soak the mushrooms in warm water for 30 minutes, then drain and chop finely, discarding stems. While the mushrooms are soaking, steam the sausage for 10 minutes, then chop finely. Wash and drain the lettuce, then separate the leaves and trim to form small cups.

2. Heat the peanut oil in a wok over high heat until it is just smoking. Stir-fry the quail and pork quickly until the meat begins to brown (1-2 minutes). Add the mushrooms, sausage, water chestnuts and shallots and stir-fry over moderately high heat to combine the flavours (30 seconds). Add shaoxing, chicken stock, soy sauce and oyster sauce, and combine well. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cook until the sauce reduces and thickens slightly (about 5 minutes).

3. To serve, pile the meat into a bowl accompanied by crisp lettuce leaves.