melissa elsmo

Quarantine cuisine has become a bit of a game for me. How long can I go before I make a trip to the store? The longer I can wait the more successful I feel!

I opened my refrigerator and scanned its contents and reminded myself over-and-over, “use what you have.” I snagged several eggs and put them on to boil.  For a split second I thought I was going to whip up a few deviled eggs, but opted instead to steep them, Chinese-style, in an aggressively spiced mixture of tea and soy sauce. Not only are the tea and spiced steeped eggs flavorful they are quite beautifully marbled after a soak in their bath.

From there I grabbed some bacon. I crisped it up in a pan and cooked in a smattering of the tea-egg broth to bring some bold flavors to the bacon.  I decided to toss the chopped eggs and seasoned bacon on top of some steamed broccoli. To round the whole dish out I mixed up a quick sriracha-honey sauce to bring some heat to the plate.

The creation, based on my whims of the day, was totally delicious. The mixture would be lovely served over some brown rice, but I was happy to go without.  Spacing out trips to the grocery store can be truly delicious!

Broccoli with Bacon & Egg (Make 4 servings)


For the Bacon Crumble:

  • 6 strips of bacon, chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon of the reserved tea egg broth

For the Honey Sriracha Drizzle:

  • ½ Cup Mayonnaise
  • 1 Tablespoon Sriracha (more or less to taste)
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • Pinch of salt

For the Broccoli:

  • 3-4 broccoli crowns, cut into florets
  • Pinch of salt

To Serve:

  • 1 Cup reserved tea egg broth
  • Chopped tea and spice eggs (recipe follows)
  • Black sesame seeds and sliced scallions


To prepare the bacon crumble:  Season the bacon with the pepper and fry it over medium high heat until crispy and cooked through-about 8 minutes. Drain the grease from the pan, return to the heat and add the Tablespoon of reserved brine. Cook, stirring constantly, until the pan is dry (about 1 minute) and transfer the cooked bacon to a plate lined with paper towels until ready to serve.

To prepare the honey sriracha drizzle: Combine the mayonnaise, sriracha, honey, garlic and salt in a small bowl.  Mix well and set aside. Sauce can be mixed a day ahead and refrigerated until ready for use.

To prepare the broccoli: Fit a pan with a steamer and enough water to come up the sides of the pan, but remain below the steamer holes.  Bring the water to a boil, add the broccoli to steamer, cover and cook for 4 minutes or until florets are tender. Season with salt.

To Serve: Place ¼ Cup of reserved tea-egg broth in the bottom of each of 4 large bowls. Top the broth with the hot broccoli and drizzle each portion with ¼ of the honey sriracha sauce. Divide the bacon crumble evenly over each portion and top with chopped tea eggs, black sesame and scallions.

Tea and Spice Steeped Eggs


  • 4 eggs (plus water to cover)
  • 3 Cups water
  • ½ Cup soy sauce
  • 3 bags of black tea
  • 2 Star anise
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 ½ teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • ½ teaspoon chili flakes


Put the eggs in a pot and cover with water by 2” and bring to a boil. Boil the eggs for 8 minutes, drain and rinse under cold water until cool to the touch.  Crack the egg shells all over by gently tapping with the back of a spoon.  Place the crackled eggs (unpeeled) into a saucepan.  Cover the eggs with 3 cups of water and the soy sauce. Toss in the tea bags, anise, cloves, sugar, salt, cinnamon, cumin and chili flakes. Bring the mixture to a boil, cover, reduce heat to low and allow to simmer for about 30 minutes.  Uncover and allow the eggs to cool to room temperature in the broth. Eggs can be stored in their shells in the broth for up to 24 hours. Peel before eating or using in recipes and reserve the broth.

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