A Bite Inspired by… Easter Egg Hunts:
One of my fondest childhood memories is winning the Easter egg hunt in my neighborhood and taking home a gigantic Easter basket as a prize. To celebrate my “victory”, my mom made me a delicious breakfast of Taiwanese-Style Soy Sauce Eggs with Carrots. This is a dish that I now make for myself on a regular basis. It has an indescribably delicious umami flavor that you have to taste to believe. Plus, it uses gluten-free soy sauce for a completely gluten-free dish! We can’t all be the winner of the Easter egg hunt, but this delicious breakfast will definitely make you feel like a winner anytime!
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YOU’RE THE WINNER!!! How much do you love hearing those words? If you’ve ever won a prize before in a raffle, a contest, a giveaway, or all of the above (if you’ve won all three of those you’re seriously the luckiest person alive—tell me your secrets!) then you know what it feels like to win. You’re familiar with that thrill you get when they call out your name. You feel like you just… well, won the lottery, as the saying goes. There’s nothing in the world like winning a prize. You’re on top of the world! It doesn’t matter if it’s a pencil, a goldfish, or a car. YOU WON! And even if the prize is really lame, it feels like your most valuable possession because you won it and that’s special. It’s a feeling you never, ever forget.
I first experienced the remarkable feeling of winning at a neighborhood Easter egg hunt when I was 7 years old. This Easter egg hunt was a bit different from others you may have been to. Instead of hiding the eggs in little nooks and crannies for the kids to find, they just dumped them all out in a small, square of grass next to a parking lot and we had to make a mad grab for them. A bit lazy on their part, huh? Actually, no. The hunt was awesome! I ran around grabbing pretty pink, blue, and purple eggs and throwing them into my basket like a girl on a mission.
After all the eggs were picked up, they asked us to open up each one and look for a piece of paper that says “winner” on it. I carefully opened up each egg, letting the colorful jelly beans inside fall to the bottom of my basket, until a yellow post-it caught my eye. Yes—a post-it. Okay, so maybe they were a bit lazy. I turned to my parents, wide-eyed, and they confirmed it. That tiny scribble on the post-it did, indeed, read “WINNER”.
I’ll never forget that day. The prize was the most amazing, gigantic Easter basket you’ve ever seen filled with Easter coloring books, an egg decorating kit, and, to top it all off, a giant chocolate bunny bigger than my face. I was so happy that I skipped all the way home.
To celebrate, my mom made me a special “Winner of the Easter Egg Hunt” breakfast aka Taiwanese-Style Soy Sauce Eggs with Carrots. This breakfast couldn’t have been a more fitting celebration of an Easter egg hunt. I mean, it has both eggs AND carrots—two foods typically associated with Easter. Well, associated with the Easter Bunny, at least. The Easter Bunny was my main concern as a kid anyway.
My mom’s Taiwanese-Style Soy Sauce Eggs with Carrots dish is so good, it would have made me feel like a winner either way. It’ll make you feel like one too! My mom’s side of the family is Taiwanese, so this is another old, family recipe that just gets better with time (for another family recipe, check out my Taiwanese-Style Chicken Curry). Hard-boiled eggs and carrots are cooked in a delicious sauce until all the amazing flavors are infused. The sauce dyes the eggs a lovely golden brown color, which is incredibly fitting for Easter! Dyed eggs that you can actually eat?? Yes!
The sauce my mom makes is out of this world! I’ve never tasted anything else quite like it. It’s a little sweet and a little salty with a ton of umami! This incredibly flavorful dish is perfect for breakfast or a snack! It can even be served as a meal with some rice on the side. The rice is a fabulous accompaniment because you can top it with all that delicious sauce from the carrots and eggs. SO. MUCH. FLAVOR. You have to taste it to believe it.
As you may know from previous posts, my mom is gluten-free, so this dish is, of course, gluten-free. Since soy sauce typically contains gluten, my mom uses gluten-free soy sauce for this dish, which she says actually has BETTER flavor than regular soy sauce because it doesn’t have wheat as a filler. Who would have known? Amazing!
So, how do you get that thrill of winning the Easter egg hunt without ever leaving your home? You guessed it. Taiwanese-Style Soy Sauce Eggs with Carrots. The perfect, winning dish for any occasion!
- 6 hardboiled eggs, peeled
- 3 large carrots, cut in 2 inch pieces
- ⅓ cup gluten-free soy sauce
- ¼ cup dried shiitake mushrooms
- 2 teaspoons Chinese 5 Spice
- 2 garlic cloves, sliced thinly
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon cooking oil
- Pinch of crushed red pepper (optional)
- 1 (1-inch) piece of kombu (optional)
- Hot steamed rice, for serving (optional)
- Put shiitake mushrooms in a small bowl. Cover with cold water. Soak for 15-20 minutes until soft.
- Put hardboiled eggs in a saucepan. Add Chinese 5 Spice, sugar, and cooking oil. Stir carefully until eggs are well coated.
- Add shiitake mushrooms, garlic, crushed red pepper, and kombu (if using) to the pot.
- Add soy sauce to the pot and then add enough water to completely cover the eggs.
- Bring the pot to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to low. Cover with a tight lid.
- While eggs are cooking, steam the carrots in a separate pot until soft. Set aside.
- Cook eggs over very low heat for 30 minutes. Add the cooked carrots. Cover the pot and cook on low for 10 minutes more. Remove from heat. If you used the kombu seawood, remove the seaweed with a spoon and discard. Enjoy!
Using the kombu seaweed in this dish is completely optional, but adds an amazing, extra depth of flavor. You won't taste any seaweed and the kombu is removed before serving, but it leaves behind a little extra umami.
Serve the eggs and carrots over rice, if desired, for a more complete meal. Add plenty of sauce to the rice for amazing flavor!
Please note, the color of the eggs can vary slightly depending on how dark your soy sauce is. If you want the eggs to be darker, feel free to let them sit in the sauce for a bit longer after they're done cooking.
Make sure you add enough water to completely cover the eggs in liquid, use a tight-fitting lid, and turn the stove to the lowest setting when cooking the eggs. This will ensure that they don't dry out.