Braised food

The ingredient that makes Lu Dan Braised Eggs unique

Without further ado, the ingredient that makes Lu Dan Braised Eggs unique is soy sauce. The soy sauce broth that turns hard-boiled eggs into Lu Dan isn’t usually used for eggs at all, Cooks Illustrated explains. Broth is used for a dish called “lu wei”, which usually consists of marinated braised pork, kelp or tofu, but it provides a salty, umami flavor that takes hard-boiled eggs to the next level. Also, Lu Dan varies depending on where you eat it. In northern Taiwan, it is customary for eggs to be prepared with spices, but in southern Taiwan, you won’t find a lot of spices in your Lu Dan. Common simmering spices include cinnamon sticks, star anise, cloves, bay leaves, orange zest, chili peppers, and Szechuan peppercorns, by Simply Recipes.

This dish is so delicious that many different Asian cultures have their own soy sauce egg variations. In Japan, soy sauce eggs (aka “shoyu tamago”) are a popular snack, via The Spruce Eats. As with Lu Dan, in shoyu tamago, hard-boiled eggs are simply peeled and dipped in soy sauce. In Korean Soy Sauce Eggs, the eggs are infused with dried anchovies, garlic, onion, scallions, and sesame oil (via Simply Recipes). There’s even a variation called “tea eggs,” according to The New York Times, which are aptly boiled eggs that are semi-peeled and dipped in soy sauce and tea.