These are hard-boiled eggs, best eaten chilled, enjoying the subtle flavour of anise and the deep brown hues of black tea and soy. The cracked patterns from the broken shells make these quite attractive! Eggs symbolise fertility and this dish is made for Chinese New Year.
Most of the dishes served during Chinese New Year are symbolic of something positive and hopeful. Chicken and fish, for example, symbolise happiness and prosperity - especially when served whole. Dishes made with oranges represent wealth and good fortune because they are China's most plentiful fruit. Noodles represent longevity: therefore, they should never be cut! Duck symbolises fidelity, while eggs signify fertility.