Chinese Tea Eggs

My husband loves Chinese Tea Eggs (茶叶蛋), so I thought I would try to make some. With Easter round the corner, it seemed quite appropriate to have one more use for eggs!

Tea eggs are basically hard boiled eggs stewed in a mixture of black tea, soya sauce and spices, and these hard boiled eggs have their shells cracked before marinating in the mixture so it creates lovely “cracks” and a marbled effect on the eggs when their shells are eventually peeled off. These have to be prepared in advance for the eggs to marinate and absorb the flavour, but preparation is so easy.

how to make Chinese Tea Eggs at home (茶叶蛋)

how to make Chinese Tea Eggs at home (茶叶蛋)

Recipe to make Chinese Tea Eggs (茶叶蛋)

Recipe adapted from Appetite for China – I changed some of the ingredients

Ingredients

  • 6 eggs
  • 2 tea bags of black tea (I did not have Pu-Er tea so I used Oolong tea leaves instead)
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 2 pieces star anise
  • 2 tbsp five-spice powder

Some of the other spices that may be used are cinammon sticks (may replace the five-spice powder), peppercorns and dried orange peel.

1. Make hard boiled eggs by boiling them for about 10 minutes. Drain off the hot water and set aside. Do not crack or peel the shells yet.

2. Add the rest of the ingredients into a pot and add some water. Tap the shell of each egg with the side of a spoon to create a crack, but take care not to peel off the shell. Do this around the whole egg to create cracks all around. The more cracks created, the better the eventual marbling effect. Add the cracked eggs into the soya-sauce mixture. (Picture 1 above). Bring to a boil and simmer for 40 minutes thereafter.

3. Let the eggs and soya-sauce mixture cool, and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight  for the eggs to continue marinating.

4. Warm up the eggs with some of the soya-sauce mixture on the stove before serving. (Picture 2 above).

5. When the eggs are cracked before consumption, it reveals the marbling effect (Picture 3 above).

These eggs may be kept in the soya-sauce mixture in the fridge for 2-3 days.

And I made a Easter bento for the kids (Z1 and Z2) using tea eggs prepared with quail eggs. Looks like eggs waiting to hatch in a nest (fried bee-hoon noodles).

Cute lunch bento for kids - Easter bento prepared using Chinese Tea Eggs to resemble eggs in a nest

Easter bento prepared using Chinese Tea Eggs to resemble eggs in a nest

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17 thoughts on “Chinese Tea Eggs

  1. What would the taste of these be like? Do the flavourings soak throughout the whole egg or just the surface? I’m thinking I might try these with the children next week- we’re studying China.

    • It is a savoury snack, the tea and soya sauce come together to give a wonderful aroma. A bit similar to the taste in Chinese braised meat. The flavouring goes into the egg itself, that’s why the shells have to be cracked for the flavours to seep in. The taste would be much stronger if you marinate it for at least 24 hours. Do post if you try this for your little ones!

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