Chinese Tea Eggs

Chinese Tea Eggs

I’m not a big fan of eating hard boiled eggs, but these Chinese marbled eggs look so beautiful that at least once a year I can’t resist making them. And what better time for that than Easter? I have to warn you though, they don’t taste as spectacular as they look. They mainly taste like… hard boiled eggs!  

Don’t use superfresh eggs, their membranes are so thick the marinade won’t penetrate easily, so the marble-effect can be very disappointing. I’ve tried quaileggs because of their nice snack-size. Great fingerfood, but it was hell peeling them.


Boil about 6 eggs for just 8 minutes or so. Rinse with cold water. Roll them on your worktop so the shell will crack. Or use a spoon and gently hit it all around. But don’t be too gentle. I’ve learned my lesson and also use my nails to lift some bits of shell here and there.

Boil water in a pan (enough to boil in the eggs later) and add:
1 or 2 bags of earl grey tea

I prefer removing the teabags after I think it has infused enough because I’m afraid the taste will get too strong/bitter. But I’m probably the only one in the world doing that.
Anyway, to this tea/liquid add:
7 T light soy sauce
4 T shaoxing rice wine
4 staranise
1 T sugar
1 stick cinnamon
3 slices of ginger
1 piece of mandarin peel
1 T sichuanpeppercorns

Bring to the boil, add back the crackled eggs and simmer for 1 – 2 hours. Take it off the heat. Let it cool down. Keep marinating in the liquid in your refrigerator overnight. Peel and serve as appetizer. Or, if like me, you actually don’t really like hard boiled eggs, mix the yolks with some mayonaise, add the cubed eggwhites back and serve on toast.

NB. Dit recept kun je ook in het Nederlands lezen op:

Making Chinese Tea Eggs

About Robin

I love to cook. Check out my dutch website:
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13 Responses to Chinese Tea Eggs

  1. Yvon says:

    Heej dit is ook wel leuk voor Pasen, maar ik twijfel omdat je zegt dat het ‘gewoon’ naar hardgekookte eieren smaakt. In elk geval al beter dan die eeuwige gevulde eieren (maar hoe overtuig ik meneer matisse daarvan). De gemarineerde die ik ergens op mijn blog heb staan, hebben wel heel sterk de marinadesmaak (viel zwart-wit in de smaak: of wel écht heel lekker of nee niks, veel te zuur).

  2. Yvon says:

    Ohja, inderdaad een geinig klusje om ze te pellen pfff

  3. Robin says:

    Deze kun je uiteindelijk dus ook gewoon vullen hoor. Kan je misschien zelfs de blitz mee maken bij je gevulde-eierfamilie. ;)

  4. PauL says:

    Goh… je sprekt eens Nederlands hier :D
    Ziet er leuk uit… die eieren!

  5. Robin says:

    Ze zien er ook leuker uit dan dat ze smaken. :-) Misschien eens proberen ze sous vide klaar te maken? Dat het eigeel nog zacht is. Ojee, weer een nieuw projectje.

  6. PauL says:

    Okay… het is dus niet de moeite om ze t e maken .

  7. Robin says:

    Nou, dat is wel heel cru gesteld. Zo’n moeite is het niet en ze zien er toch prachtig uit? En een eiersalade is toch net even lekkerder met deze eitjes dan met gewone.

  8. page says:

    omg i love these!!!
    my mom always makes these.. :)
    theyre delicious :)
    i love your blog btw! :)

  9. Robin says:

    Thank you, page. :-)

  10. crunchynutty says:

    I’m surprised to see your comment that the result is disappointing, because I know as a fact that these tea eggs are absolutely delicious to eat. After reading your recipe, I think I know why. Firstly, the cooking liquid needs to be quite salty, over-seasoned in fact. I always use light soy sauce and salt for saltiness, and a bit of dark soy sauce for colour. Secondly, try to prick the eggs all over with a toothpick, stab into the eggwhite. I make these all the time, and just made a pot yesterday. I only let it simmer for 5 min, turned the heat off and re-heated today. They are as nice as ever. BTW,Shaoxing wine and ginger is not necessary. They won’t do harm to the dish but just not needed. The Chinese only tend to use ginger, spring onion and Shaoxing wine for meat and fish dishes, mainly to get rid of the unpleasant “bloody” or “fishy” taste. Back at my hometown, most people don’t even bother with the other spices but star anise. I do hope you give them a go again :)

  11. crunchynutty says:

    BTW,personally I find 4 star anise too much and 1 tbsp sugar not enough. Star anise, combined with other spices, tea (I assume you are using new tea bags that hasn’t been brewed?) and salt can result in bitter taste. I usually make 12 eggs and only use 1 star anise with a generous amount of sugar. Sugar balances the flavour and lifts the savouriness. :)

  12. Robin says:

    Thank you for your comments, Crunchynutty. I’m not sure I will ever become a big fan of tea eggs, but I sure will try them again using your suggestion. I’m just not sure about the reheating though. You eat them warm?

    (I know I over do it on the staranise, it’s just that I love staranise so much. I don’t think it made the broth bitter)

  13. crunchynutty says:

    Hi Robin, yes, they are generally eaten warm. They used to be one of the common street foods in China. Vendors would set up a little stove, with a big pot of these eggs stewing away. Of course you can have them cold, too. :)

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