Chinese Tea Eggs [茶叶蛋], also known as marble eggs, have been one of my favorite snacks since the ’80s.
When I was very young, I strolled past a Chinese tea establishment for the first time in my hometown, and the aroma of five spices immediately drew me in. I’ve been a fan of Chinese tea ever since.
The appearance of the tea eggs definitely startled me when I entered the store. The cracked shell and marbled pattern of the egg were mesmerizing, and the first bit I tasted was just amazing.
Now, Chinese tea eggs are a common snack that we can find in most Chinese-populated areas and even in shopping complexes. You don’t have to find it, just smell it, and you will know which shop or stall is selling it.
Cooking tea eggs isn’t difficult if you can get the spices. Most Asian shops should have them.
If you love easy Chinese cooking, this is probably the best book you should buy, Easy Chinese Recipes: Family Favorites From Dim Sum to Kung Pao. It is not merely a recipe book that provides recipes.
This 144 pages recipe book is full of bountiful photos and awesome information from utensils, ingredients, tips & tricks to basic cooking methods. You will never get lost halfway through cooking the recipes from this book, authored by Bee Yinn Low, who owns a popular website Rasa Malaysia: Easy Asian Recipes.
After flipping through the book over and over again, I decided to cook these tea eggs because it seemed so easy and simple to follow.
The most important thing is that I wanted to try out if I can get the same authentic tea eggs to taste ever savored in my taste bud. This recipe didn’t fail me and I will cook more for my family with this recipe book.
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How To Make Tea Eggs
Recipe from: Easy Chinese Recipes: Family Favorites From Dim Sum to Kung Pao
Makes: 12 eggs or serve 6 as a snack
4 cups (1 liter) water
12 large eggs
4 cups (1 liter) water ( I used 5 cups since I simmered the eggs for overnight)
3 heaping tablespoons Chinese puer tea leaf or black tea (I used Tie Guan Yin tea leaf 鐵觀音)
1 cinnamon stick
6 tablespoon soy sauce
3 teaspoons dark soy sauce
1 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
- Add 4 cups (1 liter) of water to a pot and gently drop in the eggs. Make sure the water covers the eggs. Bring the water to a boil over high heat. Boil until the eggs are cooked, about 10 minutes.
- Remove the hard-boiled eggs from the boiling water and rinse them with cold running water. Using the back of a teaspoon, gently tap the eggshell to crack the shell. Discard the water in the pot.
- To make the Tea Mixture, heat the water in a pot and bring it to a boil. Add the rest of the ingredients and return to a boil.
- Transfer the eggs to the pot and boil the eggs with the Tea Mixture for 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to low. Simmer the eggs for at least 2 hours. (I placed my them in a slow cooker and simmered them overnight.)
- Serve the eggs immediately or leave them in the Tea Mixture overnight to further develop the color and flavor. Tea Leaf Eggs are best served the next day.