Chinese tea eggs are popular street snacks with a savory taste. These hard-boiled eggs are steeped in tea, spices and soy sauce for hours.
Before you steep the eggs, you have to crack their shells. Tap them lightly with a spoon. This gets the flavor in. It makes pretty marble patterns on the eggs, too!
My parents don’t make them, so I tried several recipes online. This one from steamykitchen.com tastes closest to what I remember eating back in the days.
How to Make Chinese Tea Eggs
Put eggs in pot of water, then bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
Remove eggs. Rinse them in cold water.
Tap eggs all over with spoons. Make your egg patterns prettier by tapping more!
Just don’t dent the shell, or the egg will have a big blotch. Not pretty.
Return eggs to pot. Add remaining ingredients, then boil water again. Lower heat and simmer for half an hour.
Remove pot from heat. Leave in refrigerator overnight. When you’re ready to eat, remove the shells. Enjoy!
Ingredients cost $5.48. Here’s a breakdown of my shopping bill:
- Dozen organic eggs: $4.49 on sale (was $4.99)
- Star anise, 5 oz. bag: 99¢
- Tea bags: free
- Sugar: free
I had leftover Lipton tea bags from my work cafeteria. And Starbucks doesn’t charge customers for sugar packets (at least not yet).
- In Cantonese, tea eggs are called cha yip dan, or 茶葉蛋 (“Tea Leaf Eggs.”)
- If you order Chinese takeouts, save the soy sauce packets. They’ll come in handy. (I used 27 packets for this recipe.)