Posted by: frecklesspeckles | July 4, 2008

Tea Eggs 茶葉蛋

Eggs with a flourish!  My absolute fave!  The aroma of the spices are heavenly… surely makes me feel like I’m back in Taiwan again.

Tea Eggs
Photo by JoeGray

6 eggs
4 cups cold water, divided
2 bags of oolong or red tea

1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon five-spice powder (this is the secret ingredient!)
3 tbsp soy sauce
1 tablespoon sesame seed oil
1 tbsp dry sherry, gin, vodka, or rice wine (optional)

1. Place eggs in saucepot and cover with 2 cups cold water. Bring water to slow boil. When water boils, reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes.

2. Turn off heat and let eggs cool in hot water for 30 minutes, then drain. Add cold water to cover and let sit for 10 minutes. DO NOT PEEL SHELLS! Tap eggs gently with back of small knife so that the entire shell cracks in a fine pattern. Return eggs with cracked shells to saucepot. Add 2 cups cold water to cover.

3. Mix seasoning ingredients together in cup or small bowl. Add to eggs in saucepot, together with tea bags. Bring to boil over high heat. Reduce heat, cover, and let eggs simmer for 1 hour. Let eggs sit, covered, in saucepot at room temperature until cooled, about 3-4 hours or overnight. Transfer eggs and sauce to covered container and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before peeling.

4. Peel shells carefully. The white will be laced with dark marbelized lines.

5. Cut eggs in halves or quarters to serve.

The recipe can easily be doubled. Tea eggs can be made ahead of time and stored in a covered container in the refrigerator for at least a week.

source: The 15-minute Chinese Gourmet by Elizabeth Chiu King



  1. That makes for a really pretty picture. I love how the cracks helped make such a unique pattern.

  2. ooo! i haven’t had these in ages. so this is how they are made pala 😉

  3. Love the recipe for Tea Eggs, I think I will give this one a try.

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