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Hi, I'm Jaden, a professional recipe developer, food columnist and food photographer specializing in fast, fresh and easy recipes for the home cook. Most of my recipes are modern Asian! About meFast, fresh & easy recipes for the home cook.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Chinese Marbled Tea Egg Recipe

Chinese Tea Egg Recipe

I know it’s a bit early to start thinking about Chinese New Year, but I wanted to start a week ahead and post several recipes that would make perfect dishes for the upcoming Chinese New Year, such as this Chinese Marbled Tea Egg recipe.

Isn’t the shell of the Tea Egg absolutely gorgeous? The best part (other than eating) is to peel back the egg shell to see what kind of marbled design you end up with!

We generally eat these at room temperature or just slightly warm. In Northern China, Chinese Tea Eggs symbolize golden nuggets for the Chinese New Year feast – so if you’re lookin’ for a little more prosperity this coming year of the Ox update: it’s the Year of the Tiger this year! my Mama says you’d better make this recipe!

My friend Diana, author of Appetite For China recently was vacationing here in Tampa, Florida and I got to meet her! (yeah – we got a pic together too! at the end of the post.) She includes dried orange peel in her recipe and I’m sure she’ll be enjoying Chinese Tea Eggs with her parents in China.

Chinese Tea Egg Recipe

For Chinese Marbled Tea Eggs, you’ll want to hard boil eggs first, and after they cool off, use a back of a teaspoon to gently crack the eggshell all over. Keep the eggshell intact, but the more you crack, the more intricate the design of the marble will be. Make those crack pretty deep, as that is how the tea/soy mixture will seep into the egg.

Chinese Tea Egg Chinese Tea Egg

I was gentle at first, but after seeing that the eggshell stayed intact, I cracked the next egg a bit harder…and what a difference that made!

Chinese Tea Egg Recipe

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Chinese Marbled Tea Egg Recipe

Servings: 6 eggs Prep Time: Cook Time:
chinese_tea_egg

Ingredients:

6 eggs
3/4 cup soy sauce
2 star anise
2 tablespoons black tea (or 2 tea bags)
1 cinnamon stick
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon Sichuan peppercorn (optional)
2 strips dried tangerine or mandarin orange peel (optional)

Directions:

Gently place the eggs in a medium pot and fill with water to cover the eggs by 1-inch. Bring the pot to a boil, lower the heat and let simmer for 3 minutes. Remove the eggs (leaving the water in the pot) and let cool under running cool water. Using the back of the teaspoon, gently tap the eggshell to crack the shell all over. The more you tap, the more intricate the design. Do this with a delicate hand to keep the shell intact. To the same pot with the boiling water, return the eggs and add in the remaining ingredients. Bring the mixture to a boil and immediately turn the heat to low. Simmer for 40 minutes, cover with lid and let eggs steep for a few hours to overnight. The longer you steep, the more flavorful and deeply marbled the tea eggs will be. In the photos above, I steeped for 5 hours. Mom likes to steep overnight.

And as I promised, here is the lovely Diana!

diana_jaden

Chinese New Year book for kids

If you want to teach your kids about Chinese New Year, this book called  Dragon Dance is great!



68 Responses to “Chinese Marbled Tea Egg Recipe”

  1. Caca — 1/13/12 @ 2:53 am

    you made wonderful marbled eggs.

  2. Calogero — 1/23/12 @ 12:04 pm

    Nice eggs!

  3. Leila — 1/30/12 @ 9:51 am

    There’s a little tea place by my house that sells these, and I absolutely needed to know how to make them. Turns out, like you’ve detailed here, I can easily recreate them in my kitchen (with a bit of time).
    Thank you so much for the comprehensive recipe! Now I make these all the time!
    http://cenabimus.blogspot.com/2011/10/chinese-tea-eggs.html

  4. Kati — 1/30/12 @ 11:21 pm

    tea eggs are so delicious!!!!! i dont eat the yolk because i think its yucky, but i could literally eat 50 million of them all at once. sooo gooood

  5. Holly — 2/6/12 @ 1:16 pm

    I tried making these eggs twice this past weekend and I just can’t figure out how to get the eggshell cracked enough to allow the soy mixture to seep in. Both times I *thought* it would be enough (my eggs looked just like yours in the second picture) and I allowed them to soak overnight. Only one looked right, the rest had barely anything. Any ideas on what I can do differently? As an aside, they did taste good. ;-)

    • SteamyKitchen — 2/6/12 @ 3:05 pm

      hmmmm…..that’s weird that one worked but the others didn’t! I’m stumped!

      • Mandy — 9/4/13 @ 10:24 am

        Add vinegar to the water you boil the eggs in but do the tea part in a fresh batch of water. The vinegar breaks down the membrane between the shell and egg.

  6. Ann Marie — 2/11/12 @ 5:38 pm

    Hi! These look wonderful and I would like to try them. I’m wondering, though, do you leave them to steep out in room temp or can you store them in the fridge?

  7. Gigi — 3/19/12 @ 6:42 pm

    Do you hard-boil the eggs and THEN heat them again and follow the steps? Or does this include hard-boiling the eggs?

  8. Miki — 5/12/12 @ 7:04 pm

    But doesn’t so much cooking or simmering make the yolks get really overcooked and greyish? The grey yolk tastes more bitter than a yellow yolk. How is the yolk supposed to look when you do it properly? thanks.

  9. Matt — 7/26/12 @ 10:18 pm

    I made these for my fiancee as she and I ate way too many while in Fujian last summer and had a bit of withdrawal. The recipe is simple and delicious, though we needed to let them sit an extra day (or cook a bit longer) to get the stronger taste we’re used to. She said they reminded her of her hometown so that’s always a good sign. Thanks!

  10. Anqi — 10/4/12 @ 7:31 pm

    Being chinese, I eat this ALL of the time, but I never bothered to learn how to make one! I always bought it from stores. Can’t wait to try actually making one!

  11. Big Mike — 10/30/12 @ 9:46 pm

    Remember to use only free range eggs! Torture-free, and better for you.

  12. shag66 — 2/10/13 @ 9:35 am

    Hi, I press down and roll them on the counter, it always works for me…I didn’t have luck with the spoon cracking method the first time I made them and I was making them for a large group so that takes too long. I hope that hint helps. Off to prepare our New Years Feast!

  13. Dave Alexander — 2/15/13 @ 1:47 am

    It’s not Soya that colours the egg, it is a mixture of strong tea (Cha)e.g Olong is pretty good but any Dark Tea will do,as for how to get the cracks, when you’ve boiled them for say 20 in ordinary water,cool them under a running tap (cold water)put them one at a time in your Palm, and gently with the back of a Teaspoon tap the shell all over several times, taking care so as not to break it too much and place them back in the Pan but this time with all the ingredients and boil for say an hour,take them out allow them to cool, and follow the rest of the Recipe.
    Have a G’day Day.

  14. Shona Patel — 5/20/13 @ 7:21 pm

    Hi Jaden,
    I hope you don’t mind me linking this article to my Teabuddy blog. Please check it out here.
    http://teabuddy.wordpress.com/2013/05/20/tea-eggs/
    I have credited Steamy Kitchen and added your URL for my followers to your recipe. If you have any objections please let me know and I will remove it immediately.
    Many thanks,
    Shona

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