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the season of so much awesome

Recipe: chinese tea eggs

If I go without enough sleep for several days in a row, I start to get a little stabby. But I have been pretty chipper despite my paltry sleep hours of late, because the days have been filled with The Crush of Awesome. Here’s a visual sampler:

our monsoons have begun!

we had my parents and close family friends up for dinner

enjoying the evening on the deck

dramatic sunset clouds

fireweed and monkshood blooming in the mountains

hiking the rockies

cute little pika taking a peek at us

jeremy on the continental divide (aka “another great morning in paradise”)

a stroll around a local lake

kaweah still loves her walkie

My problem is that no matter what time I go to bed, I almost always wake up with the sun. That’s somewhat problematic considering it is summer. I also suffer from the general problem of being both a night-owl and an early bird which translates into cranky pants. All this to say – it’s gonna be a quick post… on Chinese tea eggs!

gather some eggs, ginger, green onion, soy sauce, star anise, chinese five spice, black tea

hard boil the eggs

Chinese tea eggs or marble eggs have a more delicate flavor than Chinese soy sauce eggs. I love both, but the tea eggs are just so pretty. Crack the shells after hard-boiling the eggs. You can do this by tapping the eggs on a counter or work surface, or by smacking the back of a spoon or the flat of a heavy knife on the shell. Then simmer them in the heady black tea mixture to create the beautiful eggshell pattern.

cover the eggs with cracks

place the eggs, spices, tea, and water in a saucepan

simmer for an hour

Let the eggs cool in the tea. The longer they sit in the liquid, the more pronounced the eggshell pattern should be. When the eggs are cool, drain them and gently peel the shells off. They should reveal a delicate marbled effect from the tea on the egg itself. You can serve them whole or serve them sliced. I tend to prefer serving them whole, otherwise the lovely pattern winds up on the bottom. You can serve them as part of a cold plate appetizer, in a noodle soup, with breakfast, on congee, or straight up.

peel the eggs to reveal the eggshell pattern

it might be fun to let people peel their own


Chinese Tea Eggs (Marble Eggs)
[print recipe]
from Chef Chu’s Distinctive Cuisine of China

8 eggs
2 quarts cold water
3 tbsps loose black tea (or 3 tea bags)
3 tbsps soy sauce
2 tsps Chinese five spice
2 whole star anise
1 stalk green onion, tied in a knot
1 thumb-size slice of ginger

Place the eggs in a medium saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring the water to a boil over high heat, then reduce to a simmer for 15 minutes. Drain off the hot water and rinse the eggs in cold water. When the eggs are cooled, crack the shells all around on a hard surface (counter top or use the flat of a heavy knife), but leave the shells on the eggs. Place the eggs back in the medium saucepan with the 2 quarts of cold water, black tea, soy sauce, Chinese five spice, star anise, green onion, and ginger. Bring the contents to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Let the eggs simmer for an hour. Remove the pan from the heat and let the eggs cool completely in the liquid. Peel the shells from the eggs and serve whole or sliced. Makes 8 eggs.

34 nibbles at “the season of so much awesome”

  1. Mary says:

    Nice pictures! Love tea eggs, look so pretty and tasty too :-)

  2. yumgoggle says:

    Your pictures are breathtaking…I love every click! And this Chinese tea eggs recipe is amazing. Every hard boiled egg is so uniquely detailed.

  3. Lynn says:

    I barely reached the egg recipe, I was so captivated by the photo of the tree trunk in ‘a stroll around the lake’. You are an incredible photographer!

  4. Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) says:

    I, too, am both a night owl and an early bird. And I’m a champion afternoon napper! I’ve only tried to make tea eggs once, and they were not a success. Thanks for sharing your recipe.

  5. Debbie says:

    Such lovely pictures….I always look forward to your pics! I am an early riser too….no matter what time I go to bed!

  6. Fang says:

    My parents would peel the eggs and cut a few slits into the egg whites before boiling in the tea-soy mixture for a stronger taste. I used to take these on school trips in China and was the envy of the class!!

  7. Diane, A Broad says:

    How interesting! I’ve always wondered how to get those lovely crack patterns on the eggs.

  8. Katherine says:

    Tea eggs are so delish! I always love looking through your recipes!!

  9. Ruth says:

    I’m always happy to see photos of Kaweah. Especially when she looks so healthy!

  10. Jill says:

    I’m thinking TPH would love these. Looking good in the mts…Kaweah has such a sweet mug.

  11. Shut Up & Cook says:

    Have never heard of doing them like this, but am definitely eager to try now!

  12. Allison says:

    Your tea eggs look beautiful! And I love the idea of adding fresh ginger. I hope to try this recipe soon.

  13. Andrew | the fatty chalupa says:

    After following your blog for the past 4 or 5 years, I have to say I’m extremely glad to see Kaweah healthy and active again :).

  14. kellypea says:

    We just got back from the Olympic peninsula and your photos of being in the gorgeous outdoors have me wishing I was hugging a tree right now instead of being up BEFORE the sun. I will definitely be cranky later today : /

    The eggs are something I’ve always admired and have never tried. Gotta!

    Happy monsoons to you ;)

  15. mabel says:

    tea eggs! i’ve only ever made them from the tea egg spice bags u find in supermarkets, dropping everything into a rice cooker to boil to brown oblivion. tea eggs are wonderful, eat them with a little dribble of soy sauce…..(dribble)
    thanks for this post!! absolutely have to make them now

    n how did u manage to spot the pika???!

  16. Lisa says:

    It’s good to take them with you when you travel. I like to take them on airplane b/c it is easy to carry them in a ziplock bag. It is good for snack or a little something between meals. I also add a little sugar to the liquid.

  17. Mrs Ergül says:

    My mum wakes up before the sun gets up regardless of the time she goes to bed. I feel bad for her every time she sleeps late because quality and sufficient sleep is so important!

    When the stalls sell tea eggs, you could smell it from a mile away! Your house must have smelled wonderful!

    On an entirely different topic, I’m so happy to see the stained rim of your pot. For the longest time, I thought I’m the only one who doesn’t scrub it down.

  18. jenyu says:

    Mary – they are pretty, aren’t they? :)

    yumgoggle – thank you :)

    Lynn – awww, thanks! That was an iphone shot.

    Lydia – I should do more afternoon naps like you! Try the eggs again, they’re so lovely when they turn out (I’ve had my fair share of recipes not turning out!!)

    Debbie – thank you xo

    Fang – Mmmm, sounds great. I like the stronger tastes too.

    Diane – :)

    Katherine – so sweet of you!

    Ruth – she’s healthy, but definitely getting on in her years. Glad her goofy self can brighten your day :)

    Jill – I just sent him some jams to bring home to you!

    Shut Up & Cook – they’re good!

    Allison – thanks!

    Andrew – awww, thanks for that. I don’t know how much longer she has, but she sure is a happy girl.

    kellypea – you’re a riot. I say we put in place mandatory naps for everyone! xoxo

    mabel – this was the first time I made them myself :) The pika move quickly and are timid, but every now and again they stand still for just a second!

    Lisa – definitely a great snack.

    Mrs. Ergül – it did smell lovely. I scrub the pots down periodically, but some of the stains just don’t come out – ugh!

  19. Melissa says:

    All I need to say to you about your entire blog is that its breathtaking. Simply stunning. Wow. Very inspirational. ;D

  20. jenyu says:

    Melissa – so sweet of you, thank you! xo

  21. Nourishtea Blog » Chinese Tea Eggs says:

    […] Source. Comments commentsPowered by Facebook Comments Tags: black tea, Chinese New Year, Duke of Earl, earl grey, lunar new year, Recipe, tea eggs Tweet Previous Article Comments commentsPowered by Facebook Comments Recent Posts […]

  22. Tori says:

    Looks like you got hotlinked on Buzzfeed for this recipe

  23. jenyu says:

    Tori – thanks!

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  25. Bryan says:

    I really want to try this recipe! Do the tea eggs get very tough with all the boiling? I enjoy the blog and pictures so very much!

  26. jenyu says:

    Bryan – not any tougher than a hard boiled egg. They’re quite good! :)

  27. Sandra Mort says:

    I wonder how these would be with goose eggs!

  28. Cathy Jo says:

    Look yummy! I would like to try making these using lapsang souchong. Any thoughts on that? It’s one of my fave teas! Can’t wait to give these a try! Thanks for your help!

  29. jenyu says:

    Cathy Jo – I’ve never tried it before, but it sounds like it would be good.

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  33. Ali says:

    these look so fun to make

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