Chinese tea eggs are traditionally served during Chinese New Year celebrations. It is easy to make. Simply prepare some boiled eggs and steep them in tea marinade. After a few hours, you can enjoy the flavorful and tasty eggs for tea time.
- 6 eggs
- 1 liter water
- 2 tea bags (such as black tea bags)
- 1½ Tbsp Tieguanyin (鐵觀音茶葉 or any other Chinese tea), or to taste
- 1/4 dried mandarin peel
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 star anise
- 3 Tbsp light soy sauce
- 1 tsp dark soy sauce
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 1 Tsp salt
- To prepare boiled eggs: cover the eggs in a pot with water, about 2.5cm / 1 inch above the surface of the eggs. Turn on the stove heat to high and bring it to boil with a lid on. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 1 minute. (Remark: Don’t use high heat because you don’t want your eggs crack in rigorously boiling water at this stage.) Remove from the heat with lid on. Use the residue heat to cook the egg for 10 minutes.
- Drain out the eggs. Immediately soak in cold water until cold to touch. Gently tap the egg shells with the back of a teaspoon and crack the shells. Use a needle to poke several times around each egg in order to help marinade penetrate inside.
- While waiting the boiled eggs to cool down, put the remaining ingredients and water in a pot and cook over medium-high heat.
- Carefully place the cracked eggs in the pot and bring it to a boil. Immediately reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 15 minutes. Remove the tea bags. Cover and continue to cook for another 5 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat with lid on. Let the eggs soak in the tea mixture for about 4 hours, or until the eggs take up enough flavor. You can take out one egg and taste to see if you’re satisfied. Before serving, gently reheat the eggs with the tea mixture.
- It’s better to soak the dried mandarin peel and remove the inner layer with a knife before cooking with other ingredients (see the above picture shown).
- The dark soy sauce is to help darken the egg shells. You might adjust the amount according to your liking.
- You might like to use any tea you like. Beware that every kind of tea has its unique flavor, color and smell.
- By soaking eggs in tea mixture, the eggs won’t turn too hard. If the weather is too hot, you might transfer the eggs with tea mixture in fridge with cover. When you need them, simply reheat the eggs with mixture before serving.
- The soaking time can be adjusted according to your personal preference.
The eggs take time to soak up the flavors. Thus, by poking the eggs a few holes with a needle can help the marinade get through inside quickly.
- If you’re satisfied with the taste and saltiness of your eggs, drain them out, or they will turn too salty. The leftovers can be kept in a container with cover for a few days in fridge.