Chinese Tea Leaf Eggs (茶叶蛋) are a delicious and healthy snack made simply from boiled eggs soaked in tea. These fragrant, and flavorful eggs are sold at convenience stores, and night markets across Asia. Although this recipe originated in China, you can find variations throughout Asia, as well as in Taiwan, and Indonesia. Tea Leaf Eggs are also sometimes known as “Marble Eggs” because the pre-boiled eggs’ shells are cracked, and then soaked in a dark tea mixture. This creates a marbling effect on the eggs, which is quite lovely.
For those who have lived, or vacationed in China, the Chinese Tea Leaf Eggs is a must-have. They make for a savory treat, or nighttime snack with beer. Many convenience store chains like 7-11 sell tea leaf eggs at the counter, and make them fresh daily. So, if you’re craving a Chinese tea leaf egg, we’ve got an easy recipe that will take you back to the tastes of China in no time flat.
Chinese Tea Leaf Eggs Recipe
- 12 eggs
- 2 liters of water
- 4 black tea bags
- 1/2 dried mandarin peel
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 4 star anise
- 6 Tbsp light soy sauce
- 2 tsp dark soy sauce
- 2 Tbsp sugar
- 2 Tsp salt
1. Boil the eggs on low heat for about 10 minutes
2. Rinse the eggs in cold water, and then tap the shells with a spoon, or on the kitchen counter. However, do not remove the shells. Simply leave them on, but a bit cracked.
3. Boil all your ingredients for about 3 hours, and then remove from heat and place in a crock pot. Add in the eggs, and allow them to steep for 8 hours.
4. Enjoy your tea eggs! If you’re happy with the flavor of the eggs, then repeat this recipe as needed. However, you can also feel free to tweak the recipe for saltiness, and sweetness based on your own personal preferences to truly make these delicious Chinese tea eggs your own!
There are many variations on the plain Chinese tea leaf egg. You can use these tea eggs to make deviled eggs, and add a little scoop of something special inside a split egg. For example, mix the yolks with some mayonnaise for deviled eggs, or get adventurous and add in some tuna, or chicken salad.