Chinese Tea Eggs
Like every family gathering, no matter which country you live in, there is plenty of food. A typical dish, which uses tea in a unique way, are Chinese tea eggs. These are basically spiced hard boiled eggs. The combination and concentration of spices are unique to every family. So while I use one combination below, feel free to modify for your taste.
- 6 large eggs
- 4 tablespoons of Soy Sauce
- 1 tablespoon of Black or Puerh Tea (traditionally puerh is used)
- 1 small cinnamon stick
- 1/2 tablespoon anise seeds (3-4 Start Anise if you happen to have a good spice shop close by)
- 1 tablespoon dried orange peel
- 1/2 tablespoon peppercorns
You will need tongs, a bowl with ice and water to cool the eggs and a spoon to crack their shells.
Place the eggs in sauce pan or large pot. You will want the pot big enough to hold the eggs in a single layer and allow you to pour in enough water to cover the eggs entirely. Place the eggs in the pot and fill it with water. Bring the water to a boil and then lower to simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Remove the eggs from the water and put into the bowl with ice water. This will cool the eggs enough for you to handle them without burning yourself.
Assuming none of the eggs broke during the initial cooking, just leave the water in the pot as you will be putting the eggs back in it. If one did, drain out the water, it will be foamy, wipe out the pot and fill with fresh water. Pull an egg out of the ice water and use a spoon to crack the egg shell. You are trying to make a lot of small cracks without removing the shell. Don’t worry if you lose part of the shell, just crack the entire shell then place the egg back in the pot. Do this to the remaining eggs.
Once all the eggs are back in the pot, add in the soy sauce, tea and spices. Add more water if necessary to get the liquids above the eggs. Turn the heat back on and bring the water up to a small simmer and allow to cook for at least 2 hours, if you want a darker web on your eggs you can simmer up to 3 hours.
This makes a salted and slightly spicy hard-boiled egg that is also colored by the tea and soy sauce.
Want to explore more cooking with tea options? We have a full page devoted to some of our favorite tea recipes.