Chinese Tea Eggs are some of the best things I’ve eaten in my life. They’re hard boiled eggs steeped in soy sauce, tea, and spices. The combination of these seasonings gives the eggs this really earthy flavor and aroma that reminds me of fall. The best thing about these eggs is that there are so many ways to eat them. You can put them in a bowl of ramen or pair it with some rice. Or just eat them by themselves as a snack.
Eggs – I use large white eggs for this recipe because I love seeing how soy sauce coats the outer white shell, but you can use large brown eggs as well.
Spices – Star Anise, Coriander Seeds, and Cinnamon sticks. I wanted to use spices that gave me the same flavor profile as pho spices. Other spices you can use are fennel seeds, mustard seeds, or cloves.
Earl Grey Tea – Typically, black teas are used for these tea eggs, but you can also use red teas. Earl Grey is my favorite black tea because it has great flavor and can be found anywhere. You can also use oolong, jasmine, or chrysanthemum teas.
Soy Sauce – I use Kikkoman soy sauce for these tea eggs. I used regular soy sauce, but it should work with dark soy sauce as well.
Water – Room temperature water should work for this recipe. The water is used to temper down the extremely salty taste of the soy sauce.
Sugar – You can use white sugar, brown sugar, or raw sugar. I used white sugar for this recipe.
Sesame Oil – The sesame oil is used to add a little extra flavor to the liquid. If you can’t find sesame oil, it can be left out of the recipe.
Making Chinese Tea Eggs
These tea eggs are so so easy to make. First add all of the ingredients except the eggs into a sauce pan. Heat for 2-3 minutes until the liquid starts to simmer a little bit. Remove it from the heat and let it stand for 10 minutes, so all the flavors get to know each other a little bit. Crack the boiled eggs on the outside but DO NOT remove the shells. Not removing the shells creates the pretty brown pattern on the outside. Add the boiled eggs to the pan and let steep for 4 hours or overnight.
How to make hard boiled eggs
I feel like I always need a refresher when I boil eggs since I don’t do it as often as I would like. Here’s how I do it.
- Add all the eggs to a pan and cover it with water until it reaches an inch above the eggs.
- Turn the heat on high and bring the water to a boil.
- Once boiling, set your timer for 7 minutes.
- After 7 minutes have passed, scoop your eggs from the pan and submerge them in cold water to stop the cooking.
How long should you steep tea eggs
I steeped these eggs overnight (~24 hours) to get a fuller, deeper flavor. I would highly recommend steeping these eggs overnight. If you don’t have time to steep them this long, I would recommend a steeping time of at least 4 hours. I tested this recipe a few times, and when I steeped them for only 1-2 hours, the flavor did not soak into the eggs very well.
Using the right container
You’re probably thinking “How is this important?” For this recipe, it is because steeping your tea eggs requires the liquid to fully cover the eggs, so if your container is too big, you won’t be able to fully cover them. I used a sauce pan that is 7.5 inches in diameter. A small sauce pan would work even better. Whatever container you use, make sure the eggs are fully covered.
Storing tea eggs and storing the steeping liquid
You can store tea eggs for 3-4 days. Make sure to keep them in an airtight container in the fridge. This works out really well for me since there are weeks where I just want a simple weeknight dinner for myself, so I take out an egg or two, pair it with kimchi and rice, and call it a night. I also store the steeping liquid in the fridge for a week to steep more eggs.
Did you make these Chinese Tea Eggs?
If you made this dish, I would love to see!
Chinese Tea Eggs
- 3 cups water
- 1 cup soy sauce
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 1 tbsp earl grey tea
- 3 star anise
- 2 tsp coriander seeds
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 6 eggs hardboiled
- Make the hard boiled eggs and set aside.
- Add all ingredients up to cinnamon sticks into a sauce pan. I used a sauce pan that is 7.5 inches in diameter but a smaller one would be even better. Heat over medium high heat until the liquid starts simmering (2-3 minutes).
- Remove the liquid from the heat and let stand for 10 minutes. This helps all the flavors mix together a bit.
- Crack the outside of your eggs on a flat surface but DO NOT remove the shells.
- Add eggs to the liquid and steep for 4 hours or overnight. I would recommend 24 hours for the fullest flavor.
- Remove shells after steeping and enjoy!