Tea Eggs

I had a craving for tea eggs so I made a batch yesterday.  Eating them always reminds of me of riding the train as a child in China.  Unlike today, those trains were slow and we would spend all day and night on them.  I have seen sites that claim tea eggs are treats.  That may be true but my mom only made them as a convenience/travel food. It was a way to make something flavorful which can be eaten without heating or utensils.

I like my tea eggs to be a bit salty so this recipe calls for a lot of soy sauce and salt. If you want to avoid sodium, cut the salt and swap light soy sauce for dark.


  • Dozen eggs
  • 2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup light soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup dark soy sauce
  • 10 tea bags (Lipton from Make Milk Tea at Home ^.^)
  • 1/4 cup star anise
  • 1 stick of cinnamon (optional)
  • Enough water to cover the eggs


  1. Boil water in a pot which can hold all the eggs easily
  2. After water is boiling, gentlely lower the eggs into the boiling water.  Use a soup spoon and be careful not to crack the eggs
  3. Boil eggs for 5 minutes and remove from water
  4. Wait 10 minutes until egg cools down slightly (or you can do it under running old water) and crack egg all over.  I love to have a lot of marbling on the eggs so I make sure every single surface is cracked a lot.  Don’t worry if a little bit of shell falls off
  5. Add all ingredients to the water
  6. Add cracked eggs back in
  7. Boil for another 30 minutes on medium to low heat
  8. You can leave the mixture in the pan or move to another bowl.  The liquid will strain any plastic and maybe even metal surface

You can eat the eggs now, but longer you steep the egg gets more flavor. I recommend at least overnight. Street vendors may have the eggs steeping over low heat all day.

Always peal from the larger end of the egg and use the eggshell’s membrane to help peel easily.

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