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Tea Eggs  

Tea Eggs 茶葉蛋 (cháyè dàn) A cheap snack food, found all over China. In spite of the name, tea is not the dominant flavour.


Serves 6

6 eggs
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon black tea leaves or 1 tea bag
4 pieces star anise
1 small stick cinnamon or cassia bark
1 teaspoon cracked peppercorns (optional)
2 strips dried mandarin peel (optional)


  1. Place unshelled eggs in saucepan of cold water – water level should be at least 4 cm (1-1/2") higher than eggs. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 2 minutes.
  2. Remove the eggs. With a knife, tap each egg to slightly crack the shells in two or three places. Return to saucepan.
  3. Add other ingredients and stir. Cover and simmer for 2 hours, adding water as necessary. Drain, serve hot or cold.

Cook longer for a stronger flavour and a deeper colour. Tea eggs are also known as Chinese marbled eggs for the unique marbling effect on the surface of the egg. Sauce can be frozen and reused.

Read more about tea:

A Tea Primer
An introduction to Chinese tea.

Some Tea History
Discovered 4,000 ago, tea in all its forms and flavours continues to refresh body and spirit.



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