As a fan of eggs, I was amazed to discover I had never tried a Chinese Marbled Tea Egg. But thanks to Diana Kuan and her invitation to celebrate the Chinese New Year and her cookbook, The Chinese Takeout Cookbook, with a New Year Virtual Potluck, I am 100% in love with these eggs. Hard-boiled eggs scented with your favorite black tea, cinnamon, star anise, and other spices, these are a great snack or an addition to any meal.
“Chinese marbled tea eggs, stewed in a black tea/soy sauce/spice blend, are a ubiquitous and cheap snack sold all around China in snack stands and convenience stores. The aromas of tea, cinnamon, star anise, and soy sauce are intoxicating, just perfect for fall.” – Diana Kuan says and I agree! Not only are the perfect for fall, but snack on these eggs on long winter walks and you’ll be instantly warmed up by the spices.
While the eggs simmer, you won’t need any aromatic candles on because the combination of salty soy with warm cinnamon, and spicy pepper will have you craving for them to be done ASAP! Diana recommends simmering for 1-2 hours, but I simmered for just one hour, let the eggs cool inside the liquid, and then transferred into the fridge – eggs with cracked shells still on, liquid still with the eggs. They stayed in the liquid overnight and ended up with a delicate marbled pattern on the outside. You can also view the recipe for these Marbled Tea Eggs over at Diana’s site, Appetite for China.
Chinese Marbled Tea Eggs by Diana Kuan
- 8 eggs any size
- 2 tea bags of black tea
- ½ cup soy sauce or tamari
- 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
- 2 pieces star anise
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 teaspoon cracked black peppercorn optional
- 2 to 3 strips dried mandarin peel optional
- Add enough water to a medium pot to cover the eggs. Bring the water to a boil, then lower the heat to simmer for 10 minutes, until the eggs are hard-boiled.
- Remove the eggs with a strainer and run under cold water until they are cool enough to handle. Tap the eggs with the back of a butter knife to crack them evenly all around, being careful not to peel off the shells. Return the eggs to the pot.
- In the same pot, add the tea bags, soy sauce, brown sugar, star anise, cinnamon, black peppercorns, and orange peel (if using). Add enough water to cover the eggs by an inch. Bring the liquid to a boil, then lower the heat to a bare simmer. Allow the eggs to simmer for 1 to 2 hours, longer for a more intense flavor and color.
- Remove from the heat and drain the eggs, saving a little of the liquid to serve with the eggs if you choose. You can either peel and serve the eggs immediately or store them in the fridge for up to 4 days in a tightly covered container. Serve as a snack as-is or as an addition to rice or noodles.
Want to get in on the fun? Here’s some information:
To participate, all you need to do is cook one recipe from The Chinese Takeout Cookbook (from a list of 7 recipes available on online on here or Amazon), photograph the dish, and write a blog post on your blog about the dish that also mentions the cookbook. (Anyone with a blog centered around food, lifestyle, or home life is welcome to join in.) Then publish the post between now and February 24th, the 15th and last day of Chinese New Year. Diana will link up to everyone’s blog, randomly select a Grand Prize Winner and Runner Up, and post it over on her site on February 25.
Disclosure: All US-based participants will receive 1 copy of The Chinese Takeout Cookbook, courtesy of Random House, to keep, give to family or friends, or use in a giveaway on their blog.