Chinese Tea Eggs

Time to Cook: 
1 hour
Time to Prepare: 
5 minutes
Number of Servings: 
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Happy Chinese New Year! Over at BC Eggs we’ve been experimenting with Chinese tea eggs, a common snack often sold by street vendors. The eggs are first boiled to cook them, and then steeped in a mixture of tea, spices and soy to infuse them with flavor. Eggs are considered good luck in Chinese culture and symbolize fertility.

These are easy and fun to make with the kids, and when you peel them, under the shells you'll find a pretty marbled pattern from the marinade. Some recipes for tea eggs use Chinese 5 spice powder, which is a mixture of cinnamon, star anise, and cloves. We've re-created that in the marinade by adding the spices whole and letting them steep along with the tea. Use a black tea of your choice, but try to avoid anything flavoured. Enjoy these as a fun project with the kids (who doesn't like to smash up eggs?) and then enjoy as a healthy snack!

Chinese tea eggs recipe

Tea and spices decorate and infuse hard boiled eggs with loads of flavour.


6 eggs

2 whole star anise

1/2 cup soy sauce

1 tea bag of black tea

2-3 tsp sugar

1/2 tsp whole peppercorns, crushed

1 stick cinnamon

4 whole cloves


1. Place the eggs in a saucepan over medium heat in enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, and then turn down so that the water simmers. You want to boil the eggs but not so vigorously that the shells crack. Simmer for 5 minutes.

2. Remove the eggs from the water. With a spoon or by placing the eggs in a tea towel and rolling them on the counter, gently break the shells all over. You want to crack them well, but no so much that hunks fall off.

3. With a needle or a skewer, between cracks find places to poke some holes in the egg so that the marinade then can seep right into it and add more flavor. You want to poke it about 3-4 times. Let the eggs sit for about 5 minutes so that the water they absorbed in through their shells will drain.

4. In a bowl or measuring cup, mix together the anise, soy sauce, sugar, orange peel, peppercorns, cinnamon, and cloves. Pour it into a different medium sized saucepan. Set the cracked eggs gently inside. Top up the mixture with the hot water from the first pot that you boiled the eggs in until the eggs are covered, and bring to a gentle boil.

5. Simmer the eggs for another five minutes, then take the pot off the stove and allow the eggs to steep. When the mixture is room temperature, transfer to a container and chill in the fridge. The longer you let the eggs steep, the more flavour they will get. You can steep them overnight if you wish before pouring the marinade off and peeling them to eat. The soy in the marinade turns the shells a deep brown, as you can see below. The inside looks much like your average egg!