Tea Eggs

Tea Eggs


I originally made these as part of Breakfast in Meereen, and liked them so much I have kept making them.
Their flavor gets into the egg, smoky and filled with spice. It makes them more unique than ordinary hard-boiled eggs. They’re great for parties, or just as a snack

Tea Eggs Recipe

Prep: 20 minutes       Simmering/Soaking: 2 hours-overnight
Makes 6 eggs
Cook’s Notes: for a fun seasonal twist, try turning your tea eggs into deviled eggs for Halloween parties!
  • 6 eggs
  • 3/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1-2 star anise
  • 2 tea bags (black)
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon peppercorn
  • 3 strips orange peel

Gently place the eggs in a medium pot and fill with water to cover the eggs by 1-inch. Bring the pot to a boil, lower the heat and let simmer for 3 minutes. Remove the eggs (leaving the water in the pot) and let cool under running cool water. Using the back of the teaspoon, gently tap the eggshell to crack the shell all over. The more you tap, the more intricate the design. Do this with a delicate hand to keep the shell intact. To the same pot with the boiling water, return the eggs and add in the remaining ingredients. Bring the mixture to a boil and immediately turn the heat to low. Simmer for 40 minutes, cover with lid and let eggs steep for a few hours to overnight. The longer you steep, the more flavorful and deeply marbled the tea eggs will be.

17 thoughts on “Tea Eggs”

  1. Ben Lyons says:

    Black tea works wonders but I love the smokey aroma that lapsang souchang (aka Russian Caravan Tea) gives to tea eggs.

    1. Rc says:

      Ooo! I have some lapsang souchang, I’ll have to try that.

      I twisted up a batch once using green tea and lemon. Had a nice lemon hint to the flavor but the color was not as strong as the black tea (naturally).

  2. Sarah Helena says:

    I’ve made then using quail eggs. photo here – http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=514792998533268&set=a.514792865199948.119047.100000077161204&type=1&permPage=1

    (well, the rest of the album shows the dinner I’ve made using the book. =)

  3. Melissa says:

    Buy an ostrich egg or two and do this, and you’ve got life-size dragon eggs.

    1. Jensen Toperzer says:

      Yeah, but ostrich eggs are pretty much impossible to hard boil, and you can’t crack the shell; seriously, they’re like 1.5 CM thick. Only thing you can do to ostrich eggs is to drill ’em open (seriously) and then scramble ’em

      They ARE delicious, but utterly unsuited to this sort of thing.

  4. Arturo says:

    Just a cultural note, this kind of eggs boiled in tea are very common in China. And taste delicious!! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tea_egg

    1. Marissa (@jedifreac) says:

      They’re really popular in Taiwan, too, as street food!

  5. Rachel Huang (@RC2Huang) says:

    Your recipe is very similar to mine except I don’t use orange peel. Try adding a pinch of Chinese 5-spice (not too much) for extra flavour, and if you want the eggs to look a bit browner soak them in the mixture for a couple of minutes after peeling them.

  6. Saraquill says:

    I highly recommend using quail eggs for this. They’re nice and small, so the flavor penetrates all the way through.

    1. Needs Mead says:

      oooh, I love it!

  7. Em says:

    If you’re bored with plain hard boiled eggs have you tried peeling them and popping them in your stews (the longer the better)? Not as pretty as tea eggs but generally pretty delish.

    1. Needs Mead says:

      Ooh, that sounds very tasty! I’d love to give that a try, and it seems like something they might do in the kitchens of Castle Black, too.

  8. Rosey says:

    I just made these… I didn’t have the whole spices so I used a good pinch of Chinese five spice powder instead. Next I want to make them with garam masala for an Indian flair!

  9. T says:

    I’ve been making these since the mid-90’s, they’re in no way unique.

    1. Chelsea M-C says:

      Never claimed they were! ;)

  10. Hope says:

    If I’m not wrong, the Chinese way of cooking it is to hardboil the eggs first, then crack the shells and cook them in red tea, herbs and soy sauce for… 1-2 hours or so. That way the flavour gets into the egg whites, which is brilliant, and you can use normal chicken eggs.

  11. Richard Kern says:

    One hint for the rest (which I learned from my own mistake): Just because you’ve cracked the egg shell, doesn’t mean you’ve cracked it deeply enough to allow the tea-mix to seep through! For fear of cracking too hard, my first batch turned out to have been hardly flavored at all by hours of simmering and seeping.

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