Marbled Tea Eggs are hard-boiled eggs with cracked shells and boiled again in herbs, seasonings, and tea leaves to create that beautiful marbles on the eggs.
Eggs are my most favorite ingredients exist on this earth. I mean, the incredible edible eggs are so versatile. Boil it, fry it, bake it, steam it, stir-fry it…geez..did I miss anything else? They can also be appetizers, main course, desserts, drinks and btw, when I had a large bruise, my grandma liked to use unpeeled warm hard-boiled eggs wrap in a cloth to massage the bruised area. Seriously, anything else you can’t do eggy? I don’t think so! The best parts are they are very affordable and nutritious too (the latter depends on how you prepare them of course). I can run out of anything, but running out of eggs in our house is like the end of the world! (read: I get panic). Our morning always starts with eggs.
My first exposure to marbled tea eggs was back in college. I had a Taiwanese friend who made this marbled tea eggs and thanks to her, I got hooked until today 🙂
So, a while ago, my sister got me some store-bought marbled tea eggs spice bags (thank you sista!). This tea-flavored eggs or known as 茶 葉 蛋 (cha yue dan) is one of my favorite egg dishes. The eggs are infused with tea flavor and other spices and Chinese herbs. What sets this tea-flavored eggs apart from other spice-infused eggs are the marbling on the skin of the eggs. When you crack the eggs opened you’ll see this beautiful marbles created by cracking the shell of the cooked eggs without peeling them off before cooking the eggs further in the dark-color liquid made of tea and spices.
I had long run out of the store-bought herbs and spices mix my sister got me and I just make my own using the Chinese herbs my mom got me. There are so many combinations of herbs and spices for this marbled tea eggs.
The Foxglove root is black in color and will turn pretty much anything into black, but, really, don’t sweat it if you don’t have it. I’ve made it with just soy sauce and that can create the marbles on the eggs too. Even if you don’t use the Chinese herbs, I think if you have black tea leaves, soy sauce, cinnamon, star anise, fennel seeds, and Chinese five-spice powder, they are flavorful enough!
This is really fun and easy to make and even more fun when you peel them and you see all the beautiful marbles on the eggs.
How To Make Chinese Marbled Tea Eggs
- 10 chicken eggs
- ¼ cup loose black tea leaves or 2 tea bags
- 1 Tbsp soy sauce
- 2 Tbsp dark soy sauce
- ¼ cup rock sugar
- 1 tsp fennel seeds
- 1 large cinnamon stick
- 1 tsp five-spice powder
- 1 star anise
If you want to add Chinese herbs (optional):
- 6 Foxglove Root
- 7 slices Lovage Rhizome
- 5 slices Chinese Angelica Root
- 3 slices Licorice root
- Get the eggs out and let sit at room temperature for 10 minutes. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the eggs into the boiling water and cook for 4-5 minutes. If you want it really hard, 8-10 minutes. Remove the eggs from boiling water and submerge in cold water to stop the cooking process. Let the eggs cool down completely
- While the eggs are boiling, bring another medium-size pot of water, probably about 4 cups or enough to cover the eggs later, to a boil, then put in the rest of the ingredients and let them simmer for about 10-15 minutes while waiting for the eggs to cook
- Use the back of a metal spoon and gently tap the shell of each egg all around so you have all these cracks all over the eggs (but don't peel the shell off, leave them as this is what creating the marbles). Set aside
- Transfer the eggs into the other pot. Let them sit in there overnight, at least 24 hours. 48 hours if you have the time is best. The flavor will get better the longer you let the eggs sit in the dark liquid
- When ready to eat, just take one out, very gently peel the shell off and enjoy as is. Store the rest in the refrigerator
How would these taste without the sugar? What about the Spiced Boiled Eggs as well?
This is not meant to be a sweet food anyway. The sugar just brings out the overall taste. You can skip it if you want
You mentioned that the tea eggs can be made w/o adding in the Chinese herbs and that black tea leaves, soy sauce, cinnamon, star anise, fennel seeds, and Chinese five-spice powder would be flavorful enough. However, in your recipe detail it doesn’t say how much cinnamon, star anise, fennel seeds and Chinese five-spice powder to use. That would be very helpful, since i don’t have any of the herbs.
Hi again Grace,
Sorry I’ve left those out! I have updated the recipe accordingly. I hope it helps!