Chinese tea leaf eggs are one of my favorite ways to eat eggs. They have a pretty appearance and they taste good. Like hard boiled eggs but with flavor.
I recently flew home for a weekend visit. My mom almost always makes tea leaf eggs when I’m home. Tea leaf eggs aren’t too hard to make (recipe below), but it is time consuming and I don’t have the patience to make them myself. So I love coming home to a batch of tea leaf eggs.
Eggs are first hard boiled. Then the egg shell is cracked and stewed in a tea leaf sauce. The tea leaves, soy sauce and spices in the sauce give the eggs flavor and also create the pretty cracked pattern on the eggs because the dark color seeps through the cracks on the egg shells.
These eggs are perfect for breakfast, a snack, or to take to a party.
Tea Leaf Eggs
2 red or black tea bags
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons salt
1 chinese spice bag (or use chinese five spice powder)
1. Boil eggs until thoroughly cooked (hard boiled). Then set eggs aside and let cool.
2. Once eggs are cooled, crack shells of eggs, but do not let the shell come off the eggs. I usually gently crack them against the counter. And then I use a meat tenderizer mallet to make additional cracks. Make sure to make cracks all around for a prettier cracked egg shell look. You want the cracks to be deep enough to penetrate to the inside of the egg, but not too deep that the egg shell will fall off the egg.
3. Place eggs in a medium pot. Fill water to about one inch above eggs. You can always add extra water if your water level begins to get too low.
4. Bring to boil the water with two tea bags, soy sauce, salt, and onec hinese spice bag. You can usually find the spice bag at a chinese grocery store. If you can’t find this at your local asian grocery store, you can use about 1 tbsp of chinese five spice powder.
5. Cook the eggs with the tea mixture on a low simmer for about 2 hours. Keep lid on to keep water mixture from evaporating.
6. Let the eggs, submerged in the water mixture sit in pot overnight (about 8 hours), to allow the eggs to absorb the flavors.
7. Bring the water mixture to a boil, and cook at a low boil for an additional 1-2 hours. Eggs can be served hot or cold.
You can store eggs in the fridge, leaving shell on. This will allow the eggs to store longer. Refrigerated eggs last about 3-4 days.