Marbled tea eggs (aka China tea eggs) are something I discovered several months ago and I’ve been obsessed with them ever since.
What are marbled tea eggs? They are hard boiled eggs that have been steeped or simmered in black tea, soy sauce, sugar, and spices such as cinnamon, star anise, fennel, cloves, and peppercorns. The result is a beautiful marbled-looking egg that tastes salty, sweet, and spiced all at once.
Marbled tea eggs are a favorite food in Asian countries. In China they are sold by street vendors, just as one might buy a hot dog in Chicago. Traditionally marbled tea eggs are eaten with noodles as part of a complete meal, or as a snack. They would make an impressive appetizer. Serve them warm, cold, or at room temperature with soy sauce or mayonnaise for dipping. Personally I am happy to eat them for breakfast.
These marbled tea eggs are simple to make. You most likely have all of the ingredients in your pantry. All you need is a little patience and you will have an unexpected, yet delicious treat.
What is your favorite way to eat a marbled tea egg?
- 8 eggs
- ½ cup soy sauce
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon peppercorns, crushed (optional)
- ½ teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed (optional)
- 8 whole cloves (optional)
- 2 whole star anise
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 2 black tea bags
- Place the eggs in a medium-sized saucepan and cover the eggs with water. Cover the pan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes, or until the eggs are hard boiled.
- Drain the water from the pot and run the eggs under cold water until they are cool enough to handle. Using the dull end of a butter knife make cracks in the shell, but do not peel the shell off.
- Return the eggs back to the pot and cover with water. Add all of the remaining ingredients to the pot. Return the pot to the stove. Bring to a boil, reduce to a mild simmer.
- Allow the eggs to simmer for 1 to 2 hours. The longer you allow them to simmer the stronger will be their color and flavor. If you want them to be even stronger in flavor, you can steep them further in the pot with the heat turned off.
- Once you are ready to eat them run them under cold water until they are cool enough to handle. Peel the eggs while they are warm; the shell is easier to remove when the egg is still warm.
- Serve warm or cold with soy sauce or mayonnaise for dipping. They are delicious for lunch, breakfast, or a snack.