Chinese Tea Eggs

Tea eggs soaked in a large basin.
Jowena Chua/Moment/Getty Images
  • Total: 2 hrs 35 mins
  • Prep: 5 mins
  • Cook: 2 hrs 30 mins
  • Yield: 6 servings

Tea eggs, also called marbled eggs, are distinctive looking and easy to make. Whether serving them as a snack, with a dim sum lunch, or for breakfast during the Chinese New Year season, this recipe will be a surefire hit.


  • 6 eggs
  • 3 1/2 cups cold water, or as needed
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup brewed black tea
  • 2 star anise (broken into individual pieces)
  • 1 cinnamon stick

Steps to Make It

  1. Place the eggs in a saucepan with the water, making sure that there is at least 1/2-inch of water above the eggs. Cover and bring to a rolling boil.

  2. Remove the saucepan from the element and let the eggs stand in the hot water for 15 - 20 minutes, until they are cooked. Remove the eggs and run them under cold running water to cool. (Reserve the water in the pan).

  3. Tap the hard-boiled eggs gently with the back of a spoon, to make a series of cracks all over the eggshells, while making sure the shell remains intact. (If the shell does come off, don't worry - it just means that egg will have a darker color than the others).

  4. Bring the water in the pan back to a boil. Add the salt, soy sauce, brewed black tea, star anise pieces, and the cinnamon stick. Add the eggs. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 2 hours.

  5. Turn off the heat and let the eggs sit in the hot liquid until ready to serve.