How to Make Chinese Marbled Tea Eggs

Easter eggs?  Well traditional Easter eggs they’re not . . . but how cool would these eggs be on your Easter table? I will tell you:  just as cool as my Beet Pickled Eggs.  Both are beautiful and delicious, so I say make the two of them and totally wow your guests.

All around China, these Marbled Tea Eggs are a common, inexpensive snack sold on the street and in open air markets in the evenings.  I love it!  They are super tasty on their own and are also fantastic mixed into a rice or noodle stir-fry.

Here’s how the egg transforms . . .

After the egg is hard boiled and gently cracked, it steeps in a gorgeous aromatic blend of ingredients.

Your home will fill with the scents of  cinnamon, cloves, fennel, Sichuan pepper, and star anise.

After a few hours, when you peel the egg it will amaze you with its beauty.

The inside of the shell is equally beautiful.

Stunning!  And, it tastes so, so good!

Chinese Marbled Tea Eggs

Prep Time: 6 hours

Yield: Makes 6 eggs

Of the prep time, only about 20 minutes are active work time.


6 large eggs

2 individual black tea bags

3 tablespoons soy sauce

1 tablespoon fresh tangerine (or orange) juice

1-1/2 tablespoons Chinese Five Spice blend (in powder form, use 1 tablespoon)

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon brown sugar

  1. Add the eggs to a pot where they all fit snugly.
  2. Cover the eggs with water, to about 2 inches above them. Bring the water to a boil, then lower the heat to simmer for 5 minutes.
  3. Remove the eggs carefully with a slotted spoon or small strainer, adding them to a bowl as you go. (Leave the water in the pot!)
  4. Run cold water over the eggs until they are cool enough to handle.
  5. Then use the back of a small spoon to tap all around each egg gently. You want to make slight cracks all over the shell, being careful not to peel any off. Do not remove any of the shell.
  6. In their crackled state, return the eggs to the pot.
  7. Open the tea bags and empty them into a small bowl. Then add all of the remaining ingredients and mix to blend.
  8. Pour the spice mixture into the water with the eggs, and bring to a strong simmer. Let the eggs simmer for about 10 minutes, then turn the heat to the lowest setting, cover and simmer very gently for 1-1/2 hours.
  9. Keep the lid on the pot, remove it from the stove and let the eggs continue to steep for up to 4 hours. (The longer they remain in the pot, the deeper the color will become.)
  10. You can either peel and serve the eggs immediately or store them in the fridge for up to 4 days in a tightly covered container.

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