Tea Eggs

Super easy—it just takes a long time. Perfect for a rainy day while you're reading and napping.

In China, tea eggs are popular street food sold by vendors out of huge boiling pots. Inside, the tea eggs have been stewing for days. Chinese tea eggs are the best snack I know of. Eaten hot or cold, they are healthy and filling and perfect for those hungry moments. They're also great as easy breakfasts or as part of a larger meal.

Once they're done, you have a container of great snacks in your fridge for at least a week! In fact, I think I'll go eat one right now…

To make them, you boil eggs in a stew of tea, soy sauce, salt, and five-spice powder for hours and hours. Over time, the flavors from the stew gently seep into the eggs.


  • 6-12 eggs
  • 6-8 (or more) black tea bags, or other tea
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce (or more)
  • 1 T salt (or more)
  • 1 tsp five-spice powder or other spice
  • Water: enough to fill the pan


  1. Hard boil the eggs in water until fully cooked, about 8 minutes.
  2. Using a slotted spoon, pick up each egg individually and crack the shell all over by hitting it with a fork. The shell should stay on but have many cracks in it. I like to get it really cracked so that the cooking liquid will seep more readily into the egg.
  3. Return all the eggs to the boiling water and add the tea bags, soy sauce, salt, and five-spice powder. Because this is similiar to a marinade, you don't have to worry much about getting the ingredients exactly right. When in doubt, err on the side of danger. If your water is not salty enough, your eggs will taste bland.
  4. Keep boiling the eggs for as long as you can stand it. I typically try for at least 5 hours, but in truth, 2 days would be better! Remember to add water once most of it evaporates.
  5. I like to try one of the eggs after about 4 hours to see how flavorful it is. If it is very bland, add more ingredients to the water.
  6. Refrigerate with the liquid.

Your finished eggs (with shells removed) should be range in color from a light tan to a deep brown. The cracked shell will have left a pattern.




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