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Chinese Tea Eggs (茶葉蛋)

Chinese tea eggs are boiled eggs with a unique tea aroma and beautiful cracked design! This easy recipe results in flavorful eggs using either the instant pot or the stove. 
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time5 mins
Inactive Time1 d
Total Time1 d 20 mins
Course: Appetizer, Snack
Cuisine: Chinese, Taiwanese
Keyword: cha ye dan, Chinese tea eggs, tea eggs, tea eggs instant pot, tea stained egg
Servings: 12 servings
Calories: 80kcal

Ingredients

  • 12 eggs
  • 2 tea bags (red or black tea recommended)
  • 4 tbsp soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp dark soy sauce or substitute regular soy sauce (Note 2)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 star anise
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 tsp Sichuan peppercorn
  • 2 bay leaves optional

Simplified Version

  • 12 eggs
  • 2 tea bags (red or black tea recommended)
  • 4 tbsp soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 2 tsp five-spice
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar

Instructions

Instant Pot

  • Place all of the ingredients in the pressure cooker. Add enough water to cover the eggs.
  • Close the instant pot and seal. Pressure cook on high for 4 minutes and manually release immediately after cooking.
  • Place the eggs in a large bowl of ice or cool tap water to stop them from cooking.
  • Gently crack the surface of each egg with the back of a spoon. Note 1
  • At this point, the marination liquid should be warm but not too hot. Place the cracked eggs back into the marinade and let the mixture cool completely to room temperature before storing them in the refrigerator. You can keep the spices and tea bags in the marinade as well.
  • Let the eggs marinate for at least 1 day for optimal flavor. Store any remaining eggs in the marinade to further absorb the flavors.
  • The eggs can be stored in the refrigerator for about 5 days.

Stovetop

  • Place all of the ingredients in a pot with about 4.5 cups of water. Cover and simmer the ingredients for around 10 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  • In a separate large pot, bring water to a boil. Add the eggs and boil until your desired level of doneness (5:30 minutes for soft eggs, 7 minutes for medium eggs, 10 minutes for hard eggs).
  • After boiling, immediately transfer the eggs to a large bowl of ice or cool tap water to stop the cooking.
  • Gently crack the surface of each egg with the back of a spoon. Place the cracked eggs back into the marinade and store them in the refrigerator. You can keep the spices and tea bags in the marinade as well. Note 1
  • Let the eggs marinate for at least 1 day for optimal flavor. Store any remaining eggs in the marinade to further absorb the flavors.
  • The eggs can be stored in the refrigerator for about 5 days.

Notes

  1. To shorten the time spent marinating, you can peel off the eggshell. While this step will prevent the eggs from getting a beautiful marbled effect, it will drastically reduce the marinating time. 
  2. Dark soy sauce is used primarily for making the staining effect more pronounced. If you do not have dark soy sauce, you can simply substitute regular soy sauce in its place.