Tea Leaf Eggs – 茶叶蛋 (Chá Yè Dàn)

Tea Leaf Eggs – 茶叶蛋 (Chá Yè Dàn) are a traditional Chinese snack food that is known for its beautiful marbled patterning and complex flavor. This recipe is simple to make even though it requires many hours of simmering and steeping. You can enjoy your tea leaf eggs as a snack on its own or as a garnish for other dishes.


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Boiling EggsPeeled EggTea Leaf Egg Final1Tea Leaf Egg IngredientsTea Leaf Egg SauceTea Leaf Final2


  • 1. Place the eggs in a pot and cover them with water. Make sure that the eggs cover the bottom of the pot in a single layer.
  • 2. Turn on the heat and let the eggs boil for 7-10 minutes, depending on how hard-boiled you prefer your eggs.
  • 3. Turn the heat off. Drain the eggs and let them cool.
  • 4. Gently tap the shell of each egg until cracks form. Be careful not to tap too hard and break the eggshell layer.
  • 5. After cracking the shells of all of the eggs, place the eggs back into the pot and cover with water.
  • 6. Crush 5-6 whole peppercorns with a bowl or a mortar and pestle and add to the pot.
  • 7. Using a vegetable peeler, peel off two strips of an orange skin and add to the pot.
  • 8. Add 1/3 cup of regular soy sauce, 1 tablespoon of dark soy sauce, 1 tablespoon of brown sugar, 2 star anise, 3 cloves, and 2 tablespoons of black tea leaves into the pot.
  • 9. Break 1 cinnamon stick and put into the pot.
  • 10. Mix the ingredients together. Be careful not to break the eggs. Season with salt.
  • 11. Bring the ingredients to a boil. Then, reduce the heat and let it simmer for 2-3 hours.
  • 12. Then, turn off the heat and let the eggs steep in the sauce for at least 8 hours. You can even leave it overnight for more intense flavor.
  • 13. After at least 8 hours of steeping, peel your eggs, admire the marbled pattern, and serve.
  • 14. Enjoy!

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