Chinese tea eggs – Marbled eggs for Easter?

asian, canada, easter, edible art, eggs, food art, tea | January 24, 2013 | By

Chinese tea egg
Tea eggs are a traditionally an Asian snack that’s sold by in street markets. It’s usually savory and flavored with Chinese five-spice powder, but the really cool part about them is that they’re marbled.
While living in Vancouver, one of the handy side effects is that I was exposed to way more Asian culture than I ever expected.
When I first saw these, it made me immediately think of Easter eggs. I love when some of them get “accidentally” cracked and the dye seeps inside, leaving a similar effect as the picture above….but way more colorful.
I have never flavored boiled eggs directly, though, so I thought I’d try it out in a more traditional way. And the idea of using tea was kind of interesting.
I don’t know that I’ll do it again. I don’t like just how cooked they end up being. You’ll see below a picture of the inside where half of the yolk ends up gray. That’s the result of overcooking. You can’t exactly avoid overcooking, though, because you let them seep in the hot water/tea for at least 20 minutes after the initial cooking time before ever considering putting them in the refrigerator.
I couldn’t really taste much either. They just ended up tasting like rubbery (another result of overcooking) boiled eggs that were several days old. I’m glad I tried them out, though, and I’d love to see them in a more authentic environment some time because I bet they’d be better.
Now onto the pictures. I got some really interesting marbling, including a couple that ended up looking marbled. Oh, and one of the eggs ended up cracking all the way through to the yolk, so the white absorbed way more of the tea and left a huge dark crater on one side. That egg wasn’t delicious at all, ha.

Chinese five spice powder eggs

Cracked eggs for Asian tea eggsCracked shell for a marble egg

Dark lines on a boiled egg - Asian tea eggs

Tea stains on boiled eggs China

Asian tea leaf steeped boiled eggs

Boiled egg sliced open. The yolk is dark grey from being overcooked. The outer white is marbled with tea.

Tie-dyed easter egg from cracking shellMarbled tea eggs with dark spotty lines and dots

Cracked boiled egg with deep chewy crevicesBoiled tea leaf eggs steeped for 20 minutes and 3 days to create spider web lines
I’m not posting a recipe because there are tons around online. They’re all very similar and very basic, so just find one that works for you. Use whatever black tea you want and flavor with something Chinese-sounding….Chinese five spice, soy sauce, cinnamon, star anise, etc.


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