Chinese Tea Leaf Eggs Recipe

Chinese Tea Leaf Eggs Recipe

Tea leaf eggs are a favourite traditional chinese street snack. Apparently, in Taiwan, tea leaf eggs are common in their convenience stores, and my taiwanese friend just loves them. It's commonly sold as street food, especially in pasar malams (makeshift markets) in Singapore too. Lets try it out.

Yields: 12 | Prep Time: 15 Minutes | Cook Time: 2 Hours


12 eggs

4 cups water

6 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce

3 tablespoons Chinese pu-erh tea leaf

1 cinnamon stick

1 star anise

3 cloves

1/2 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder

1 teaspoon sugar


Add 4 cups of water to a medium pot and gently drop in the eggs. Make sure the water covers the eggs. Bring the water to boil on high heat. Boil for about 10 minutes or so to make sure the eggs are cooked.

Transfer the hard-boiled eggs out of the hot boiling water and rinse them with cold water. Using the back of a teaspoon, gently tap the eggshell to crack the shell. Return the eggs to the water and add in the remaining ingredients. Bring the tea mixture to a boil and immediately turn the heat to low. Simmer for 2 hours (the longer the simmering, the better the taste). Add more water if needed. Serve immediately or leave the tea eggs in the mixture overnight to further develop the color and flavor.

By cracking the eggshell, you get a beautiful marbled appearance, and the flavour and aroma of the spices seep into the cracks and infuse the egg. It's not just style ok, this egg has substance.


For serving, Chinese tea leaf eggs with a little soy sauce, but they are flavorful without any additional condiments. If you don’t have Chinese tea leaves, you can use black tea or regular tea bags.