Celebrate Chinese New Year with traditional Chinese tea leaf eggs, spiked with a touch of orange for good fortune for the next year!

This post contains affiliate links. Read the disclosure policy.

Chinese Tea Leaf Eggs! Celebrate Chinese New Year with traditional Chinese tea leaf eggs, spiked with a touch of orange for good fortune for the next year! #KikkomanCNY #spon @kikkomanusa | HomemadeHooplah.com

clevergirls

About Chinese Tea Leaf Eggs

Did you know we’re only a week away from the Chinese New Year?

It’s not a holiday that gets much fanfare here in the states, which really is a shame – between the week-long celebration, the festive decorations, and the cute family traditions, it’s just the type of holiday that would be a hit with those of us who reside in the western hemisphere.

And of course, being the foodie that I am, I can’t help but think about all the classic Chinese cuisine we don’t usually partake in, like fried prawns, Chinese BBQ pork, all the wontons and dumplings you could ask for….  and, of course, Chinese Tea Leaf Eggs.

Chinese Tea Leaf Eggs! Celebrate Chinese New Year with traditional Chinese tea leaf eggs, spiked with a touch of orange for good fortune for the next year! #KikkomanCNY #spon @kikkomanusa | HomemadeHooplah.com

I first had Chinese Tea Leaf Eggs what feels like forever ago, back during my wild ultra nerdy college days, and now that this little blog has helped led me on my “culinary adventures,” it seemed only fitting to try my hand at making this traditional Chinese dish on my own.

And as it turns out, Chinese Tea Leaf Eggs are easy to make. Hunting down the star anise may be your biggest challenge, but you can substitute it for anise seed, which tends to be a little easier to find in your local grocery store.

Once you have your star anise (or anise seed), the rest of the ingredients are fairly common – black tea, sugar, water, etc etc. My favorite part of Chinese Tea Leaf Eggs is probably the soy sauce, since I think the taste really shines through (and I even recommend serving the eggs with more soy sauce for dipping). I think the quality of the soy sauce is very important in this recipe, so I used Kikkoman, a brand I’ve been a fan of ever since our favorite sushi chef recommended it to us. I use Kikkoman in so many types of recipes, even beyond the traditional Chinese dish – the rich flavor is the perfect compliment to all my favorite savory foods.

Quick cooking tip: by using 1/2 tsp Kikkoman Soy Sauce in place of 1/2 tsp salt, the sodium content of the recipe is cut by 1000 mg.

Chinese Tea Leaf Eggs! Celebrate Chinese New Year with traditional Chinese tea leaf eggs, spiked with a touch of orange for good fortune for the next year! #KikkomanCNY #spon @kikkomanusa | HomemadeHooplah.com

As far as cooking the Chinese Tea Leaf Eggs, the key to it is a long, slow simmer.

Once you’ve boiled the water, mixed the ingredients together, and gently cracked the shells, you’ll be simmering the eggs for 2 hours (or longer, for a more potent taste) – and if you’re anything like me, you’ll think your house smells like the most amazingly delicious food the entire time.

Chinese Tea Leaf Eggs! Celebrate Chinese New Year with traditional Chinese tea leaf eggs, spiked with a touch of orange for good fortune for the next year! #KikkomanCNY #spon @kikkomanusa | HomemadeHooplah.com

What I love most about Chinese Tea Leaf Eggs is that they’re not only beautiful – because they really are, aren’t they? The marbling of flavor is like a little work of art – but if you make them with a touch of orange zest, it can be seen as good luck for the Chinese New Year, since dishes made with orange represent good wealth and fortune (as oranges are China’s most plentiful fruit).

The hint of orange flavor is the perfect compliment to the black tea and Kikkoman Soy Sauce, creating a nice blend of sweet, tart, and salty tastes.

So go ahead, celebrate the impending year of the Monkey by making your favorite Chinese dishes with Kikkoman!

And don’t forget the orange for a touch of good fortune!

Chinese Tea Leaf Eggs! Celebrate Chinese New Year with traditional Chinese tea leaf eggs, spiked with a touch of orange for good fortune for the next year! #KikkomanCNY #spon @kikkomanusa | HomemadeHooplah.com

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Chinese Tea Leaf Eggs! Celebrate Chinese New Year with traditional Chinese tea leaf eggs, spiked with a touch of orange for good fortune for the next year! #KikkomanCNY #spon @kikkomanusa | HomemadeHooplah.com

Recipe Details

Chinese Tea Leaf Eggs! Celebrate Chinese New Year with traditional Chinese tea leaf eggs, spiked with a touch of orange for good fortune for the next year! #KikkomanCNY #spon @kikkomanusa | HomemadeHooplah.com
5 from 1 vote

Chinese Tea Leaf Eggs

15 mins prep + 2 hrs 30 mins cook
73 kcal
Yields: 8 eggs
Celebrate Chinese New Year with traditional Chinese tea leaf eggs, spiked with a touch of orange for good fortune for the next year!

Ingredients 

  • 8 egg
  • 3 tbsp Kikkoman Soy Sauce
  • 2 star anise, or about 1 1/2 tbsp anise seed
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 tbsp black tea leaves
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 cups water, cold
  • 1 tbsp orange zest, optional

Instructions

  • Boil eggs per desired method. I high recommend checking out the guide to the perfect boiled egg by Savory Experiements.
  • Submerge the eggs in cold water so that the eggs become cool enough to handle.
  • While eggs cool, whisk together soy sauce, star anise (or anise seed), black tea leaves, sugar, salt, cinnamon stick, orange zest (if using), and cold water in a saucepan just large enough to fit the eggs.
  • Remove eggs from water and towel dry. Using the back of a spoon, lightly tap the eggs so that the shell cracks, but not so hard that the shell loosens from the egg. It's okay if a few tiny pieces of shell break away - the tea stain will just be darker in that area. Once the egg shell is covered in cracks, gently place it in the saucepan with the tea mixture. Once all eggs are in the saucepan, make sure they're completely submerged in the tea mixture. If not, add more water, up to 1 additional cup.
  • Bring saucepan to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cover and let eggs simmer for 2 hours (or longer, for a more potent taste), adding more water to the pot as needed to keep the eggs submerged.
  • Serve Chinese tea leaf eggs with shells removed (tip: roll the egg between your palms to loosen the shell, then slip off the shell) and with additional Kikkoman Soy Sauce for dipping.

Nutrition

Calories: 73kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 163mg | Sodium: 733mg | Potassium: 75mg | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 240IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 34mg | Iron: 1.1mg

I do my best to provide nutrition information, but please keep in mind that I'm not a certified nutritionist. Any nutritional information discussed or disclosed in this post should only be seen as my best amateur estimates of the correct values.

Author: Chrisy

Made this recipe?

Tag @homemadehooplah on Facebook or Instagram and hashtag it #homemadehooplah so I can see what you whipped up!

Explore more: Appetizers, Recipes, Sides

Take recipes "to go"

Leave a Reply to Julie @ Texan New Yorker Cancel reply

Recipe Rating




25 comments

    • Ginger and Scotch

    I am Chinese-American and never knew about these eggs until I saw them for the first time last year in China. Glad they were easy to make! They look gorgeous.

    • Joanie @ Zagleft

    These eggs are beautiful, I’ve seen them before but had no idea how easy they were to make.

    • Thanks Joanie! I know, the pretty look is deceiving, but they’re so simple.

    • Matt @ Plating Pixels

    These are so cool! It totally looks like the texture of dry leaves. Love Kikkoman too so will have to try this out.

    • I know, right? They’re almost too pretty to eat (well, almost :D)

    • Jennifer L | Modern Chic

    My gosh how beautiful are those eggs! Definitely want to try making my own.

    • Marlynn @ UrbanBlissLife

    Oh my goodness, I don’t think I’ve had these since I was a kid and I have never even thought about making them at home. What a great excuse to make them, with the Lunar New Year coming up! Thanks for the recipe! They really do look so beautiful marbelized in the photos.

    • Julie @ Texan New Yorker

    So, how could I make these vegan?

    Totally kidding! Okay, I probably should leave blog comments and send email *before* two glasses of wine, lol

    These are so cool! Something I’ve definitely never tried. Although I did get really familiar with Chinese New Year in my old apartment in Queens – my neighbors celebrated it every year, and the cooking always smelled phenomenal!

    • LOL Julie, I apparently need more coffee, because I totally blanked on the vegan comment for a second there.

      And oh, I can only imagine being near to all that authentic cooking. I don’t think I could handle it.

      Apparently I need to hunt down some breakfast while I’m up for coffee, too 😀

    • Kamara

    I love these tea-leaf eggs but I never knew what went into them. I’m looking forward to celebrating CNY, maybe I’ll give these a go, they seem relatively simple. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

    Euriental

    • Thanks Kamara! If you make them, I hope this recipe compares to what you’ve had before 😀

    • Emily @ Recipes to Nourish

    These are so beautiful! I’ve always wanted to make some but I forget about them. Love the orange zest!

    • Thanks Emily! I was surprised how easy they were to make when I started to research them. I actually had them for lunch a few times this week – they made for an easy make-ahead snack.

    • Olivia @ livforcake

    Work of art is right! Coolest thing I’ve seen in a long time.

    • Kim Beaulieu

    This is really cool. I’ve never tried doing them myself. Now I can’t wait to try. Great recipe and very cool photos.

    • Jennifer A Stewart

    This is great! I love eggs and what a great recipe to celebrate the new year with! I might even serve these at Easter, is that bad, instead of deviled eggs!

    • I think I’ve seen a variation of these for Easter 🙂 I wonder how it’d work with dye and the dark colors of the soy sauce and black tea. You might be able to pull off red or orange 🙂

    • Citra Kale

    This is absolutely my dish! and you made it so good and perfect…. thx for the inspiration

    • Thanks Citra! It’s definitely a classic 😀

    • Florian @ContentednessCooking

    Such a creative dish! You introduce me to something new, fantastic!