23 May 2010

Oolong Tea Eggs Recipe

I love tea eggs and soy sauce eggs.  You used to be able to get them at every 7-11 in Hong Kong, but they’ve become less popular and are not as easy to find.  Fortunately, they are still everywhere in Taiwan.

Most of the recipes for tea eggs use star anise and cheap but strong black tea.  The resulting flavor is bold and flavorful, but lacking the balanced taste profile that is found in a good oolong tea egg (uncommon and harder to find).

In the recipes section of a book I just obtained called 果然是好茶(Good Tea Indeed), I found a recipe for Tieguanyin oolong eggs.  Translated, the ingredients are:

- 4 eggs

- ~1.5 ounces of oxidized Tieguanyin (sorry, most of the mainland TGY, delicious as it may be, won’t be strong enough to impart taste to the eggs)

- 2 teaspoons of salt

- 1 teaspoon of granulated white sugar

1.  Heat a little more than 2 cups of water to near boiling and infuse the tea for 3 minutes.  After the tea has been infused, remove the leaves and add the sugar and salt.  Mix and let sit (preferably covered with a dish to retain the heat).

2.  Put the eggs into a pot with cold water and heat to boiling.  After the water boils, leave the eggs in the pot for 3 to 5 minutes and then turn the stove off.  The eggs should now be about 50%+ cooked.

3.  Put the eggs into a bowl of cold water (this will help to reduce the strong sulfur smell and the ugly green color around the yolk).  Remove or crack the shells and place the eggs into the previously prepared tea/sugar/salt solution.  Place in the refrigerator for at least 2 days and then enjoy.


I haven’t tried this recipe before, but it looks tasty.  I would probably use much less tea (I hate to waste so much good tea, an ounce would last many, many sessions) and when I’ve made tea eggs using black tea, I put the eggs into the black tea and salt solution and boiled them for a few hours before placing everything into the refrigerator overnight to soak some more.  However, even moderate-oxidized oolong is much less assertive in taste than black tea, so I can understand that it would take longer to impart flavor.



  1. I use roasted Tieguanyin for mine (usually something fairly cheap from one of the HK shops); I do put other spices in too. I will have to try it without the spices sometime to see what it tastes like.

    This is roughly the recipe I've been working on... maybe could still use some improvement.
    (loosely based on http://www.lthforum.com/bb/viewtopic.php?p=186510 )

    10-12 eggs
    20-30g high-fire (traditional) Tieguanyin
    1 tsp black peppercorns (+scant tsp sichuan peppercorn, optional)
    2 Tbsp kosher salt
    4 Tbsp dark soy sauce
    4 pieces star anise, broken up
    pinch cloves
    few slices ginger (sliced, unpeeled)
    1 stick cinnamon
    dried tangerine / orange peel (optional)

    Bring eggs to a boil, let sit, covered, for 10 minutes.
    Cool eggs in cold water, and crack shells with the back of a spoon.
    Add cold water to cover and spices and simmer.

    Let cool, transfer (with liquid and spices) to covered container to sit overnight, then remove the eggs.

  2. Good recipe, sure makes a lot of eggs.

    How was your trip

  3. Tea eggs go fast in our house!

    Trip was pretty good. Never enough time, of course... and we had some non-tea things to attend to. I'm already ready to return.