Recipe: Marbled Tea Eggs

Marbled Tea Egg Recipe

Gorgeous eggs gathered by Elvira, our International Farms Manager.

I recently discovered something incredible: Marbled Tea Eggs.

I absolutely adore eggs, but transforming them into marbled tea eggs takes them to a completely different level. Not only are they stunning to look at, but the flavor is indescribable and the texture is amazing. I’m already dreaming of all of the potlucks that I’ll be taking these to this summer and have been envisioning ways to make them into the prettiest and tastiest deviled eggs ever. They are delicious when eaten alone but would also be a perfect addition to salads, ramen or miso soup, or rice dishes.  They would also be such a gorgeous addition to any Easter meal or celebration!

Tea eggs are a traditional food commonly sold by street vendors throughout China.  In China, there are many variations since each family makes their tea egg recipe a little bit differently, but they all contain black tea, soy sauce, and spices. I based my recipe on the ones I found online, but couldn’t resist the temptation to add some adaptogenic Licorice and Eleuthero roots!  Feel free to play around with the recipe and create your own version of this delectable treat.

Marbled Tea Egg Recipe

The inside of each tea egg is different. Carefully crack them open to reveal their unique design!

Marbled Tea Egg Recipe

Place the eggs in a medium sized pot and cover completely with cold water, submerging the eggs by at least 1 inch of water. Bring the water to a boil, then lower the heat and allow the eggs to simmer for 3 minutes. Remove the eggs from the heat and rinse in cold water. Once they are cool enough to handle, gently crack the eggshells using the back of a teaspoon. The more you crack, the more intricate the design will be. Make sure to crack the entire perimeter of the egg while being careful not to break the shell completely off.

Return the cracked eggs to the pot, cover completely with water, and then add the remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 40 minutes to 3 hours. The longer they simmer, the more intense the flavor and color will be. Periodically, check on the eggs, turn them over, and add more water if necessary so that the eggs are always partially submerged.

Once they are finished simmering, remove your pot from the heat, cover with a lid, and place it in the refrigerator. Allow the eggs to steep overnight or longer in the marinade. The longer they marinate the more savory the eggs will be.

Peeling the eggs is one of the most rewarding parts as each one will have a unique web-like pattern. It feels like you are opening little gifts! Not only are the eggs themselves beautiful, but the tea-stained eggshells are gorgeous too.


The inside of the shells is beautiful too. Opening them is like unwrapping little gifts!

16 Responses to “Recipe: Marbled Tea Eggs”

  1. avatar Trixie says:

    Does this work with very fresh eggs that generally don’t peel worth a hoot?

    • avatar Irene says:

      Hi Trixie,
      Yes, definitely! The marbled tea eggs in the photos were made with freshly gathered eggs. Thank you so much for reading our blog and for the great question!
      ~ irene

  2. I made these a few days ago and my kids LOVED them. We raise our own happy chickens and we get about 6 eggs a day, so there is no shortage of eggs at our house. Thanks for the recipe!!!

  3. avatar OurMothersGifts says:

    Love this!! So excited to try!!!! I was going to ask the same question! lol I was planning on doing this with our fresh, free range, organic eggs…but also a little apprehensive considering they don’t usually peel well when hard boiled!! :-)
    Thank you!!!

  4. avatar Shawny says:

    RE: “Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 40 minutes to 3 hours.”

    Most hard boiled eggs cook for only 20 minutes. More than that I would think would make them rubbery. What is the food safety of cooking an egg for 3 hours?

    • avatar Irene says:

      Hi Shawny,

      Thank you for reading our blog, and for the great question!

      This recipe is based upon traditional recipes which call for simmering the eggs for a long time. The consistency of the eggs does change, and they become denser as a result of the cooking time. I really like the texture, it’s very pleasant and different from what you might expect!

      Based upon the research that I did, cooking eggs longer doesn’t seem to adversely affect their food safety. For information about the food safety of eggs, there are quite a few online documents written by various extension services. You could also call your local extension service office, they’ll be happy to assist you and are much more knowledgeable about food safety than I am. :-)

      If you don’t like the consistency of the eggs after they’ve simmered for this period of time, then you could certainly shorten their cooking time. They will still taste great, but won’t be quite as flavorful.

      Thanks again, and I hope that you enjoy your marbled tea eggs!

      ~ Irene

  5. avatar Queen_Cupcake says:

    I also wondered about such a long cooking time!

    These eggs look amazing–can’t wait to try. I might also use red wine for a different experiment.

    • avatar Irene says:

      Hi Queen Cupcake,

      Thank you for your comment!

      Oooh, red wine is a great idea! If you try it, please let us know how it turns out. I’d love to hear about your experiments with this recipe. :-)

      Thank you so much for reading our blog and for the wonderful idea!

      ~ Irene

  6. avatar organicearthgirl says:

    Does the recipe call for 2 TBSP of brewed tea or 2 TBSP of tea leaves?

    • avatar Irene says:

      Hi organicearthgirl,
      The recipe calls for 2 TBSP tea leaves (not brewed).
      Thank you for reading this article, and for the wonderful question!
      ~ Irene

  7. avatar stewardofearth says:

    Peeling hard boiled fresh eggs…there is a way. Its a double process of boiling/simmer, then ice water, then returning one at a time back into boiling water again for 10 seconds, then finishing off in ice water (the longer the better in ice 10-15 minutes) Wah-La ! check out “Community Chickens” she found this in Julia Childs recipes :

    • avatar chickenfarmer says:

      I recently “over-cooked” my hardboiled eggs because, well, I simply forgot they were on the stove. Nearly all the boiled water was gone! These eggs were picked fresh that day and they peeled like a dream! Is THAT the answer to getting the peel off?

      • avatar Irene says:

        Hi chickenfarmer (love your name!),
        Hmmm, maybe you discovered a new technique for peeling eggs! Thank you for sharing this story with us. I can’t wait to try all of these new tips and ideas. :-)
        Thanks again!
        ~ Irene

    • avatar Irene says:

      Hi stewardofearth,
      Wow, thank you for sharing this amazing tip with us! I can’t wait to try this method. :-)
      Thank you so much for your comment, and for reading our blog!
      ~ Irene

      • avatar SharonRose says:

        When you make deviled eggs, do you use your regular recipe, or do you add something else to the yoke for the filling?

        • avatar Irene says:

          Hi SharonRose,

          Thank you so much for the great question!

          You could certainly use your regular recipe, and could even add a little of the brine (after simmering the eggs) to give the yolks a little of the spiced soy sauce flavor.

          Thanks again, and enjoy the recipe!

          ~ Irene

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