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Chinese Tea Eggs

June 10, 2014 | 3 comments



So apparently you’re not supposed to put a whole egg in the microwave. I knew about metal even though I almost did that accidentally because we have a lot of metal mixing bowls (ok, 2 metal mixing bowls). It’s one of the first things your parents tell you not to do and if you accidentally stuff one in there and your parent happened to be watching, they might just shout, “DON’T PUT METAL IN THE MICROWAVE!!!” And they never tell you why! This girl wants to know why! Not enough to put metal in the microwave though.

Cracking the eggs to make a pretty marble pattern!

Cracking the eggs to make a pretty marble pattern!

So metal is all taken care of right? Ok, so I had to dry out some mint leaves one day with a friend. And we didn’t want to turn on the oven and the internet said that putting it in the microwave is a GREAT idea and dries them fast!! So being naive little us, we had to trust the internet (that’s another thing they should tell you, don’t trust the internet!!!), and stick mint leaves in the microwave while no one was home. And guess what?!

Cauldron, cauldron, steam and bubble!

Cauldron, cauldron, steam and bubble!

They set on fire!!! First 15 seconds they set on fire and we clicked the stop button just in time. But, again being naive little us, we had to try again and thinking that there would be a different result. This time we got soo terrified that we nearly burned the microwave and her house down. Thankfully she was brave and turned it off. Don’t look at me, I am useless at times like this.

Cooking.... Hurry up!!

Cooking…. Hurry up!!

They really should add whole eggs to the list of things NOT to put in the microwave. I was heating up one of these eggs, which is delicious by the way, and it decided to explode. Everywhere in the microwave. At least I didn’t think sticking these in the microwave to cook would be a good idea. Just imagine that! It would sound like popcorn in there. Great April fool’s joke! Granted that you love cleaning up the microwave and exploding things!


Okay, enough about exploding things, setting on fire, and whatever reaction metal has with the microwave. Let’s get on to these eggs! They are a very popular Chinese street food. In China though, nobody bothers to make them. Just here. Because here we can’t get them for 1/6 of a dollar/1 yuan. No, if you want good eggs, you’re going to have to pay that much! So, make them at home! So easy and so delicious! Easily pleases a huge crowd and makes great presentation with little work.



Chinese Tea Eggs


  • 12 eggs
  • lots of water
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 2 whole star anise or 1 tsp star anise powder
  • 2 stalks green onion
  • big hunk of ginger about 2-3 tbsp
  • 3 tbsp tea leaves or 3 tea bags


  1. Boil the eggs for 15 minutes, or use your favorite hard boiled egg recipe. If you want yellow yolks, you can forget about them now. We just want them hard boiled.
  2. Crack each egg, leaving the shell on, with a spoon or smashing it against the counter top (not literately, don't break the counter)
  3. In a large saucepan, place the cracked eggs and enough water to cover. Add in the rest of the ingredients and boil for 1-2 hours.
  4. Let seep for 0-6 hours in the refrigerator, depending on preference. I like to do mine overnight.
  5. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes

this recipe is very flexible.


read or add your own

  1. Eva on

    June 10, 2014 at 5:04 pm says

    J’ai bien rigolée avec ton expérience au micro-ondes ! Cette recette est génial! tu as été en Chine?

    • Anne on

      June 10, 2014 at 6:58 pm says

      Merci beaucoup!
      Oui!!! Je suis née en Chine et je suis retournée l’été dernier.
      aaahhhh!!! trop d’accent en français….



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