What is a Tea Egg?
In essence, a tea egg is a hard boiled egg that is then cracked and soaked in tea, soy sauce, and spices. The cracks in the shell allow the juices to infiltrate the egg and create a marbling sort of effect. Most recipes online include a lot of ingredients, but we are super lucky that Plum Deluxe has a couple of perfect pairings for this recipe. The best part about this recipe for me is that I usually add a little salt to my hard boiled eggs, but with the soy sauce, there's no need. These are easy to eat on the go or to add as a side to all sorts of dishes like green tea rice.
How to Make Tea Eggs
Cooking these is actually pretty simple. First, hard boil some eggs. There are numerous ways you can do this, so pick your tried and true or give it a go in the Instant Pot. Simply add some water, the trivet, and some eggs into the Instant Pot. Set the Pot to pressure cook on high for 6 minutes, then quick release. Remove the eggs and put directly into an ice bath to stop their cooking.
While the eggs are cooking, make some tea and add some soy sauce to soak the eggs in when they're done. I have to be honest here: While adding soy sauce to such delicious tea felt a little sacrilegious and made me cringe, it's worth it in the end.
I made three batches of these eggs with three different teas. My favorite by far was the Fireside Chat Black Tea. This smoky flavor pairs perfectly with the soy sauce, and the tea includes several traditional ingredients you'll often find in tea egg recipes. Another great, and probably more traditionally flavored, tea choice is the Rainy Day Puerh.
After you hard boil your eggs, take the back of a spoon and crack them all over to give you the marbled pattern. Then place them in the cooled tea/soy sauce mixture overnight.
I had no idea how to make tea eggs when I started this adventure. My first batch didn't have much of a pattern because I didn't use enough soy sauce. I also picked a sweeter oolong tea and, while delicious on its own, it did not go well with the eggs. The second batch I made did have the pattern, but it was very light. I didn't want to use so much soy sauce that it overpowered the tea flavor, so this was a great balance for me. Feel free to add more soy sauce to increase the marbling effect.
Tea Egg Tips
- For a more pronounced flavor and marbling on the egg, use more soy sauce.
- The longer you let the eggs sit in the tea/soy mixture, the stronger they'll be both in flavor and color.
- You can also peel the eggs and put them back in the mixture as you serve them if you want a stronger flavor.
Tea Eggs Recipe
Add one cup of water, the trivet, and eggs into Instant Pot. Set Instant Pot to high pressure, for 6 minutes, then quick release pressure. Cook for 5 minutes for less firm egg yolks.
Or, hard boil your eggs on the stove using your preferred method.
While eggs cook, prepare tea by adding 2 heaping tablespoons to 16 ounces of boiling water. Steep for 3-5 minutes and strain.
Add soy sauce to tea and set aside.
When eggs are done cooking, immediately move them to ice bath to stop cooking.
Thoroughly crack eggs with the back of a spoon.
Place cracked eggs in tea/soy sauce mixture and chill in fridge overnight.
Peel, eat, and enjoy when you're ready!