Marbled Tea Egg

It all started out innocently enough…
Yut: Too bad reheating them is a pain.
Me: Well we can eat ’em cold or just stick ’em in the mike!
Yut: I don’t think we can reheat eggs in the microwave.
Me: Really? Seems like it’d be ok to me.
Oops. I WUZ WRONG!!! So yeah, don’t try and reheat hard boiled eggs in the microwave. Although maybe it’s cos he didn’t peel the shells off the eggs before sticking them in. I don’t know, and I don’t think we’re gonna try it again!

But! When they’re not exploding, marbled tea eggs are delicious — they’re really good as a part of dinner (appetizer? side dish?) or snack — and easy peasy to make, which is a great combination! Maybe someone can make it and test my microwaving-is-ok-if-the-eggs-are-peeled theory, how about it? :)

Marbled Tea Eggs 茶葉蛋
marbled tea egg
Adapted from Chinese Home Cooking Made Easy by Shyh-Pwu Tien.

12 medium or large eggs
5 black tea bags or 3-5 tablespoons of black tea or oolong tea, or a mixture of both
5 star anise
1/3-1/2 cup soy sauce
1 teaspoon five spice powder (optional)
1 teaspoon salt (optional)
Actually to be perfectly honest, all the amounts are random, I increased everything the cookbook said, except the eggs and salt, ’cause I like flavors, but it worked out fine. It’s a very forgiving recipe.

1. Place eggs in a pot, cover with cold water, add a little salt (optional), bring to a boil over medium high heat, boil for maybe a minute, then turn off stove and let sit for 10-12 minutes or so. I like to use older eggs for this because it makes the eggs easier to peel when eating — so buy the carton of eggs about a week before you are going to make this.
2. Drain the hot water, rinse under cold water to cool. Gently tap or roll the eggs to make cracks, but leave the shell on.
3. Place the eggs in a crock pot, slow cooker, or regular pot on the stove (whatever you like), cover with water, then add in the tea, star anise, soy sauce, five spice power if you have some, and salt if you feel like it. Bring to a boil over medium high heat and then simmer for 30 minutes minimum. (I think longer is better, personally, like 3-5 hours wouldn’t be amiss.)
4. Take off the stove, serve hot or cold. Or maybe serve hot the first day, then cold thereafter so you don’t have microwave mishaps! We reheat on the stove now. :p

Actually, this reminds me: if you go to any 7-11 in Taiwan, they’ll have a rice cooker/steamer keeping tea eggs warm for sale. Delish!


  1. reminds me of that time i tried to reheat a hotdog from costco in it’s aluminum wrapper, and it caught on fire -.-

    i always liked the rice triangles at the 7-11 wrapped with nori, stuffed with dried pork

  2. HHAHAHAHAHHA I bet your mom got a kick outta this~ :-P

  3. Uh… wow. Hahaha! I like em cool or warm. Could you just reboil it?

  4. HAHAHA pol!!! Yeah 7-11 in Taiwan is full of cool stuff, way better than the 7-11’s here.

    Good thing my mom doesn’t read my blog, AFAIK! She’s the one who gave me that cookbook. Everything’s in Mandarin and English and simple, just the way I need it to be. :)

    Reboiling totally works, but we were trying to be speedy. And we mostly just eat ’em cold. :)

  5. oh wow…i just checked out that cook book on amazon… friggin like 60 bucks… bleh… >_<

  6. maybe it’s outta print, or something, so it’s “rare” and therefore expensive? I don’t know how much my mom bought it for. Check out local Asian bookstores, there must be some equivalent. :)

  7. World Book Store off the Pike (Wintergreen)

  8. LOL.. same thing happened to me. Except I was using normal eggs and I DID peel them.. so peeling them is NOT the solution. Apparently, you aren’t supposed to microwave hardboiled eggs at all.

    Who knew!

  9. haha! we tried the same once, only it was with an uncooked egg, and we were trying to cook it. However I vaguely remembered that you’re not meant to microwave eggs, so we put a pirex jug on top of it to catch it if it did explode…. BAD IDEA!!! after a few mins the egg and the jug exploded, sending egg and glass flying all over the kitchen lol!!

    I think you’re meant to prick the yolk if you want to microwave it btw :)

  10. well I’ll just say I’m glad I’m not the only one. :)
    But I didn’t know Pyrex exploded! I always thought Pyrex was practically unbreakable. Dude, that’s crazy.

  11. Whole eggs tend to do that when microwaved. I’ve done it once with an egg and once with a potato. Cutting it in half will keep it from doing that ;)

  12. I didn’t know potatoes did this! I keep learning about more things that can burst in the microwave …

    Thanks for the hint about cutting it in half — it reinstates the microwave as a egg re-warmer. :)

  13. OK, I’m going to try these amazing looking Eggs out on my husband (Guinea Pig!). I just wanted you to know that your story is Hilarious. I will cut them in half after peeling then Nuke them for a few seconds. Thanks!

  14. How come no-one has made a Eggsploding pun?

  15. lol. The first picture is named “Eggsplosion”

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