Saturday, 13 September 2014

Chinese tea eggs, cha ye dan.

Foods often conjure up a period of time in our lives, taking us back in time. 
There are foods that comfort us, make us feel better when we don't feel well or
when we crave familiarity. Some foods remind us of special people in our lives.
Some foods do all three and for me, one of those foods is the Chinese Tea Egg.

They take me back to the corner store in Shanghai, bubbling away on the counter. 
To Tea House visits with friends, elegantly served in a bowl to accompany our tea. 
Savoured as we enjoyed the ceremony of drinking Chinese tea, planned adventures, 
discussed family, life in Shanghai, travel and issues of the world.
Now, when we have days when we really miss our Shanghai life, which is often, 
I put on my pot and make up a batch of our Chinese treats. The aroma
fills the house and we are taken back, satisfied that we still have a link, 
memories of a wonderful part of our lives flood back.

A tasty snack or part of a regular Chinese feast, we love them!

Chinese tea eggs, cha ye dan

12 Quail eggs (You can also use 6 chicken eggs instead)
4 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons black tea or two tea bags
3 star anise
1 cinnamon quill
1 teaspoon Chinese five spice
1 tablespoon sugar
3 cups water

Place eggs in a saucepan and cover with cold water, bring to the boil then simmer for 5 minutes until hard boiled.

Rinse in cool water and drain.

Roll the eggs on the kitchen bench or tap with the back of a spoon to crack the shells. Don't remove the shells.

Place all the other ingredients in a saucepan, bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes.

Add the cooked, crackled eggs and simmer a further 10 minutes. Let cool in liquid.

Chinese tea eggs, cha ye dan

Chinese tea eggs, cha ye dan

Chinese tea eggs, cha ye dan

Take the shell off and pop in your mouth...enjoy!

Chinese tea eggs, cha ye dan

You can leave the eggs in the liquid overnight and the taste will be slightly stronger. 
 You can also add some orange zest to the mix for some added tang. 
My girls like taking them to school for a snack and they are 
perfect to take on a picnic....if they last that long!


  1. Those eggs sound very interesting. I think I have all the ingredients except quail eggs. May have to try them some time.

    1. They are tasty Marcia, they work fine with chicken eggs too, just adjust cooking time to allow for the bigger eggs :)