Category: 

What is a Tea Egg?

Article Details
  • Written By: Tracey Parece
  • Edited By: J.T. Gale
  • Last Modified Date: 10 September 2016
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2016
    Conjecture Corporation
  • Print this Article
Free Widgets for your Site/Blog
The atmosphere of Jupiter's moon Io collapses every time it is eclipsed by the planet.   more...

September 29 ,  2008 :  The Dow Jones Industrial Average experienced its largest one-day drop in history.  more...

A tea egg is a Chinese snack popularly enjoyed by many people in China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. It is a favorite among Chinese communities, and it is increasing in popularity throughout the world. Although there are various recipes for making tea eggs, they are generally made by boiling eggs, gently cracking the shells, and then simmering them further in a blend of black tea leaves, soy sauce, and spices. The flavor from the spiced mixture seeps into the egg through the cracks in the shell, resulting in a flavorful marinated egg. In addition to the flavor added to the egg by this process, simmering the egg in the spice blend imparts a marbling effect to the cooked egg white.

To impart maximum flavor and color to the tea egg, the simmering process can continue for several hours. Alternatively, the egg can be simmered for 20 minutes, left in the liquid mixture, and placed in the refrigerator for a few days to marinate. The longer the tea egg remains in the mixture, the more flavorful and colored it will be.

Common variations on the traditional tea egg recipe include preparing them without the use of tea leaves, or removing the shells prior to soaking them in the spiced mixture. Chinese five-spice powder is often used as an ingredient in this Chinese snack. The five spices contained in this seasoning are Szechuan peppercorns, ground cinnamon, fennel seeds, star anise, and cloves.

Ad

Other Chinese egg dishes include the century egg, soy egg, salted duck eggs, and balut. Traditionally, century eggs are prepared by coating eggs in clay, ash, rice hulls, lime, and salt for an extended period of time. This process causes an increase in the eggs' pH levels, thereby resulting in a flavorful snack with a pungent ammonia or sulfur odor. Soy eggs are cooked in water, soy sauce, spices, and sugar to produce a food that is commonly eaten alone as a snack or combined with other foods as a meal.

In spite of their name, salted duck eggs are sometimes made with chicken eggs. They are eggs that have been preserved in brine or a charcoal paste. Unlike tea eggs, soy eggs, and salted duck eggs, balut is an egg that has actually been fertilized. A balut has a partially or fully formed chick or duckling inside. The egg is prepared in the same way as traditional hard boiled eggs and eaten while still warm.

Ad

You might also Like

Recommended

Discuss this Article

Sporkasia
Post 4

A few years ago, my husband and I went to a friend's party to celebrate the Chinese new year, and one of the items on the menu was these beautifully decorated marbled eggs. I wasn't aware of the Chinese tradition regarding tea eggs at the time, so I wasn't exactly sure what I was eating. However, I was aware that the eggs were absolutely delicious, and they looked like works of art. I hope to serve them at one of my upcoming meals, but first I have to find the right recipe and master the decorating skillls.

Sporkasia
Post 3

A few years ago, my husband and I went to a friend's party to celebrate the Chinese new year, and one of the items on the menu was these beautifully decorated marbled eggs. I wasn't aware of the Chinese tradition regarding tea eggs at the time, so I wasn't exactly sure what I was eating. However, I was aware that the eggs were absolutely delicious, and they looked like works of art. I hope to serve them at one of my upcoming meals, but first I have to find the right recipe and master the decorating skillls.

Feryll
Post 2

Animandel - I am the one person at the party who doesn't like deviled eggs, not ever. Regardless of who prepared it and how it was prepared, I have never met a deviled egg that I could stomach. So I would definitely be interested in learning more about the different recipes for tea eggs.

It seems like you might be able to add pretty much any flavor you wanted to the eggs. And with the benefits of tea in general, these should be a little healthier than plain hard boiled eggs.

Animandel
Post 1

I go to a large number of family gatherings, tailgating parties, picnics, barbecues and other gathering, and I estimate that about 90 percent of these gathering include the serving of deviled eggs. Generally, I like deviled eggs as much as the next person, but I am the point where I have had too much of a good thing.

Anyway, I'm thinking that a combination of the tea egg and the deviled egg might make a tasty change from the traditional deviled egg.

Post your comments

exception 'Exception' with message 'error writing captcha: Duplicate entry '2147483647' for key 'PRIMARY'' in /ssd/www/wisegeek/public_html/_core/classes/public/Captcha.php:44
Stack trace:
#0 /ssd/www/wisegeek/public_html/_core/controls/public/ControlDiscussionPostBox.php(324): Captcha->createCaptcha()
#1 /ssd/www/wisegeek/public_html/framework/classes/Control.php(104): ControlDiscussionPostBox->preRender(false)
#2 /ssd/www/wisegeek/public_html/framework/classes/Control.php(149): Control->render()
#3 /ssd/www/wisegeek/public_html/tpl/default-nocustom-lu/pages/public/article/article.htm(526): Control->__toString()
#4 /ssd/www/wisegeek/public_html/framework/classes/Control.php(300): require('/ssd/www/wisege...')
#5 /ssd/www/wisegeek/public_html/framework/classes/Control.php(309): Control->requireTpl('pages/public/ar...', Object(PageArticleCom), true)
#6 /ssd/www/wisegeek/public_html/framework/classes/Control.php(131): Control->renderTpl('pages/public/ar...', Object(PageArticleCom))
#7 /ssd/www/wisegeek/public_html/framework/classes/FormDataControl.php(87): Control->renderTemplate()
#8 /ssd/www/wisegeek/public_html/framework/classes/Control.php(109): FormDataControl->renderTemplate()
#9 /ssd/www/wisegeek/public_html/framework/classes/ScriptPage.php(50): Control->render(false)
#10 /ssd/www/wisegeek/public_html/framework/classes/Control.php(149): ScriptPage->render()
#11 /ssd/www/wisegeek/public_html/framework/classes/Page.php(97): Control->__toString()
#12 /ssd/www/wisegeek/public_html/_core/classes/public/PublicFrontController.php(443): Page->processRequest()
#13 /ssd/www/wisegeek/public_html/_core/classes/public/PublicFrontController.php(7): PublicFrontController->renderPage()
#14 /ssd/www/wisegeek/public_html/index.php(11): PublicFrontController::run()
#15 {main}