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Chinese Tea Leaf Eggs

Image for Chinese Tea Leaf Eggs


Makes 8 Eggs

kikkoman products used:


8 eggs
3 tablespoons Kikkoman Soy Sauce
2 star anise or about 1 1/2 tbsp anise seed
1 cinnamon stick
2 tablespoons black tea leaves
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups water cold
1 tablespoon orange zest optional


  1. Boil eggs per desired method. I high recommend checking out the guide to the perfect boiled egg by Savory Experiements.
  2. Submerge the eggs in cold water so that the eggs become cool enough to handle.
  3. While eggs cool, whisk together soy sauce, star anise (or anise seed), black tea leaves, sugar, salt, cinnamon stick, orange zest (if using), and cold water in a saucepan just large enough to fit the eggs.
  4. Remove eggs from water and towel dry. Using the back of a spoon, lightly tap the eggs so that the shell cracks, but not so hard that the shell loosens from the egg. It’s okay if a few tiny pieces of shell break away – the tea stain will just be darker in that area. Once the egg shell is covered in cracks, gently place it in the saucepan with the tea mixture. Once all eggs are in the saucepan, make sure they’re completely submerged in the tea mixture. If not, add more water, up to 1 additional cup.
  5. Bring saucepan to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cover and let eggs simmer for 2 hours (or longer, for a more potent taste), adding more water to the pot as needed to keep the eggs submerged.
  6. Serve Chinese tea leaf eggs with shells removed (tip: roll the egg between your palms to loosen the shell, then slip off the shell) and with additional Kikkoman Soy Sauce for dipping.


Even people who love soy sauce and use it all the time are often surprised to learn what it is and how it’s made. We make ours from just four simple ingredients—water, soybeans, wheat, and salt. Those ingredients are transformed through a traditional brewing process—much like making wine or beer—that has remained unchanged for centuries.


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