Marbled Tea Eggs for Chinese New Year

I am very excited to share this post with you as this is a symbolic recipe for the very important Chinese New Year festival (10th Feb this year), which is like Christmas for us. The same for any race or religion, a celebration always means mountains of food. With so many varieties of food, it is impossible to share all of them with you so I have picked one of my personal favourite.

Marbled tea egg

Marbled tea eggs are commonly sold in Chinese herbal shops or in tea shops in Malaysia and is more often eaten as a snack as it is very portable and convenient. There is a particular shop that I go to every time I am home. The tea shop where my dad is a regular at, will have a mountain of cracked eggs boiling away in the slow cooker, placed at the entrance. The lovely aroma fills the whole space. I normally go on the escalator and naturally follow the smell. The eggs miraculously appear in front of me, with a girl smiling away recognizing this very frequent face.

Marbled tea egg

Eggs symbolise new life and rebirth, and is an ancient symbol of fertility. They also represent fertility and wealth in the Chinese culture. Some refer eggs to golden nuggets mainly because of the golden yellow yolk. This tea egg is special and beautiful with its marbled effect created from the cracked shells simmered and marinated in spiced tea for hours to flavour the egg. Eat this if you would like to be blessed with wealth and fertility this New Year. Hope you like it and Happy Chinese New Year!

How to crack the eggs

 Cracked eggs

 Marble tea egg shells

Marbled Tea Eggs

Chinese Marbled Tea Eggs

adapted from Saveur
makes 8 eggs


  • 8 eggs
  • 3 cups water

  • 2 black tea bags
  • 5 tbs soy sauce
  • 1 tbs dark soy sauce
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 star anise
  • ½ tsp five-spice powder
  • 1 tsp cracked black pepper corn
  • 2 strips dried mandarin peel (optional)
  • 1 tsp sugar


  1. Wash the eggs and place them in a pot.
  2. Cover eggs with water then bring to boil for about 10 minutes or until eggs are fully cooked.
  3. Pour the hot water out and rinse eggs with cold water.
  4. Tap gently on shell of each egg with the back of a spoon. Make sure the shells are cracked all around. Do not peel the eggs.
  5. The cracks will let the spiced tea seep through the shells and flavour the eggs. This will also create the marble effect.
  6. Slowly place the cracked eggs and all marinade ingredients into the slow cooker pot. Let it slow cook for 8 hours or overnight. If you do not have a slow cooker, put the marinade ingredients, cracked eggs and water enough to cover eggs into a regular pot. Boil and turn heat to low. Let simmer for about 2 hours or longer.
  7. Serve warm or let eggs sit in marinade for a few more hours or overnight to develop a darker marble effect and deeper flavour.


  • The longer you leave the eggs in the spiced tea, the more flavourful the eggs become.
  • Eggs can be left to sit in the marinade for 24 - 48 hours in the fridge.


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