Té Company’s Taiwanese Tea Egg

Traditionally, tea eggs are served at 7-11s in Taiwan. They typically hard-boil the eggs and marinate them all day — shells on — in a hot bath of spices and soy. These 7-11 tea eggs are childhood memories of the Taiwanese born and raised. This is a slightly different recipe, which results in a soft-boiled tea egg with the shell removed. It doesn’t replicate the exact childhood memories, but it is far tastier. —Té Company’s Fred Ribeiro and Elena Liao

Té Company's Taiwanese Tea Eggs

Serves 4

  • 2 tsp./10g black tea
  • 2 star anise pods
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • ¾ cup/200g water
  • 4 tsp./20g sugar
  • ¼ cup/50g white or apple cider vinegar
  • 1¼ cup/250g soy sauce
  • 4 large eggs
  1. Add tea, star anise and cinnamon to the water in a small pot over medium heat. Remove from the heat and add sugar. Make sure the sugar is dissolved before stirring in the vinegar and soy. Pour the brine into a container and put in the fridge until cool.
  2. Bring a pot of abundant water to a boil and gently lower in the eggs one at a time. If the eggs came straight from the refrigerator, the water will stop boiling for a few seconds. Wait until it comes to a boil again and then turn down the heat slightly. (Gentle boiling will avoid the egg white tasting rubbery — we are being picky here.) After the time is up*, rinse the eggs under cold water for a minute or add them to a bowl filled with ice. Peel immediately, which might upset the purists.
  3. Place the eggs in the cold brine and allow them to sit, submerged, for at least 1 hour, and up to 3 hours. Ensure the eggs are fully submerged with the help of a plate. The longer they marinate, the more flavorful — but also saltier. Do not toss the brine, as it can be re-used at least three times.
  4. We prefer to eat the tea eggs on the same day that they are prepared, however, you can make them in advance, keep them refrigerated, and snack on them within 3 days. After that, you are on your own.

* Although we prefer eggs cooked in the 7-minute ballpark, boil them to your preference. How long should you boil eggs? Using the method of adding cold eggs to boiling water, soft-boiled is between 6 and 7 minutes, and hard-boiled is in between 10 and 12.