Soft-Boiled Oolong Tea Eggs


Thanks to the magic of the cold-stepp, these tea eggs boast both the addictive flavor of oolong and a soft, melty yolk.


  • 4 large eggs

  • 2 cups water

  • 4 tbsp (60 mL) soy sauce

  • 2 tbsp (15g) oolong tea leaves

  • 5 whole star anise

  • 1 tsp salt

  • 1 tsp sugar

(adapted from Get Cracking)

  1. Prepare a bowl of ice water and set it aside. Fill a saucepan with enough water to cover your eggs and bring it to a boil. Gently add the eggs, being careful not to crack the shells. 

  2. Lower the heat to a simmer and set a timer for your desired level of doneness: 6 minutes for soft-boiled, 8 for medium, and 11 for hard. As soon as the timer rings, use a slotted spoon or spider to transfer the eggs to the ice bath. 

  3. While the eggs are cooling, empty and rinse out the saucepan. Return the pan to the stove and add the water, soy sauce, oolong, star anise, salt, and sugar. Simmer for 15 minutes over medium-low heat, then allow to cool to room temperature.

  4. Strain the tea mixture into a medium-sized tupperware or ziploc bag nestled in a bowl. If you’d like to create the traditional marbled pattern, crack the shells of the eggs all over with the back of a spoon (no need to go too crazy here–not breaking the eggs is priority #1!). Otherwise, simply peel the eggs under cool running water.

  5. Transfer the eggs to the tea mixture and cold-steep for at least 6 hours and up to 3 days, turning the eggs occasionally with a spoon to ensure even coloration.

Grace Kwan © 2020