Cha Ye Dan Recipe from Hong Kong - Delicious Egg Recipe

Cha Ye Dan

Cha Ye Dan Recipe from Hong Kong - Delicious Egg Recipe
Region / culture: Hong Kong | Preparation time: 10 minutes | Cooking time: 3 hours | Servings: 10


Cha Ye Dan
Cha Ye Dan

Cha Ye Dan, also known as tea eggs, is a popular Chinese snack that is made by steeping hard-boiled eggs in a mixture of tea, spices, and soy sauce. This dish has a unique flavor profile that is both savory and slightly sweet, making it a favorite among tea lovers and food enthusiasts alike.


The origins of Cha Ye Dan can be traced back to China, where tea has been consumed for thousands of years. Tea eggs were traditionally made by tea farmers who would boil eggs in leftover tea leaves to create a flavorful and nutritious snack. Over time, the recipe evolved to include a variety of spices and seasonings, resulting in the delicious dish we know today.



How to prepare

  1. Boil the eggs until they are 90% cooked.
  2. Gently hit and crush the eggs using a spoon.
  3. In a small pot, bring water to a boil and then turn off the heat. Add oolong tea leaves.
  4. Place the eggs into the tea pot when the water turns brown.
  5. Turn on the heat and let it boil on very low heat. Add salt.
  6. Allow the eggs to soak for 2 – 3 hours before serving.


  • Add star anise or cinnamon sticks to the tea mixture for a more complex flavor.
  • Use black tea or green tea instead of oolong tea for a different taste profile.
  • Experiment with different spices and seasonings to customize the dish to your liking.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

Be sure to use high-quality oolong tea leaves for the best flavor.

- Crushing the eggs slightly before steeping them in the tea mixture allows the flavors to penetrate the egg more effectively.

- Allowing the eggs to soak for a few hours before serving will enhance the flavor and color of the dish.

Serving Suggestions

Cha Ye Dan can be enjoyed as a snack or appetizer, served with a side of steamed rice or vegetables.

Cooking Techniques

Steeping the eggs in the tea mixture allows the flavors to infuse the eggs, resulting in a delicious and aromatic dish.

Ingredient Substitutions

If you don't have oolong tea leaves, you can use black tea or green tea as a substitute.

Make Ahead Tips

Cha Ye Dan can be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Presentation Ideas

Serve Cha Ye Dan on a platter with toothpicks for easy serving, garnished with fresh herbs or sesame seeds for added flavor and visual appeal.

Pairing Recommendations

Cha Ye Dan pairs well with a cup of hot tea or a glass of cold beer.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

Store leftover Cha Ye Dan in an airtight container in the refrigerator. To reheat, simply microwave the eggs for a few seconds until warm.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

Each serving of Cha Ye Dan contains approximately 150 calories.


Each serving of Cha Ye Dan contains approximately 2 grams of carbohydrates.


Each serving of Cha Ye Dan contains approximately 5 grams of fat.


Each serving of Cha Ye Dan contains approximately 12 grams of protein.

Vitamins and minerals

Cha Ye Dan is a good source of vitamin A, vitamin D, and iron.


Cha Ye Dan contains eggs and soy sauce, which may be allergens for some individuals.


Cha Ye Dan is a nutritious snack that is high in protein and low in carbohydrates. It is also a good source of vitamins and minerals, making it a healthy and satisfying option for a quick and easy meal.


Cha Ye Dan is a delicious and nutritious snack that is easy to make and full of flavor. With its unique blend of tea, spices, and soy sauce, this dish is sure to become a favorite in your household. Enjoy!

How did I get this recipe?

The memory of discovering this recipe for the first time is a treasured one. It was many years ago, when I was just a young girl living in the bustling city of Shanghai. My family was not wealthy, but we always made the best of what we had. My mother was a talented cook, and she passed down her love for cooking to me.

One day, my mother’s friend invited us over for dinner. As soon as we entered her home, the aroma of delicious food filled the air. I remember being mesmerized by the sight of a beautiful dish on the table – Cha Ye Dan, or tea leaf eggs. The eggs were marbled with intricate patterns from being steeped in a fragrant tea mixture.

I was fascinated by the unique look of the eggs and asked my mother’s friend for the recipe. She smiled kindly and told me that it was a traditional Chinese dish that she learned from her mother, who learned it from her mother before her. She graciously shared the recipe with me, and from that moment on, Cha Ye Dan became a staple in my own cooking repertoire.

To make Cha Ye Dan, you start by boiling eggs until they are cooked through. While the eggs are boiling, you prepare a mixture of tea leaves, soy sauce, star anise, cinnamon, and sugar. Once the eggs are cooked, you gently crack the shells all over to create a marbled effect. Then, you return the cracked eggs to the pot of boiling water and add the tea mixture. The eggs steep in the tea mixture for a few hours, absorbing the flavors and turning into a beautiful marbled masterpiece.

I remember the first time I made Cha Ye Dan for my family. The eggs were a hit, and my mother praised me for my cooking skills. From that day on, I made Cha Ye Dan regularly, perfecting the recipe with each batch. Over the years, I have made Cha Ye Dan for countless family gatherings, potlucks, and special occasions. It has become a beloved dish in my family, a symbol of tradition and love.

As I grew older, I continued to explore new recipes and techniques in the kitchen. I learned how to make dumplings from my neighbor, who had a secret family recipe passed down for generations. I learned how to make noodle soup from a street vendor in the market, who showed me the importance of using fresh ingredients and a well-seasoned broth. I even learned how to make mooncakes from a distant relative who lived in the countryside.

Each recipe I learned held a special place in my heart, a connection to the past and a promise of future memories. Cooking became more than just a necessity – it became a way for me to express my creativity, share my culture, and create lasting bonds with those around me. I passed down the recipes I learned to my own children and grandchildren, hoping to inspire them to carry on the tradition of good food and good company.

Now, as I sit in my cozy kitchen, surrounded by the comforting aromas of simmering soups and sizzling stir-fries, I am grateful for the knowledge and experience I have gained over the years. The recipes I have collected from various places and people have shaped me into the cook I am today, and I am proud to carry on the legacy of delicious food that has been passed down through generations.

Cha Ye Dan will always hold a special place in my heart, as it was the recipe that sparked my passion for cooking and opened the door to a world of culinary delights. I will continue to make Cha Ye Dan for my loved ones, sharing the story of how I discovered this treasured recipe and the memories it holds for me. Cooking is more than just following a set of instructions – it is a journey of discovery, creativity, and love. And I am grateful for every moment I spend in the kitchen, creating dishes that bring joy and nourishment to those around me.


| Egg Recipes | Hong Kong Recipes | Hong Kong Snacks | Tea Recipes |

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