Saturday, September 10, 2005

Char Tan aka Tea Eggs

The fragrance of herbs in the air while making this dish brings back fond memory of the fragrance you get when you come near to the chinese medicine shop at a mall in malaysia which sells these eggs.

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30 eggs


2 tbsp salt
30 g black tea leaves
3 star anise
3 x 2cm piece cinnamon stick
3 thick slice tong kwai
3 tbsp sugar
3 tbsp soya sauce
6 pieces kum cho
2 pieces tangerine peel
1 tbsp pepper


Put eggs and enough water to cover the eggs(have these at room temperature), bring to a boil.

Lower heat and allow to simmer for five to six minutes.(timed from the moment the water returns to a boil)

Remove eggs and soak in cold water.

Gently tap the eggs to crack the shells, with the handle of a large knife, but not hard enough to dislodge any of the shell. (these tiny, irregular cracks all over the egg will enable the tea to stain the surface of the thin membrane inside the "crackle' effect seen on old Chinese porcelain)

Put seasoning together with another half pot of water and bring to a boil.

Add the cracked eggs and add enough water, simmer over gentle heat for half an hour.

Soak eggs for two to three hours or longer before serving. Once cold they can be stored short term in the refrigerator.

Remove shells and serve eggs with a dash of pepper and a sprinkling of salt.



Little Corner of Mine said...


What is kum cho? Was it in the picture? Is it clove?

lilyng said...


kum cho is liquourice and in the pic is the one on top of the cinnamon bark. You remember the kum cho fun(powder) which is yellow and it coats the sour plum? Yummy. I use the 'fun' in my bak kuah

sheilin teo said...

wow. what a great blog!

i am going to try your cha dan recipe, but am wondering, if i don't want to make 30 eggs, but say 10, do i use only a third of the ingredients?

and what's tong kwai?

also, do you know if this seasoning base would make a good soup?

i live in melbourne, it's getting cold, and i need some comfort food.

thanks for the recipe!


lilyng said...

sheilin teo

the ingredients could be the same for 10 eggs except for the salt as the water added will be less. the more or longer the ingredients are cooked, the stronger the flavor. Taste it before you add the salt, then you would know whether you would like it as a soup. it should be ok, it will be like bak kut teh.

sheilin Teo said...

thanks lily!

delia said...

This recipe is definitely a keeper! I love tea eggs and I've made it using ur recipe. Can the seasoning base be kept for a few days?

pastrygirl said...

I love this blog! I feel like I finally found one that has captured my interest enough to keep up with on a regular basis. Thank you for all your wonderul recipes. I can't wait to make these tea eggs

Anonymous said...

Hi Lily,

I would be making this for an International food festival in the US and I was wondering if I could supply your recipe (together with an acknowledgement from your blog) to the organizer.

Many thanks in advance.


lilyng said...


you are most welcome.

please tell them that there are many more recipes besides this one

you have a good autumn festival.

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