egg speck textures
Appetizer / Snack

Chinese Tea Quail Eggs

  • Prep time: 30 min
  • Marinading time: 1–3 days
  • Serves: As many as you like!
Chinese tea eggs (also known as Cha Yip Dan in Cantonese) are often eaten during Lunar New Year as a savoury snack to symbolize wealth and prosperity. The circular shape also symbolizes togetherness with one’s family.

Lunar New Year is quickly approaching and I want to share with you a unique take on a traditional dish often made for Lunar New Year, Chinese tea eggs!

I decided to try something a little different and use quail eggs from Spring Creek Quail Farms instead of traditional chicken eggs. They’ll be smaller in size, so perfect as a bite-sized snack, or a savoury side dish to some white rice and soy sauce!

Original recipe developed and posted by Eating With Kirby. Reposted with permission. Follow @eatingwithkirby on Instagram for more recipes!


    • 18 quail eggs
    • 3 tbsp light soy sauce
    • 2 tbsp dark soy sauce
    • 2 star anise
    • 1 tsp Sichuan pepper
    • 1 tbsp Shaoxing wine
    • 2 bay leaves
    • 1 cinnamon stick
    • 2 black tea bags
    • 2 1/2 cups water
    • 2 tsp maple syrup (or white sugar)



Mix all of the ingredients (besides quail eggs) in a medium saucepan and heat over medium heat. Once it starts to boil, bring it down to simmer for an additional 8 minutes.


Remove tea bags and let the marinade cool down completely.


Prep a bowl with ice cubes and water.


Boil 3 cups of water in another saucepan and gently lower quail eggs into the water. Over medium-high heat, cook quail eggs for 2 mins and 30 seconds. Quickly remove quail eggs and submerge them in ice water to cool them down.


Once eggs are cooled, use the back of a metal spoon and gently tap all over each quail egg to break the shell. Keep the shell intact but lightly shattered. This will create the marbling effect once it sits in the marinade.


Place quail eggs in a medium zip lock bag and pour marinade in. Remove as much air from the bag as possible and place in the fridge for 1–3 days.


When you’re ready to eat, remove the shell and enjoy!

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