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Tea-flavored boiled egg a popular nibble in China
By Tan Weiyun

EASY to cook, good to eat and convenient to carry, tea-flavored boiled egg, or chaye dan, is probably the most popular snack in almost every part of China. It can be seen at bus tops, train stations and tourism sites, being steamed hot in a pot.

Tea egg can be both a side dish on the dining table and a between-meal nibble to get refueled. As the eggs are steamed in tea water, the food can also help you get refreshed.

Five-fragrance boiled tea egg is a Shanghai-native style, cooked with tea leaves, cinnamon, Chinese red pepper, aniseed, sugar and soy sauce. Eggs are boiled with the ingredients and water together. Tea leaves should be soaked beforehand in the water at 80 to 90 degrees Celsius for 15 minutes to remove their bitter taste.

After the eggs are boiled, slightly break the shells and simmer them with a small fire for two to three hours to let the flavor fully get in. The longer you simmer, the tastier the eggs will be.

It is better to use black tea to cook eggs because black tea makes the soup bright, while green tea has some bitterness.

In addition, green tea is not good for pregnant women and people with stomach diseases as it is “cold” according to traditional Chinese medicine. Experts also point out that the acid-base components in green tea leaves will combine with the iron elements in the egg, thus irritating the stomach.

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