chinese marbled eggs made in the pressure cooker
These beautiful hard-boiled eggs are cracked and then simmered for an additional three hours to obtain the beautiful coloring and flavor. But I came up with a new way to do this in just 30 minutes using the pressure cooker!

Not being an expert on Chinese culture, I contacted Jaden Hair, author of The Steamy Kitchen Cookbook: 101 Asian Recipes Simple Enough for Tonight’s DinnerSteam Kitchen Cookbook, to ask whether she’d ever heard of Chinese tea eggs being prepared in the pressure cooker, and she said no. The beauty and simplicity of her recipe, is what inspired me to make them faster in the first place!

Other than the Soy Sauce, to intensify the color and saltiness, I decided to approach these eggs with a European flavor profile, this includes the Earl Gray black tea blend – which is Bergamot infused, a citrus grown in Southern Italy. The resulting flavor is spicy and salty.

If you like, you can hard boil eggs for this recipe following the  pressure steaming method.

Pressure Cooker Accessories Pr. Cook Time Pr. Level Open
6 L or larger steamer basket, heat-proof bowl 20 min. Low(1) Natural

Marbled Chinese Tea Eggs - pressure cooker recipe
Recipe type: pressure cooker
Cuisine: Chinese
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
  • 3 Eggs, Hard-boiled and cooled
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 1 Lemon, zested
  • 2 teabags, Earl Gray Black Tea
  • 1 Tbsp. Cloves (the spice)
  • 1 Tbsp. Black Pepper Corns
  • 1 Tbsp. Juniper Berries
  • 2 Bay Laurel Leaves
  1. Crack the exterior of the shell of the hard-boiled egg by tapping them with the back of a teaspoon and set aside.
  2. In a separate pan, or your heat-proof interior container, add all of the ingredients with a cup of water except for the soy sauce.
  3. Bring to a boil, then add the soy sauce eggs and any additional water to cover. Cover with tin foil.
  4. Prepare your pressure cooker by adding one cup of water, and the steamer basket.
  5. Carefully lower the container into the pressure cooker - if your heat proof container does not have a handle, make an aluminum foil sling to assist lowering and removing the container from the pressure cooker.
  6. Close the top of your pressure cooker and set the pressure to "low", then raise the heat to maximum until it reaches pressure. Lower the heat and start counting 20 minutes cooking time at LOW pressure.
  7. When the time is up, turn off the flame and move the pot to a different burner and open with the Natural Release Method - do not do anything, just let the pressure come down naturally (about another 10 minutes).
  8. Remove the lid, and tin foil and let cool further if you wish. Serve for your guests to peel!
  9. The eggs can also be done ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator in a plastic back, or darkened even further stored in the tea mixture.

pressure cooker chinese tea eggs
how to make chinese tea eggs

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  1. I was thinking of something similar as well, i.e. using different ingredients to change the color of the eggs. Many teas have a red cast to them and could be used. Also, if you wanted the red color from the beets without affecting the flavor, you could use only a small amount of beets I’d think. Or perhaps no actual beets at all. I roasted some fresh beets in the oven the other day and had some leftovers. I quartered them and put them in a saute pan with a little butter and the beet greens that I’d saved. Because I quartered the beets there was a copious amount of bright red liquid. I suspect it wouldn’t have taken much at all to color the eggs in Laura’s dish.

    I’m also thinking that you could add some turmeric if you wanted the eggs to be yellow in color. Turmeric is often used as a dye and very little would probably be needed, especially if you wanted the color but not necessarily the flavor of the turmeric.

    I guess one could simply add food coloring to the water, but somehow I like the idea of a food or spice or tea adding the color rather than something artificial — keeps within the spirit of the recipe better I think.

  2. Very very interesting and beautiful! I can’t wait to make these. love the European influence in these. thanks for sharing ;)

  3. Hi Gwen, You could use Spinach and Lemon instead of tea to make green veining, and Beets for red – don’t know what they would taste like, though!!

    Ciao and Happy Pressure Cooking,


  4. What a great idea, I’m going to have to try this! Thanks for the inspiration :o)

  5. Wow, this is so neat…it`s so beautiful and fun! How perfect with Easter coming up!

  6. Sigrid, I love the idea of Tumeric for giving the eggs a nice yellow tint!

    KEcker, come back and put a link to the photo for us to see!

    Charissa, welcome and Happy Easter!



  7. Boy am I glad you visited me! I couldn’t find the web address to add to that post of yours! I love these thanks again for the inspiration and yes you can eat mine, just food coloring… thanks again!

  8. I never thought you could cook eggs in a pressure cooker. I never finish learning with your blog.

  9. Ciao Pegasus, thanks for adding the link to my blog post onto yours!

    CaffettieraRosa, Only at low pressure, OK?

    All of my pressure cooked egg recipes call for the “low” pressure setting. If you have an older European model with the “bayonette” type top it is already a low pressure cooker so it’s fine. But if you have a modern one with just one setting, it’s usually high and not appropriate for eggs – though a lady with a very dissimilar website has a recipe for “hard boiling” eggs in this type of pressure cooker – readers have reported their eggs cracking!

    If you’re not sure, check the user manual and compare the numbers you find there with the little table in the Pressure Cooking Times chart.



  10. Very interesting post. Love it!!

  11. Come back and post a link to your picture, if you try it!



  12. They look very special, perfect for a festive table.

  13. It’s such a great idea to make these tea eggs in a pressure cooker! These eggs are really common back home in the convenience stores. It’s a dish I miss a lot after I moved to Australia. I have made it a few times before on the stove but it took so long! I was pleasantly surprised to see it can be cooked for only 30 min in a pressure cooker. I have tried it using tea bags and the traditional spices like the 5 spices, dried orange peels and star anise. After the 30 min cooking, I removed the tea bags and left the eggs in the tea mixer overnight. Then I cooked them again for another 10 min the following day to really infiltrate the flavour! Now I can make this as often as I feel like, thanks to your recipe and my new PC!

  14. We use onion skins to colour the eggs. An Iraqi tradition. The eggs are delicious and creamy.
    The Yeminis just leave them in the oven overnight and they come out brown and delicious – eaten and baked along with jaqunun dough baked all night) together with grated fresh tomatoes.

  15. I wonder if you did this & used pickle juice instead of they would do the geeen marbling & taste like pickled eggs? Hmmm…

    1. How did that work out?

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