Tea-Marbled Quail Eggs with Dipping Salts

“I’m half Chinese, so tea-marbled eggs were a staple snack,” says Valerie Gordon. To turn the eggs into a sophisticated hors d'oeuvre, she soaks hard-boiled quail eggs in smoky Lapsang souchong tea and serves them with three different salts.

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  • Active:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 10
  • Time(Other): Plus overnight soaking


  • 30 quail eggs
  • 8 Lapsang souchong tea bags
  • 2 tablespoons black peppercorns
  • 2 star anise pods
  • Kosher salt
  • Soy salt (see Note)
  • Urfa pepper flakes (see Note)
  • Curry powder

How to make this recipe

  1. In a large saucepan, cover the eggs with 3 inches of water and bring to a boil. Remove the pan from the heat, cover and let stand for 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the eggs to a work surface. Tap the eggs all over with the back of the spoon to crack the shells. Add the tea bags, peppercorns, star anise and 1 teaspoon of salt to the water in the saucepan, stirring to dissolve the salt. Add the eggs and refrigerate overnight.

  2. Drain and peel the eggs. Put the soy salt in a small bowl. Season the <em>urfa</em> pepper and curry powder with salt and transfer to small bowls. Serve the marbled eggs with the dipping salts.


Soy salt is available from specialty shops and chefshop.com. Urfa is a fruity, mildly spicy Turkish pepper. It is available from specialty shops or from www.vannsspices.com.

Photo © Jonny Valiant Published December 2011

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