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Chinese Tea Quail Eggs – Lunar New Year Recipe

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! 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.

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!

Before I get to the recipe, I want to demystify a few myths out there regarding quail eggs. I did some digging and found out:

  1. Quail eggs similar to chicken eggs, raises cholesterol. However it’s mostly the good cholesterol (HDL) and not the bad kind (LDL), which means you actually can have up to ~6 a day without raising your overall cholesterol levels.
  2. Quail eggs surprisingly have a lot of other nutritional benefits. For example, a single quail egg provides a good chunk of your daily Vitamin B12, selenium, riboflavin, choline, and iron. These vitamins and minerals help to support a healthy nervous system and help maintain energy levels throughout the day.
  3. Quail eggs only have about 14 calories! I had no idea it was that little.

Now on to the recipe…

Chinese Tea Quail Eggs


18 quail eggs, from Spring Creek Quail Farms

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 (I used Pu-erh tea leaves)

2 1/2 cups water

2 tsp maple syrup (or white sugar will work fine)


  1. 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.
  2. Remove tea bags and let marinade cool down completely.
  3. Prep a bowl with ice cubes and water.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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 fridge for 1-3 days.
  7. When you’re ready to eat, remove the shell and enjoy!

I hope you enjoy this recipe and give these quail eggs a try! These were so easy to make, and the quail eggs tasted flavourful even after just one night in the marinade. 🙂 To reuse the marinade, just boil it in a saucepan again and cool before using. And make sure to use a clean spoon to take the eggs out.

If you give this recipe a try, make sure to tag me (@eatingwithkirby) on IG! I’d love to see your creations!

Disclaimer: Thank you to Spring Creek Quail Farms for sponsoring this blog post and for allowing me to create an awesome recipe with their product. All opinions are my own.

Happy Eating!

chinese new year pig GIF by BREAD TREE
have a great lunar new year!

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