Skill level

Average: 4.5 (10 votes)


  • 8 eggs
  • 1 pkt five-spice-pressed tofu (see Note), cut into 3 cm-thick slices
  • 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1 cm-piece fresh ginger, cut into 3 slices
  • 3 spring onions, left whole
  • 1 tbsp white sugar
  • 4 star anise
  • 2 cinnamon quills
  • 15 g (¼ cup) whole oolong tea leaves (see Note)
  • 2 tbsp wolf berries (goji berries) (see Note)
  • 2 red bird’s-eye chillies
  • steamed rice, to serve

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


DRINK (Tea) Calm & Concentration signature blend — a bounty of sweet treats with a distinctive touch of orange. (Wine) 2012 Petaluma ‘Hanlin Hill’ Riesling — intense floral aromas with refreshing lemon and lime characters.

The dish is designed to be part of a banquet or shared meal.

Place eggs in a large saucepan of water and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low and cook for 5 minutes for medium-boiled.

Drain and place eggs in a bowl of cold water, changing water as it warms, until cool enough to handle. Carefully peel eggs and place in a large saucepan with tofu, soy sauces, ginger, spring onions, sugar, star anise, cinnamon, tea leaves, ½ tsp salt and 1 litre water.

Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to low and cook for 1½ hours. Add wolf berries and chillies, and cook for a further 30 minutes or until eggs have darkened in colour.

Allow to cool in cooking liquid for 20 minutes before serving. Discard ginger, spring onions, star anise, cinnamon and cooking liquid. Serve with steamed rice.


• Five-spice-pressed-tofu is from Asian food shops.
• Whole oolong tea leaves are available from good tea shops. Substitute 4 oolong tea bags.
• Wolf berries (goji berries) are found in the health food aisle of supermarkets.


Also written by Xiang Le Chen. Photography by Derek Swalwell. Tea and wine suggestions by Kaki Wong, Yanan Zhou, Susan Wilks and Oliver Wang.