Tiger Eggs (or Tiger Skin Eggs) are an addictive Chinese dish that is not only easy to make but also incredibly flavorful. It’s a new fun way to enjoy eggs – frying hard-boiled eggs and then braising them in a delectable sauce. Quite interesting, isn’t it?
Honestly, frying hard-boiled eggs and soaking them in tasty sauce is not a new concept in Asia. You see it everywhere from Indonesia’s Telur Balado and Vietnam’s Thịt Kho Trứng (Northern style) to Thailand’s Son-in-law Eggs and Burma’s Golden Egg Curry.
While the yolk won’t be runny enough to bring your Tiktok to its knees, the fried skin helps the egg absorb flavors like nothing else.
More yummy Asian recipes with eggs:
🙋♀️ What are Tiger Skin Eggs?
True to its name, tiger skin eggs are hard-boiled eggs fried and then braised in a delightful sauce. This technique creates a captivating marbled pattern similar to tiger stripes.
The captivating appearance of this dish is achieved by carefully frying the boiled eggs until their shells crack, enabling the savory soy sauce to seep through and form the iconic pattern.
This dish’s roots can be followed back to the Ming Dynasty, with whispers that it graced the taste buds of Zhu Yuanzhang, the dynasty’s first emperor. The tale spins that a gifted chef, aiming to delight the emperor’s refined palate, created the dish. And, as the story goes, his efforts hit the mark!
🥚 Ingredients for Tiger Eggs
The ingredients for Chinese Tiger Eggs are quite basic, and you might already have them in your kitchen if you’re familiar with Chinese cuisine.
Eggs: The main ingredient, the star of the recipe.
Cooking Oil: This helps make the eggs crispy on the outside.
Ginger, Scallions and Garlic: These add great flavors.
Spices: Bay Leaves, Star Anise, Sichuan Peppercorns (optional). These give the dish a distinctive Chinese taste.
Seasonings: Light Soy Sauce, Dark Soy Sauce (optional), Chinese Cooking Wine (optional), Rock Sugar. These make the dish yummy and balanced in flavors.
Slurry: Cornstarch and Water. This makes the sauce just the right thickness.
Boiling Eggs: I usually go for a six and a half minute boil, starting with cold water. However, you can stick to your usual egg boiling method. Once boiled, transfer the eggs to cold water to cool them down.
Drying the Boiled Eggs: To prevent any egg explosions while frying, use kitchen paper to thoroughly pat dry the eggs, absorbing any excess water.
Frying the Hard-Boiled Eggs: Pour an inch (3cm) of cooking oil into the saucepan. Fry eggs for around 90 seconds to achieve a lovely golden crust, then flip them over and give them another 90 seconds on the other side. After that, give the eggs a slight twist to cover any spots that might not have fried evenly.
It’s best not to crowd the pan with too many eggs at once to avoid burning. You might hear a bit of bubbling while frying the eggs, but that’s perfectly alright.
Braising Eggs in Sauce: In a saucepan, add about ½ tablespoon of cooking oil. Stir-fry the aromatics and spices until they become fragrant. Next, add the eggs, light soy sauce, dark soy sauce, cooking wine, rock sugar, scallions, and water. Let it simmer on medium heat while keeping it uncovered. Occasionally flip the eggs to ensure they cook evenly.
Thicken the Sauce and Adjust Flavors: Once the sauce has reduced by about one-third, adjust flavors to your taste with some soy sauce and sugar, add a slurry made from 1/2 tbsp cornstarch mixed with an equal amount of water. Let it thicken for roughly 30 seconds, and then turn off the heat.
Garnish and Serve: For an extra touch, you can garnish your eggs with roasted sesame seeds, chopped chili, or scallions. Enjoy these flavorful eggs with steamed rice.
You could find here how to cook steamed Jasmine rice with microwave in just 15 minutes (Approved by Asian 😎).
And here more recipes with steamed rice.
🌟 Helpful Tips
- Add some vinegar to water when boiling eggs. This makes removing the eggshell easier.
- You could make some shallow cuts down the length of the egg to help it absorb the sauce better.
- While the traditional choice for frying eggs is a wok, a saucepan works equally well. A non-stick saucepan is ideal, but even with a stainless steel pot, it’s manageable (just a tad stickier).
- Feel free to tweak the spices according to your taste. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can include cloves and a touch of cinnamon (be cautious as they can overpower the flavors). Or you can skip the Sichuan pepper corns altogether.
- Leave the cooked eggs overnight; they taste much better when they have fully absorbed the sauce.
If you’ve tried this recipe or any others from my blog, please share your creations with me on Instagram by tagging #savour_thepho or mentioning me in your stories with @savour_thepho. I would be thrilled to see what you’ve made and it would definitely brighten my day! Don’t forget to stay in touch with me on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube 🥰.
Tiger Eggs – Chinese Addicted Fried Boiled Eggs
- 1 Wok (or a saucepan)
- 6 eggs
- Cooking oil
- 3 tbsp light soy sauce
- ½ tbsp dark soy sauce (optional)
- 1 tbsp Chinese cooking wine (optional)
- ½ tbsp rock sugar (7g)
- 1 cup water (240ml)
- 1 thumb-sized piece of ginger
- 1 large clove of garlic (lightly smashed)
- 1 star anise
- 1 dried bay leave
- ¼ Sichuan peppercorns (optional)
- ½ tbsp cornstarch
- Boil eggs for six and a half minutes from cold water. Then cool them in cold water.
- Dry the boiled eggs with kitchen paper to avoid egg explosions while frying.
- Pour an inch (3cm) of cooking oil in a saucepan. Fry eggs for 90 seconds each side for a golden crust. Rotate the eggs slightly to even frying. Avoid crowding the pan to prevent burning. You might hear a bit of bubbling while frying the eggs, but that's perfectly fine.
- Add ½ tablespoon oil in a saucepan. Sauté aromatics and spices till fragrant. Add eggs, light and dark soy sauce, cooking wine, rock sugar, and water. Simmer on medium heat uncovered, rotate eggs from time to time for even cooking.
- When sauce reduces by a third, adjust the taste with soy sauce and sugar. Add slurry: 1/2 tbsp cornstarch + water. Thicken the sauce for 30 seconds, then remove them from the heat.
- Garnish the eggs with sesame seeds, chopped chili, or scallions. Enjoy with steamed rice for a flavor-packed delight.
- Boil eggs with a bit vinegar for easier shell removal.
- Make some shallow lengthwise cuts on eggs for better sauce absorption.
- Wok or saucepan – both work. Non-stick is best, but stainless steel works too.
- Adjust spices to taste; try cloves and cinnamon (just a bit), or skip Sichuan pepper.
- Let cooked eggs sit overnight for enhanced flavor.