Pho-Spiced Pickled Eggs


The unique and deep flavor of pho fusing with the quick satisfaction of a tangy pickled egg. Let’s face it, you need this!

In case you hadn’t noticed, there’s a lot of pho flavored pickles and dishes on this blog. In fact, there’s pages worth. Just when I think my pho flavored creations may have run their course, a new one just pops into my mind.

The latest… these pho-flavored pickled eggs. I actually used duck eggs for my first batch and they were heavenly.

You can make a quart mason jar of these (fits around 7 hard boiled eggs) or double all the ingredients to fill a half gallon jar.

I recommend allowing them to sit in the flavored brine for a week to ten days to allow the flavor to fully penetrate. As far as shelf life, there’s varying opinions about pickled eggs, but I’d feel comfortable eating these up to at least a month after starting them (keep refrigerated). They’re so delicious though that I can’t imagine they’ll last you that long.

Marinated instead of pickled version: You might prefer this version if you don’t want a vinegar flavor. It more closely resembles the flavor of pho soup and are reminiscent of Chinese Tea Eggs. If you’d like to make them this way, just substitute the cup of rice vinegar with a cup of water (for a total of two cups of water and no vinegar). Or instead of water you can use 2 cups of oil-free vegetable broth for an even deeper flavor. Instead of allowing to pickle in the fridge for 7-10 days, just allow 3 days. For this method, I also recommended poking a hole in the egg to the yolk with a toothpick. Note they won’t have the same shelf life without the vinegar and you should finish them within the next week (keep refrigerated). If you make the marinated version and want the eggs to have the marbled look of Chinese Tea Eggs, you can keep the shells on the eggs but give them several whacks all around with a spoon before placing in the jar to marinate, and allow an extra day of marinating. You can also still find a place in the cracks to poke the eggs with a toothpick to allow the brine to seep in. When you remove the peels, you will reveal the beautiful marbled pattern.

With no further ado, here’s the recipe.


  • Quart mason jar
  • Saucepan for boiling eggs (or rapid egg cooker)
  • Large bowl of ice water (to cool the eggs after boiling)
  • Measuring cups & spoons
  • Knife & cutting board
  • Mortar & pestle
  • Recommended: canning funnel


  • 1 star anise pod
  • 2 tsp anise seeds
  • 2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 2 tsp coriander seeds
  • 2-3 cinnamon sticks (3 if smaller)
  • 4-5 cloves
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • ~7 hard boiled eggs
  • 1 cup filtered or distilled water
  • 1 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed (~60g)
  • 1 TBSP salt
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Several sprigs Thai basil leaves (or sub with sweet basil) (~4g)
  • Several mint leaves (~4g)
  • Several sprigs cilantro (~4g)
  • 1 finger ginger, sliced (10g)
  • 2 TBSP fish sauce
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 4-5 cloves garlic, quartered
  • 1 TBSP soy sauce
  • ~1/4 yellow onion, sliced (40g)
  • Optional: 1-2 sliced red or green jalapenos
  • Optional: 1 black cardamom pod


1.) Toast all the hard spices (the first 7 ingredients) in saucepan on low heat for 1-2 minutes, stirring frequently, until fragrant but not burnt. Transfer all the spices (except the cinnamon sticks) to the mortar and gently crush with the pestle. Return all the hard spices and cinnamon to the saucepan and add the water, rice vinegar (or sub with water or vegetable broth for marinated version discussed above), sugar, salt, and bay leaves. Bring to a rapid boil over high heat, then reduce and simmer for 5 minutes, covered. Keeping the lid on, set the hot flavored brine aside and allow to cool. (It’s fine to transfer it to refrigerator to speed up cooling.)

2.) Meanwhile, boil the eggs as you normally would for hard boiled. If you’re unsure, one good method is to use enough water to submerge the eggs with at least an inch of extra water above them. Gently lower the eggs into the saucepan once a rapid boil is achieved. Then lower the heat to low and simmer the eggs for ten minutes. Immediately transfer to a bowl of ice water and allow them to cool there for 3 minutes.

3.) As the spiced pho brine continues to cool, load up the mason jar with the remaining ingredients. Place the suggested canning funnel on the jar and add the herbs, lime juice, fish and soy sauce, garlic, ginger, onion, and any of the optional items. Peel the eggs and add to the jar (or the eggs can go in first, it doesn’t matter).

4.) Once the spiced pho brine is room temperature (warm is okay too), pour the spiced brine over the eggs until they’re submerged and/or the brine is within 1/2″ of the jar top. You’re recommended to keep as much of the hard spices and cinnamon sticks in the jar so they can continue to flavor the eggs. Place in refrigerator. Wait at least 7-10 days for the vinegar pickled eggs, but you only need to wait 3 days for the marinated (non-vinegar) version discussed at top. The marinated version should also then be finished within the next week because it does not have the same shelf life as vinegar pickled eggs.


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