Ramen Eggs (Ajitsuke Tamago) are delicious as topping on ramen or enjoyed as a snack. Read on to learn how to make this flavorful soft boiled eggs recipe at home.
There seems to be a ramen craze sweeping the US lately. No, I am not referring to the instant ramen packages you find in the grocery store aisles. I am referring to the fresh ramen noodles served in a delicious hot broth the chef has been preparing for days, topped with sliced chashu (stewed pork), veggies, and a ramen egg.
Watch How to Make Ramen Egg
Flavorful soft boiled eggs with custard-like egg yolk soaked in soy sauce and mirin, used for topping on ramen or enjoyed as a snack.
Across the US, cities from New York, Nashville, to San Francisco, there seems to be always a line outside the popular Japanese chains as Ippudo (博多一風堂) and Santouka (山頭火), as well as local stores. At the recent ramen festival in San Francisco, if you wanted a bowl of ramen it was a 3+ hour wait. I’ll be sharing a series of posts for different ingredients to make miso ramen at home, starting with these ramen eggs.
Ramen eggs are a bit unique; they are soft boiled but the egg yolk part is never fully cooked. The egg yolk can be super runny, or it can be custard-like with a firm texture. In Japan, we call these soy sauce marinated eggs Ajitsuke Tamago (味付け玉子) or Nitamago (煮玉子). Although most commonly eaten as a topping in ramen, these flavorful eggs can be enjoyed a side dish or a snack, or included as part of bento.
The best part is that these eggs are easy to make and you need just 4 ingredients – eggs, soy sauce, mirin, and water. Of course, every ramen shop has its own secret sauce and seasonings they’ve added to the marinade, but today I’m going to show you the simplest yet delicious recipe.
Ramen Egg Tips & Tricks
There are many ways to make soft boiled eggs. If you already have a method that works for you, feel free to do so instead. Some recipes start off with eggs that are at room temperature instead of refrigerated eggs, but room temperature could be different depending on where you are so I like to boil cold eggs right out of the refrigerator. I use large American eggs for this recipe and knowing egg sizes do vary a bit around the world, you might need to adjust the cooking time slightly.
When the eggs are done, you could run the cold water to cool, but I like to use an ice bath because it stops the eggs from cooking any further immediately. It’s also an easy way to control the exact time for cooking your eggs.
You could marinade the ramen eggs for just a few hours or overnight which I prefer. That way I can focus on making ramen the next day while the eggs stay marinated in the fridge waiting for their appearance.
Japanese Ingredient Substitution: If you want to look for substitutes for Japanese condiments and ingredients, click here.
- 2 large eggs (50 g each w/o shell) (refrigerated till step 3; You can use up to 4 eggs with this recipe)
- Gather all the ingredients. Increase the marinate ingredients if you cook more than 4 eggs.
- In a resealable plastic bag, combine soy sauce, mirin, and water. Tip 1: If you plan to make the ramen eggs in just a few hours of marinating, use 0-1 Tbsp water. Otherwise, start with 2-3 Tbsp water and taste before adding more water. You have to adjust the saltiness to your taste and how long you plan to marinade. Tip 2: To use the minimal amount of the condiments (as we have to discard after marinating), I use a plastic bag. If you use a container, you will need to double the amount of condiment to cover the eggs.
- Bring water to a boil in a medium saucepan. There should be enough water to cover the eggs (should be 1 inch above eggs).
- When boiling, take out the eggs from the refrigerator and carefully and slowly submerge the eggs into the boiling water with a mesh strainer/skimmer or ladle to prevent the eggs from cracking.
- Immediately reduce heat to maintain a simmer (gentle boil) and cook the eggs for exactly 7 minutes. [Runny egg yolk - 6 to 6 ½ minutes. Custard-like egg yolk but not runny - 8 to 9 minutes.] Make sure the water is simmering, but not so hot that the eggs bounce around. If you want your egg yolk to be in the center, gently rotate the eggs with chopsticks once in a while for the first 3 minutes so the egg yolk will be in the center.
- After 7 minutes, immediately take out the eggs and soak in the ice bath to stop them from cooking further. Let them cool for 3 minutes.
- The soft boiled eggs are not completely hardened so gently peel the eggs.
- Put the eggs in the sauce bag and close tightly. The eggs should be submerged in the marinade. Let them marinate overnight to up to 3-4 days in the refrigerator.
- Take out the eggs and cut in halves to serve. Enjoy the eggs by themselves or use them as a ramen topping.
- Keep the eggs in the refrigerator all the time. Enjoy the eggs within 4 days if your eggs are soft-boiled. If your eggs are hard-boiled, you can keep in the refrigerator for up to a week. For food safety, I recommend discarding the marinade and making a new batch if you want to make more.