By Layla Khoury-Hanold for Food Network Kitchen
Layla Khoury-Hanold is a contributor at Food Network.
Ramen eggs, those soft-boiled, super savory eggs that accompany bowls of ramen, are one of the toppings that make restaurant ramen so delicious. But with a little planning and patience, you can easily make ramen eggs at home. To help us learn how to make these Japanese soft-boiled, marinated eggs, we consulted Pascale Yamashita, a recipe developer, food stylist, food photographer and avid food lover based in Japan.
Ramen eggs are Japanese soft-boiled eggs marinated in a sweetened soy sauce mixture and served as a ramen topping. In Japan, ramen eggs are called ajitsuke tamago or ajitama. “Aji means taste, and tama means ball (or egg), so the literal translation is taste-ball,” Yamashita says.
Yamashita says that in Japan, the marinade ingredients vary depending on the ramen shop, but a soy-sauce-base is most common. The first ramen shop to serve ajitama was Kan Chin Tei in Ogikubo, Tokyo (now closed), where the chef served ramen with Taiwanese braised egg, a soy-sauce-marinated egg with herbs and spices. From there, the trend of serving savory, soft-boiled eggs as a ramen topping spread widely throughout Japan.
To make ramen eggs, you’ll need eggs, soy sauce (or tamari), mirin, sake (or cooking white wine), sugar and vinegar.
1. Boil the Eggs
Bring a large pot of water to a boil, then carefully lower eggs into the pot in a single layer and boil for 7 minutes.
2. Prepare the Ice Bath
While the eggs boil, fill a large bowl with ice and cold water. Once the eggs have finished boiling, immediately transfer them to the prepared ice bath to stop the cooking process and cool the eggs.
3. Peel the Eggs
Once the eggs are cool enough to handle, peel the eggs.
4. Make the Marinade
In a resealable plastic bag, combine soy sauce (or tamari), mirin, sake (or cooking white wine), sugar and vinegar.
5. Marinate the Eggs
Place eggs in the bag and ensure that the eggs are immersed in the liquid mixture. Seal the bag, removing any extra air, and allow eggs to marinate in the liquid for at least 24 hours, or up to 2 days. During the marinating process, periodically change the eggs’ position to ensure that they are evenly marinated.
6. Serve the Eggs
Cut eggs cleanly in half lengthwise and serve with ramen or enjoy as a snack.