Cooking a perfect ramen egg is no magic trick

The eggs

You should use large eggs (large as defined by the U.S.D.A., which is a 2-ounce egg)—not jumbo, not medium. If the eggs are too big or too small, you’ll need to adjust the cooking time. You should also buy eggs you enjoy eating—consider local farmers, as always. But remember: Yolk color is not necessarily an indication of quality.

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Ramen Eggs Recipe {3 Ingredients} – Savory Simple

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Learn how to make ramen eggs at home with this easy recipe that has only 3 ingredients! A marinade of soy sauce and mirin infuses into the eggs, which are cooked to a creamy custard texture. Not only is this ramen egg recipe wonderful with soup, but it makes a fantastic snack or even a light meal when served over rice with a drizzle of toasted …

What is a ramen egg?

A ramen egg is a soft boiled egg and then marinated with a blend of soy sauce, dashi, sugar, mirin, and sake for a few days in the refrigerator. They are delicious in ramen or other soups and dishes.

How does Kylie Jenner eat ramen?

Kylie Jenner has social media following of 77.2 million or more. She has a huge impact those followers. So huge, in fact, that when she posted a picture of her ramen and said she adds butter, garlic powder, onion powder, and an egg to it, her recipe went viral.

On peeling eggs

There’s a lot of information out there about how to make eggs easier to peel. Here’s what I know. Cooking the eggs long enough helps them peel better, because softly cooked eggs are, unsurprisingly, difficult to peel. So cooking them longer makes things easier.

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Poking a hole on the heel of the egg seems to help with peeling. I have no idea why this is, it also helps prevent the eggs from prematurely cracking. So I also do this.

Shocking the eggs in ice water also seems to help. I do this for other reasons, like to halt cooking, but it does seem to make the eggs easier to peel. These all seem to work for me. Your mileage may vary.

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Warm up with a a bowl of ramen at Tsurumen or with a pot pie from Pie Me OverYour browser indicates if youve visited this link

Cozy up with a bowl of Japanese ramen – all made in-house, from scratch, in Somerville at Tsurumen. Stop by Pie Me Over in Wilmington to get chicken pot pies or any kind of savory pie.

Don’t Marinate Too Long

When I was in college and living in a house shared by 50 people, I remember getting an email once from a resident offering free chicken breasts to whoever wanted them. His claim: "They've been marinating for three whole days, so they're going to be super tender and tasty as f*&k."

I don't know any college student who'd turn down free food, so I took them, grilled them, and served them to some friends for dinner. The consensus? They were awful. Mushy and mealy with a chalky texture that was completely off-putting. The lesson I learned that day? With marinades, longer does not necessarily equal better. Marinades can be great for seasoning the outer layers of a food, but let your food sit in a marinade too long, and it can wreak chemical havoc on its texture.

With acidic marinades—like the Italian-style dressing those chicken breasts had been marinated in—denaturation of proteins can cause foods to turn mushy and rapidly give up their moisture when heated.

With ajitsuke tamago, there's another culprit: salt.

We all know that salt can have a powerful effect on food, right? In the case of bacon or ham, for instance, salt not only draws moisture out from the interior of the food, it also dissolves some of the proteins in the muscle, causing it to tighten and change in texture. (Ever notice how different bacon feels from fresh pork belly?)

"A few hours in a marinade, and you'll get an egg with a delightfully sweet-and-salty flavor on its outer layer."

So it is with ajitsuke tamago. A few hours in a marinade, and you'll get an egg with a delightfully sweet-and-salty flavor on its outer layer. The flavor is powerful enough to season the whole bite, despite the fact that it's only penetrated a millimeter or two. Let the egg sit in that salty marinade for too long, however, and you'll see the marinade slowly work its way into the center of the egg. Eventually, it'll even reach the yolk, causing it to firm up and set into an almost fudge-like texture. Not what we're after.

Here's an egg that I marinated for three whole days before slicing in half.

J. Kenji López-Alt

As you can see, nearly all of the yolk has been hardened. A small amount of liquid remains in the very center—give it another day or two, and it would have been hard all the way through. Eating this egg is also quite unpleasant. The white is hard, dry, and extremely rubbery, and the parts of the yolk that have been cured are hard set, sticky, and chewy—not good. This process is taken to the extreme to make Chinese century eggs, in which raw duck eggs are buried in a salty mixture of tea ashes until cured all the way through to the center. The resultant eggs are as hard as a hard-boiled eggs, but have never seen heat.

If you ever go to a ramen-ya and get horribly tough eggs, they most likely either overcooked them (check for a greenish tinge around the yolk to confirm) or over-marinated them (in this case, they won't be green). Either way, it's a sign that you should think twice about going back to that particular shop.

Of course, once we're through with this whole ramen-at-home business, you'll probably think twice about going back to any ramen-ya. Ya?

J. Kenji López-Alt

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How to Make Ramen Eggs

Ingredients You’ll Need

5 ingredients is all you need and you’ll be surprised at how easy it is to make ramen eggs at home.

  • Fresh, good quality eggs, especially if you plan to make soft-boiled eggs
  • Soy sauce
  • Mirin
  • Sake (or water)
  • Sugar

For the marinade, you can create your own version with additions (such as chili flakes for spice, etc), but today, let’s stick with the basic.

What changed from the 2011 Recipe?

Some of you might be familiar with the original recipe that I shared in 2011. In the past, I used water instead of sake (Japanese rice wine). However, for food safety reasons, I started making my ramen eggs with sake and came to like this version a lot better.

Why sake? The amino acids in the fermented rice wine actually enhances the flavors of food by adding hints of sweetness and umami, which makes the eggs taste better. In case you’re wondering, we would boil off the alcohol from the sake before marinading the eggs so it’s perfectly safe for kids to consume.

As part of the refinement, I also added a bit of sugar. To put the old and new recipes to test, I had my family try out the two versions multiple times and they concluded that the winner goes to this updated recipe. For those who can’t consume alcohol, you can still use water.

Overview: Quick Steps

  1. Make the marinade.
  2. Cook soft-boiled eggs.
  3. Marinate the eggs overnight.

Other Ways to Eat Ramen Eggs

These versatile Japanese soft-boiled eggs are used for many purposes in Japan. Here are just a few ideas:

  • Potato salad – tear a few eggs into pieces and mix them into potato salad
  • Salad – these make for a colorful, protein-packed topping for almost any green salad.
  • Sandwich – Spread some mayonnaise onto two slices of sandwich bread and add a few ramen eggs that have been sliced in half. You can also add them to a Japanese-style egg salad sandwich
  • Breakfast – these make a tasty side dish for a bowl of rice, but they’re also delicious on their own. 
  • Onigiri – you can stuff a whole Ajitsuke Tamago inside of an onigiri

Preparation

Boil water

Use a pot large enough so the eggs can all fit on the bottom. Add enough water so after you submerge your eggs, there’s at least half to one inch of water above the eggs. If you need to drop your eggs in temporarily to figure this out you can.

Remove the air gap

Use a thumbtack to poke a hole on the larger end of the eggs. This will remove the air gap inside the egg and give you more perfect looking eggs after you peel them, but you can skip this if you want to.

Egg temperature

Leave the eggs in the fridge until your water is boiling and you’re ready to drop em in. This ensures more predictable egg temperatures and cooking times. If your fridge is set properly it should be below 40 °F, likely around 35 °F based on normal fridge settings for food safety.

Yes, I know starting from ‘room temperature’ can vary depending on where you live and what season it is, something this recipe doesn’t account for so you may have to do some tweaking.

However if we start with fridge temp eggs they will be too cold–this makes it so if you want jammy yolk centers, the outer edge of the yolks will be overcooked.

Ice water bath

3. If you are a perfectionist, use vinegar

Do you want the egg on ramen to have a beautiful shape like a pro?

Then you should cook the egg and noodles separately.

Try this magic recipe…

Directions:

1. Crack an egg into a bowl. 2. Boil water in a small pot. 3. Put vinegar and salt into the pot. 4. Turn off the heat, and stir the water as if you are creating a whirlpool.


5. Drop the egg into the center of the pot. 6. Heat the egg for 4 minutes on low heat. 7. Done!

Tips:

Get a fresh egg straight out of the fridge

Make a strong whirlpool in your pot of boiling water.

When you drop the egg, drop it as close as possible to the hot water.

This recipe is almost magic, it guarantees the perfect poached eggs every single time!

Can I add an egg to my ramen?

Eggs are a great way to add flavor and protein to your package of ramen. Prepare the noodles with seasoning and as much liquid as you like. You can boil, poach, or simmer an egg directly in the ramen. If you prefer drier eggs and noodles, scramble the eggs with the drained noodles.

How to make a ramen egg – simplified

  1. Make a ‘chashu’ marinade  gently heat soy sauce, sake, sugar and water together.
  2. Peel cooled soft-boiled eggs.
  3. Soak eggs in chashu marinade in the fridge for at least four hours. 

Recipe tested by Nicola on 24 January 2020.

Frequently Asked Questions About Ramen Eggs

Q: How long do ramen eggs last?

Soft-boiled ramen eggs will only last a few days in the fridge because they can not be frozen. Use your ramen egg within 5 days for the best taste and to stay safe.

Q: How to make the eggs without Mirin?

If you don’t have mirin, it can be substituted with sake/dry sherry and sugar. Read more about Japanese food substitution in this guide.

Q: What to eat with ramen egg?

Apart from eating with ramen, they can be just eaten as a snack, or you can add to your Bento Box. If you are going to add to your bento box, make your soft-boiled eggs a little firmer.

Should I crack an egg into my ramen? 

This is entirely up to you. Some people like to poach an egg in their ramen bowl. This is definitely an option. The only reason I don’t like doing this is that I really like how marinated eggs taste. They add a lot of flavour to my soup.

Can I hard-boil ramen egg? Yes, it is okay to hard-boil your ramen egg. Traditionally, the eggs in ramen noodles are soft-boiled. If you like your eggs to have a firmer consistency, just let them cook for 5 more minutes.

3 Factors that Impact Cooking Time for Soft-Boiled Eggs

When preparing to soft boil eggs, three specific factors can affect the cooking time:

  1. Water temperature. Aim for 190°F for best results. Bring room temperature water to a rolling boil before bringing it to a constant simmer and adding your eggs for an even cooking process. Using the cold water method to halt cooking will allow for even more precision.
  2. Batch size. The more eggs you add to the pot, the slower the cooking process will be. Four eggs are the maximum amount that you should cook at a time for a perfectly soft-boiled batch.
  3. Egg size. Eggs come in six different sizes, ranging from peewee to jumbo, which can impact the cooking time. Larger eggs may take longer for the whites to set and yolks to come up to preferred consistency.

About the Author

Kei is a self-proclaimed ramen lover, blog writer and founder of “Apex S.K. Japanese tableware”.

“I am from Ibaraki, Japan.

Ramen is great! It can bring you a sense of happiness and satisfaction that no other food can. I have been eating ramen for 30 years.

If there is no ramen, my life would be miserable.

Ten years ago, I worked as an office worker. The job was really stressful – excessive working hours, low wages, unpaid overtime work, and constantly being yelled at by my boss.

I was new and alone, no girlfriend, no friends, and felt very lonely.

My only oasis was the ramen shop near the office. For me, the ramen chef there was literally an angel. I saw a halo on his head. (No joke)

Tonkotsu shoyu ramen was my all-time favorite. He made ramen with broth chock-full of umami flavor, nice chewy handmade noodles, and tender chashu.

My greatest dream is connect people with ramen through my blog. I want to share a lot of interesting and funny stories and ramen trivia with you.

Knowing more about ramen can help you appreciate your ramen and make it taste extra delicious.

 

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