Making Ramen Eggs: 3 essential techniques to master in the Kitchen

  • Eggs to ramen are like Robin is to Batman. No ramen can shine without the prince of ramen toppings! Being the supporting star of the dish, eggs not only add contrast to the noodles and broth but are also a source of protein. Most importantly, the gooey yolk and delicately seasoned egg white are what delights and warm the hearts of both ramen and egg lovers :)

    We will be attempting to make ramen eggs in 3 ways: onsen tamago (温泉たまご), shio-aji yude tamago (塩味ゆでたまご), and ajitsuke hanjuku-ni tamago (味付け半熟煮たまご), all of which may also commonly be found in convenience stores throughout Japan. It is my first time undertaking such a cooking challenge, simple as it may seem. And so we have got 20 eggs in the larder, just in case.. Without putting all our proverbial eggs into one basket, off we go on this eggciting journey to experiment and learn how to make perfect ramen eggs! While bearing hopes of not bumping into any bad eggs..! :)

    1. Onsen Tamago

    A cross between a soft-boiled egg and a poached egg. Onsen tamago is traditionally cooked in water from Japanese hot springs, and usually eaten with ramen, udon, rice, or on its own in dashi broth. It is known for its velvety, custard-like texture. The egg white has coagulated but is still silkily soft. The yolk is usually firm and slightly gooey and still has the vivid yellow and creaminess of yolk that has not been cooked through.

    Verdict: The egg white turned out less solid than desired for the egg on the right. The other could have been a little more collected given more time in the water bath but was still good. Timing was crucial but hard to gauge or control. Overall I would say it was a successful attempt!
    Difficulty: 4/10

    2. Shio-aji Yude Tamago

    Literally translated to “salt flavored boiled egg”, the shio-ajiyude tamago has a firm egg white and a moist, semi-solid to firm egg yolk. The egg gets the salt flavor from being soaked in brine.

    Verdict: Seemingly the easiest of the three, it’s not as simple! We cut them open in excitement, expecting perfectly yellow and moist egg yolks encased by delicately salt-infused white. Mm’mmm! But.. The eggs were finely cooked but tasted like normal eggs without the salt flavor :( to counter this, soak the eggs in vinegar before brine so that the shell becomes porous!
    Difficulty: 6/10
    Recipe*Automatic translation

    3. Ajitsuke Hanjuku-ni Tamago

    Made with another form of seasoning (ajitsuke), with a marinade of soy sauce, mirin, sugar and vinegar (some recipes call for sake or ginger as well). Hanjuku means “half-doneness”, or half boiled. The egg white is solid and has a brown hue on the outside after being soaked for hours or even days. The yolk has a beautiful gradient; thick and viscous, and then creamy, translucent and oozy in the middle. This is my favorite of the three and I really hope we get it right on one try. Fingers crossed!

    Verdict: I guess the main challenge was making sure the eggs were half-boiled but as long as you follow the recipe to a T, it shouldn’t pose a problem! The color of the eggs were a nice shade of brown, but the yolk was a little too solid. We’d left the eggs in the fridge overnight, for a total marinade time of about 24 hours.. And that caused the egg to start curing. They were soooo salty and the egg whites were mushy. It was very similar to Chinese salted eggs :/ the recommended time is 4-12 hours, stick to that and the eggs should stay プチプチ puchi puchi (springy?) and bouncy still! It is also a good idea to dilute the soy sauce for the marinade. Nonetheless, they still look excellent.. Right? :D
    Difficulty: 7/10

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