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These days, I’m all for simple when it comes to cooking. But I still like food with big flavors, that doesn’t feel like it all came out of a boxed mix.
And it’s tough to beat these ramen eggs (ajitsuke tamago) for matching their ease with their great flavor.
They’re just boiled eggs that get peeled and spend a while soaking in a bath of soy sauce, mirin, and rice vinegar.
And they’re delicious.
You typically find one floated gently atop a big bowl of ramen, hence the common moniker.
You can make them soft boiled with fully runny yolks or extend the time ever-so-slightly for jammy centers. (Or, if you’re a fan of hard boiled eggs, you can do the same thing with them—nobody’s stopping you.)
The fussiest step in the process is peeling the eggs.
I find they peel most easily when you start the eggs, cold from the fridge, in water that’s already come to a boil, and then immediately cool them a bowl of ice water for a couple of minutes.
It’s still a fiddly process, but it’s only a few minutes of work. And don’t worry if you peel off a bit of white with the shell. It happens to all of us.
And seriously, you’re most of the way there.
Then you mix together a little bit of soy sauce, mirin, and rice vinegar and let the eggs marinate in the mixture for the next 6 to 12 hours or so.
The trick to keeping the eggs fully submerged while they marinate is covering them with a paper towel that gets soaked in the marinade itself.
You can rotate them in the marinade if you’re feeling like a perfectionist who wants them evenly colored on all sides.
I usually don’t bother.
Then you eat them!
You can serve these ramen eggs in a bowl of ramen, of course, but that’s just one of the ways to enjoy them.
As pictured here, I like them on top of avocado toast with a bit of sriracha, a few drops of sesame oil, and some herbs.
- 4 large eggs
- 3/4 cup water
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1/4 cup mirin
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Meanwhile, have a large bowl of ice water nearby.
- Add the eggs (gently), cold from the refrigerator to the water and cook for 6 minutes for soft boiled, 7 minutes for a jammy center, and 8-10 minutes for hard boiled.
- Remove the eggs with a slotted spoon and add directly to the ice water. Let cool for a few minutes.
- Gently crack the egg shells and peel the eggs.
- Add the 3/4 cup water, soy sauce, mirin, and rice vinegar to a small bowl and whisk together. Gently add the peeled eggs to the marinade. Cover the top of the eggs with a layer of paper towel soaked in the marinade to keep the eggs submerged. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 6 to 12 hours.
- Remove from the marinade (discard the marinade), slice in half, and serve. Or store, refrigerated, in an airtight container, for up to 3 days.
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