Sweet, salty and rich with plenty of umami flavor – these jammy Ramen Eggs (Ajitsuke Tamago) are simple, versatile and perfect in your ramen bowl, or any other way you eat them!
My simple marinade for these ramen eggs includes mirin, soy sauce and one non-traditional secret ingredient!
Hard boiled, soft boiled, poached, fried, omelette, scrambled…. when it comes to eggs, anything goes in our household. We love eating eggs!
Marinated or seasoned eggs is one of my favorite ways to eat soft boiled eggs (and even hard boiled eggs). I’ve tried different versions of seasoned eggs – pickled eggs and Chinese tea eggs being two that I really like. But Ramen Eggs (Ajitsuke Tamago) have always been my favorite! And with good reason. They are easy to make, and are packed with flavor.
Ramen eggs are a staple in our fridge. It’s not so much that we always eat ramen eggs, but we always eat eggs. Any kind. I prefer soft boiled eggs, while my husband likes hard boiled eggs for an on-the-go breakfast or snack. So invariably, there are seasoned eggs as well, so that we don’t have to worry about salt and pepper when snacking on them.
So what’s so great about Ramen Eggs (Ajitsuke Tamago)?
One word – flavor!
OK, another word – versatility. The base of a seasoned ramen egg is so simple, but you can also infuse the marinade with different spices. But if you are adding other flavors such as garlic, ginger, star anise or other spices, you have to heat the mixture to allow those spices to properly infuse into the liquid. My simple marinade for these ramen eggs includes only soy sauce and mirin (and maybe some caynenne pepper for a kick), and it doesn’t require any heating, so it’s very easy.
My non-traditional ingredient for ramen egg marinade
Typically, ramen eggs are marinated in a simple solution of soy sauce and mirin. But I like to mix in one other ingredient that’s not traditional, but does plenty to elevate the flavor – mushroom soy sauce!
This is optional, but if you already have it, or you have ready access to it, I totally recommend it! It’s a Chinese condiment, not Japanese. If you want the Japanese equivalent, you can use Koikuhi sauce instead, but mushroom soy sauce is easier to find. This is a Chinese dark soy sauce that’s been infused with straw mushroom flavor, giving it some amazing umami flavor on top of the sweet, aged richness of dark soy sauce.
Another feature (advantage?) of using mushroom infused dark soy sauce is the deep color that it yields to the ramen eggs (as you can see in the pictures). Rich, sweet, salty… I guarantee these will be the best ramen eggs you’ve ever had! 🙂
This ramen egg marinade has such robust flavor, that you only need to marinate the eggs for a minimum of two hours. Occasionally, I leave the eggs in the marinade for about 24 hours and this will often make the flavor permeate all the way into the yolk! This makes the yolks taste extra jammy and rich, almost like they were preserved!
I do recommend leaving them in the fridge at least overnight, but if you’re in a hurry, marinate them for a minimum of 2 hours. Then you can transfer the eggs into an air-tight container and store them in the fridge for up to 4 days.
We love eating these ramen eggs in sandwiches or with rice (with a softer yolk, cooked for 5 minutes), or just snack on them whenever.
Can I re-use the marinade for more eggs?
Absolutely! The marinade is definitely re-usable. I’ve used the marinade for up to 3 weeks. I store it in an air-tight container in the fridge and re-use it whenever I’m preparing more eggs. Sometimes, I might use a little of it to marinate chicken to make caramelized soy chicken, like in this easy chicken ramen.
It’s a little different from the classic version, but I think you’re going to LOVE the addition of mushroom soy sauce, which really elevates these ramen eggs (ajitsuke tamago)!
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EQUIPMENT & TOOLS I USED FOR THIS RECIPE
Kitchen Timer – Set the time so you know when to take out the hard boiled eggs
Slotted spoon – to help move the eggs from the pot to a water bath
32 ounce Deli Containers – I love these containers to marinade these eggs. They hold the marinade and then hold enough eggs in them as well.
For the eggs
- 4 - 5 large eggs 2 oz in weight (plus more in case any of the eggs crack!)
For the marinade
- ¾ cup Mirin or Aji mirin
- ¼ cup regular soy sauce
- ¼ cup dark soy sauce if you can’t find it, substitute with an equal amount of regular soy sauce + 1 tbsp brown sugar
- ½ tsp cayenne pepper
- 2 cloves of garlic, or 1 inch piece of ginger sliced
- 1 star anise
- Fill a saucepan with some water. Make sure the pot is large enough for the eggs to sit at the bottom in one layer, and to have about 1 inch of water above the eggs.
- Add some salt or a little vinegar to the water (this is to prevent the egg whites from running out if there's any cracking of eggs while cooking).
- Bring the water to a boil over high heat with the lid on. Then lower the heat to medium or medium high, so that the water is still bubbling but not at a rolling boil (the eggs are more likely to crack at a rolling boil).
- Lower each egg gently into the water. (If any eggs crack while being lowered into the water, I would use them to make omelette or scrambled eggs instead!).
- As soon as you've lowered all the eggs into the water, place the lid back on, and immediately set the timer as follows to cook the eggs to your preference.
5 ½ minutes for set, but soft egg whites, and runny egg yolks - these eggs are really delicate.6 minutes for a set white, but runny egg yolk. 6 ½ minutes for a set white, a jammy/runny egg yolk, and as seen in the pictures in this post - this is my favorite. 7 minutes for a set white, and a half set egg yolk.
- When the time is up, remove the eggs and immediately place them in a bowl with cold running water, for at least 2 - 3 minutes, OR place them in an ice bath for a few minutes.
- Carefully peel the eggs by gently tapping them on a hard surface to create little cracks along the surface. (The eggs cooked for 5 ½ minutes will be trickier to peel than those cooked for 7 minutes).
- Once peeled, place the eggs in the (cooled) marinade. For those eggs cooked for 5 ½ minutes, put the marinade into a bowl where the eggs can be placed along the bottom in one layer.
- Let the eggs marinate for at least for 2 hours, or 8 - 12 hours for best results, or even up to 24 hours.
- Remove the eggs from the marinade and place them in a separate air-tight container. These can be stored in the fridge for up to 4 days.
- Keep the rest of the marinade in an air-tight container in the fridge. This can be re-used for up to 3 weeks.
- Place the marinade ingredients in a tall container with an air-tight lid. Whisk to combine (if you added sugar, make sure the sugar is completely dissolved). The basic marinade is now ready.
- If you want to infuse the marinade with more flavor, place it in a small saucepan, along with ¼ cup of water. Add chili, or garlic, or ginger, or star anise (or all), and bring the marinade to a simmer. As soon as the sauce starts to simmer, remove it from the heat and let it cool to room temperature.
- Put the infused marinade in a tall air-tight container, along with the cooked eggs to marinate, as described above.