Ramen eggs (also known as ajitama or nitamago) are Japan’s flavour packed soft-boiled eggs, marinated with a soy sauce-based seasoning. Chock full of umami, this homemade ramen egg recipe is so versatile – perfect for ramen, snacks, rice bowls or just on toast!
Ramen eggs are soft-boiled eggs, often called as ajitama or ajitsuke tamago in Japanese, meaning flavoured eggs. This ramen egg is a must include topping for Japanese ramen.
Ramen is Japan's soul food, and it’s become super popular outside the country as well. And for good reason – it’s a quick, flavour packed bowl of deliciousness!
I've been eating and cooking ramen since I was young. I was always excited to come home from school to find ramen on the menu! I was almost as excited to learn how to cook it with homemade ramen broth from my mother. One of my favourite parts of the cooking and eating process was ramen egg.
The secret of a good ramen...
If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that if you’re making ramen with these eggs you have got to get the eggs right! For me, they’re the key to really taking your ramen to the next level. So, if you want to make an authentic ramen egg recipe start with the eggs!
The good news is that these soft boiled eggs for ramen are super easy to make. And I’ve found the best way to ensure marinated ramen eggs are cooked right every time. Trust me, if my 10 year old self can make them, so can you!
Below, I’ll show you an authentic egg recipe for Japan’s famous ajitama ramen egg. But there’s no need to wait to eat your eggs in ramen, you can add them to rice bowls, sandwiches, avocado toast, burgers, salads and so much more! Bring joy into your life and share it with loved ones! I’ll step you through how to make ramen eggs just right every time.
About These Seasoned Ramen Eggs
You will love these seasoned ramen eggs. They are delicious, versatile and simple to make!
These soy sauce eggs are so versatile. Once you know how to make them, trust me, you won’t wait for the next time you’re cooking ramen, you’ll look for any excuse to eat them. Perfect for sandwiches, on toast, topped on the rice bowls, with rice, or as part of a lunch pack for the kids.
Once you’ve got the basics down, you can add other seasonings to the marinade like:
- spring onion
And of course, you can enjoy the egg in a ramen recipe. I’ve got plenty of options for how to make ramen with an egg including my shoyu ramen, shio ramen and spicy miso ramen recipes. These soft-boiled seasoned eggs also go perfectly with my tantanmen and dan dan noodles recipes. Your ramens with come alive with these ramen eggs!
Easy to make
The secret of these umami packed soy eggs is that they’re made with basic everyday Japanese ingredients. Soy sauce, mirin and sake are basic seasonings for Japanese cuisine. Marinating them allows these flavours to soak into the golden egg yolk! The umami-rich eggs develop into a delicious sweet-and-savory flavour – yum!
This all happens by simply soaking soft-boiled eggs in the mix overnight. So simple! Your only real job is to find the Japanese ingredients which are easily found at the local Japanese or Asian stores. These days they’re also quite commonly found in your regular supermarket these days.
Soft boiled eggs
There’s lots of approaches to soft-boiled eggs and the result can be different. What you want for ramen eggs is that the egg whites are cooked but not too hard, and the egg yolk is creamy soft and just a tiny bit runny. Cooking them this way complements the ramen deliciously.
Best Ingredients for Ramen Eggs
Soy sauce: You can use any type of Japanese soy sauce. My favourite for this recipe is koikuchi shoyu from Kikkoman, a leading Japanese soy sauce brand.
You may find both dark coloured koikuchi soy sauce and light coloured usukuchi at the shop. They have slightly different flavours, saltiness and colour.
Koikuchi is less salty than usukuchi, but is darker in colour - it results in browner eggs adding to the appeal! For gluten-free use gluten free tamari or soy sauce.
Mirin is the secret Japanese cooking weapon. It's a type of sweetened rice wine and induces the umami of the ingredients. I use hon mirin from Mitsukan, a leading Japanese mirin brand, but any mirin will work.
Japanese sake induces umami and creates a harmony with the soy sauce and mirin. The soy sauce, mirin and sake combination features a lot in Japanese cooking and is delicious! It’s one of the secrets of umami rich Japanese cuisine. I highly recommend using Japanese sake.
You can use sake for many other dishes such as teriyaki sauce, soup or any other types of vegetable cooking, so it won’t go to waste. I even sneak some in my pasta sometimes as a replacement for white wine. I use an everyday drinking sake.
Egg: I use organic free-range egg from the market or a shop. One thing to be noted is that the egg cooking time depends on small or medium sized eggs you use.
Making Soft-Boiled Eggs for Ramen!
Make seasoning mix
The first thing to do is cook off the alcohol from the mirin and sake by heating them up on a stove top. Add the soy sauce once the sake and mirin have cooled down to room temperature. This way you’ll keep the rich flavour and fragrance of the soy.
Cook soft-boiled eggs
I’ll show you how to make soft-boiled eggs for ramen – my method is straight forward and has never let me down.
Firstly, make a tiny crack on the bottom of the egg. Yes, it's an uncooked egg, but the bottom of the each egg has a tiny air pocket. This means that if you're careful, the egg won't leak out. So be gentle! This technique allows the hot water to penetrate the tiny crack in the eggshell, so that it's easy for you to remove the shell later!
A narrow bit is facing down in the package.
Bring water to the boil then reduce to a simmer. To avoid breaking the eggs, use a ladle and place them gently into the boiled water one by one. The water needs to cover the top of the eggs.
Ramen egg cooking time
Simmer for 7 minutes for medium sized eggs and 6 and half minutes for small eggs with medium low heat. Small eggs are about 60g while medium sized eggs are about 70g per egg.
Make circles in the water with a folk or chopsticks occasionally. This keeps the egg yolk centered in the egg.
Note: Ramen eggs are little runny, soft and undercooked and that's intrinsically how they are. If you prefer harder boiled eggs, cook one minute extra.
After cooking, transfer eggs immediately into a bowl of iced water. This stops the eggs from continuing to cook and harden.
Gently remove the eggshells under running water, starting from the tiny crack you previously made before cooking. Removing under running water is very important! The water penetrate into between the eggshell skin and egg whites. This helps you remove the eggshells very easily and maintains the surface of the egg.
Immediately after removing the shells, eggs are still fragile so return them back into the water one by one. Remove any remnants of the thin membrane on the egg skin’s surface.
Pour the cooled down seasoning mix marinade into a plastic ziploc bag and place in a bowl or Tupperware container. Gently place the eggs in the bag, and remove. This way the mix can penetrate into the eggs easily.
Leave the eggs in the fridge overnight. I recommend marinating the ramen eggs for 12 hours. If you are in real hurry, you can get away with marinating them for 6 hours. I don’t recommend soaking them for too much more than 12 hours – definitely less than 24 hours.
That's it! The perfect marinated eggs for ramen are ready! Cut the soft-boiled ramen egg into half, and add it to ramen or whatever you desire! Enjoy perfect agitama egg!
On soy sauce mix
- Cook mirin and sake at the boiling point with a low heat and evaporate alcohol.
- Cool it down at the room temperature.
- Don't cook the soy sauce but add it to the cooled down mixture.
On soft-boiled eggs
- Simmer medium size eggs with medium low heat for 7 minutes (small size is 6 and half minutes)
- Transfer cooked eggs into iced water immediately.
- Peel carefully, using the water to ensure and event surface on the egg.
Can you make ramen eggs without mirin?
Unfortunately, mirin is not replaceable with any other ingredient so don’t be tempted to replace it with sugar – it’s not the same. If you buy some mirin, it won’t go to waste – you can use it in many dishes such as teriyaki, salad, soup and cooking vegetables. You can add a bit when you cook rice too. Make your dish umami rich!
Can you reuse the soy sauce mix?
Yes! I actually reuse it for up to two weeks for more eggs. You can also use it for:
- Teriyaki tofu
- Vegetable stir fry
- Fried rice
- Shoyu ramen
- Fried noodles
- Grilled vegetables
How to save ramen eggs
Remove the marinated eggs from the sauce, and keep them for four days in the fridge. It's not recommended to soak eggs more than 24 hours.
MIKLIA Collection for Ramen Recipes
Find more on the ramen with egg recipes:
- 5 eggs medium sized (about 70g: see note 1)
- 4 tablespoons Japanese soy sauce (koikuchi shoyu)
- 4 tablespoons mirin (Japanese rice wine)
- 3 tablespoons sake
- 1 teaspoon sugar (I used cane sugar)
- toasted sesame seeds (optional for topping)
- Place mirin and sake in a small pan and boil up with small heat. Keep boiling for one minute. After cooking, allow the mixture to cool down to room temperature. Add soy sauce and sugar, and combine. Set aside. (note 2)
- Make a tiny crack on the bottom of each uncooked egg. The bottom of the each egg has a tiny air pocket. This means that if you're careful, the egg won't leak out. So be gentle! (note 3)
- Bring water to the boil in a medium sized pan and then reduce the heat to a low simmer.
- Gently add each egg into the water with a ladle, being careful to avoid breaking or cracking the eggshells.
- Simmer with medium low heat for seven minutes. (note 4)
- While cooking, prepare iced water in a bowl. Once the eggs are cooked, transfer them into the bowl immediately. Leave them for one minute. (note 5)
- Remove each eggshell with 'running water', starting at the bottom to the top. this is important.
- Boiled eggs are still fragile and soft. Return them to the water after peeling.
- Pour the cooled down seasoning mix marinade into a plastic ziploc bag and place in a bowl or Tupperware container.
- Gently place the eggs in the bag, and remove as much air as much as you can and seal.
- Leave the eggs in the fridge overnight for 8 to 12 hours.
- Carefully cut the eggs in half. That's it! Serve them immediately and enjoy!
You can use fresh eggs from a shop or a firm as well as directly from the fridge. No need to leave them for days before you cook.
For the soy sauce mix, keep simmering sake and mirin for one minute to burn off the alcohol. Add soy sauce only once mirin and sake are cooled down.
This technique allows the hot water to penetrate the tiny crack in the eggshell, so that it's easy for you to remove the shell later!
Simmer with medium low heat for 7 minutes for medium sized eggs and 6 and half minutes for small eggs. Small eggs are about 60g while medium sized eggs are about 70g per egg. Ramen eggs are little runny, soft and undercooked and that's intrinsically how they are. If you prefer harder boiled eggs, cook one minute extra.
For soft-boiled eggs, keep cooking time and transfer the boiled eggs into iced water immediately after being cooked.