Ramen Eggs (Ajitama)

By: takestwoeggsPosted: 28/05/2023 Updated: 30/11/2023
Prep 15 minutes
Cook 6 minutes
Total 8 hours 21 minutes
Ramen eggs, or ajitama, have the most incredible jammy yolk center and are flavored to umami perfection. These Japanese soft-boiled eggs are marinated overnight in a rich, sweet, savory, soy sauce-based marinade and are perfect for your bowl of ramen, as a side dish, or as a snack!
Ramen Eggs (Ajitama)

Ramen eggs, or ajitama, have the most incredible jammy yolk center and are flavored to umami perfection. These Japanese soft-boiled eggs are marinated overnight in a rich, sweet, savory, soy sauce-based marinade and are perfect for your bowl of ramen, as a side dish, or as a snack!

A plate full of freshly made ramen eggs.

Ramen eggs, also known as ajitama or ajitsuke tamago, are a type of Japanese soy-marinated soft-boiled eggs that are typically served on top of a bowl of ramen. The ramen egg marinade is made of soy sauce, mirin, sake, dashi broth, and a dash of sugar. Together the ingredients yield a rich, complex, umami, and gently sweet flavor that is truly one of a kind.

These soy-marinated eggs are my favorite kind of treat when I’m looking for something salty and sweet. They are to die for on top of a bowl of ramen, but I also love serving them on top of a slice of avocado toast too! The options are endless. If you are looking for more egg recipes, check out our mayak eggs, Chinese steamed eggs, and our Japanese egg salad sandwich (tamago sando).

A bowl of ramen with ajitama ready to eat.

What are ramen eggs?

Ramen eggs, also known as soy sauce eggs, soy marinated eggs, ajitsuke tamago (味付け玉子), or ajitama (味玉), are soft-boiled eggs that are known for their signature shiny, golden, jammy egg yolks. The ramen egg is then marinated overnight in a sweet, umami soy-based marinade for a gorgeous bronzed exterior.

The soy-marinated eggs are most commonly seen on top of a bowl of ramen, but they can also be eaten as a side dish for a bento box or as a snack by itself!

A ramen egg lifted from a bowl of ramen.

Why You’ll Love This Ramen Egg Recipe

  • Easy to make with only a handful of ingredients. These ramen eggs are really easy to make and use less than 10 ingredients!
  • Perfect soft boil a jammy egg: in this ramen egg recipe, I will show you how to make the most flawless, soft-boiled eggs.
  • Great snack: ajitama egg is low carb, and high in protein which calls for a delicious snack that can be added to rice bowls, noodles, or bento boxes.
A ramen egg sliced in half after being marinated.

Kitchen Equipment

You will need to use the following kitchen equipment to ensure the perfect ajitsuke tamago!

  • Medium pot: you will need a medium pot to cook the Japanese soft-boiled eggs.
  • Spider strainer or slotted spoon: I recommend using a spider strainer or a slotted spoon to gently place and remove the eggs from the pot.
  • Medium mixing bowl: you will need a medium mixing bowl to make the ice bath for the soft-boiled eggs.
  • Airtight container: you will need an airtight container to hold the peeled soft-boiled eggs and ramen egg marinade. You can either use a container with a lid or a large ziplock bag.
  • Plastic wrap: if you are using a container with a lid, I recommend covering the container with plastic wrap before adding the lid to fully seal in the ramen egg marinade.

Ingredients

All of the ingredients for the ajitama egg can be found at your local Japanese or Asian grocery store.

  • Large Eggs: the star ingredient! For the best-tasting ajitama, use fresh large eggs that are brought to room temperature. If you are using smaller eggs, you will need to slightly lower the cooking time.
  • Vinegar: a splash of vinegar makes the eggs easier to peel.
  • Soy Sauce: for a more authentic flavored Japanese soft-boiled egg, use an authentic Japanese soy sauce. My favorite is this organic Kikkoman soy sauce.
  • Dark Soy Sauce (Optional): dark soy sauce is completely optional and is mostly for aesthetics. If you want a more tan and bronzed Japanese soy egg, add a splash of dark soy sauce.
  • Dashi: dashi is a combination of kombu (kelp seaweed) and katsuobushi (dried bonito flakes) that is sold in a dried form in a box.
  • Mirin: mirin or sweet cooking rice seasoning has 14% alcohol content and a sweet and tangy flavor. If you don’t want to use miring see the substitutions below.
  • Sake: sake adds umami and a sweet mellow flavor.
  • Sugar: a touch of sugar balances out the salty flavors from the soy sauce and rounds out the flavor of the ajitama marinade.
All the ingredients organized and labeled for making ramen eggs.

Substitutions and Additions

You can customize your own Japanese ramen egg however you, please! I’ve suggested some substitutions and additions for the ramen egg marinade below.

Substitutions

  • Water: instead of sake, you can alternatively use water instead.
  • Nonalcoholic Mirin: if you do not want to use mirin, you can alternatively use nonalcoholic mirin instead.

Additions

  • Aromatics: if you want more of an aromatic punch, add a slice of ginger and/or 1-2 minced cloves of garlic.
  • Toasted sesame seeds: you can add toasted sesame seeds for added nutty crunch and flavor.
  • Sliced chilis: if you want spicy ramen eggs, add a few slices of jalapenos or Thai chilis for added heat.

How to Make Ramen Eggs

Here are the instructions on how to make ramen eggs! I recommend reading the ramen egg recipe and tips once through before you begin.

  1. Make the marinade. In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, add the soy sauce, dark soy sauce, dashi, mirin, sake, and sugar. Bring to a boil and whisk to combine. Once it is boiling, reduce the heat and simmer for 1 minute. Set aside to cool completely.
Mixing together a marinade for making ramen eggs.
  1. Soft boil the eggs. In a medium pot, add enough water to cover the eggs and vinegar. Boil over high heat. Carefully, lower the room temperature eggs onto the bottom of the pot with a spider strainer or a slotted spoon and gently rotate the eggs for the first 2 minutes. Turn the heat to medium heat and simmer for 6 minutes and 30 seconds.
Using a spider strainer to place eggs into boiling water.
  1. Place the eggs in an ice-water bath. Using a slotted spoon or spider strainer, scoop the eggs out and transfer them to an ice bath. Make sure the ice water covers the eggs. Chill for at least 10 minutes then gently peel the eggs. Pat to dry and set aside.
  1. Marinate the eggs. Add the eggs and cooled marinade into a large ziplock bag or a container with an airtight lid. Marinate in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours or overnight. Rotate the eggs after 4 hours for even coverage.
  1. Serve. Remove the ramen eggs from the marinade and cut them in half to serve. You can use a knife, string, or cheese cutter for a clean cut.
Looking down at a plate of ramen eggs.

Tips for the Best Ramen Eggs

  • Cook the marinade. Cooking the soy marinade is necessary to burn off the alcohol flavor of the sake and to completely dissolve the sugar. Make sure to continue cooking the soy marinade for at least 1 minute after it reaches a boil.
  • Use room temperature eggs: using room temperature eggs takes out all the guesswork. It will ensure that you have the perfect jammy runny center and there is less of a risk that your eggs will crack upon touching the boiling water. If you don’t want to wait for the eggs to naturally come to room temperature, gently submerge them in lukewarm water for 5 minutes before boiling.
  • Add vinegar to the boiling water. Adding vinegar to the boiling water helps with peeling the eggs. Since the ramen eggs are soft boiled it may be difficult to peel the eggs without breaking the egg whites.
  • Cook the eggs over medium heat. The water should come to a boil and then be reduced to medium heat where the eggs are cooking over a gentle simmer with medium bubbles on top not aggressive roaring ones.
  • For the perfect centered yolk, gently roll the eggs with a wooden spoon or chopsticks for the first 2 minutes in the boiling water to center the yolk.
  • Shock the soft-boiled eggs in an ice-water bath. Soaking the soft-boiled eggs in ice water for at least 10 minutes allows the egg whites to contract, and firm up the egg white proteins which release them from the shell making them easier to peel.
  • Marinate the eggs overnight and for a max of 2 days. For the best flavor, serve the ajitama egg after an overnight marinade. The soy-marinated eggs should only remain in the marinade for a maximum of 2 days.

Storage Instructions

You can store the Japanese ramen eggs in the marinade for a maximum of two days. Then you can store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for an additional 1 day (for a total of 3 days maximum).

Frequently Asked Q’s & A’s

What ingredients are used to make ramen eggs?

This ramen egg recipe is made with eggs, soy sauce, dark soy sauce, dashi, mirin, sake, and sugar.

How long do soy-marinated eggs last?

I recommend serving the soy sauce eggs within 3 days of boiling them. Store them in the marinade in the refrigerator for a maximum of 2 days and 1 day outside of the marinade.

Why do you use sake for ajitama?

The amino acids within the fermented rice wine enhance the flavors of the Japanese soft-boiled egg by adding soft layers of sweetness and umami. The alcohol in the sake is gently boiled off before the eggs are soaked in them so it is safe for children to consume. If you do not feel comfortable using sake, you can easily substitute it with water!

How to serve ramen egg?

You can serve ramen egg (ajitama) over rice, on avocado toast, with your favorite ramen, or alone as a snack!

How long should I boil for hard-boiled eggs?

If you prefer hard-boiled eggs, I recommend boiling the eggs for 12 minutes over medium-low heat.

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A ramen egg sliced in half after being marinated.

Ramen Eggs (Ajitama)

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 6 minutes
Marinate Time 8 hours
Total Time 8 hours 21 minutes
Ramen eggs, or ajitama, have the most incredible jammy yolk center and are flavored to umami perfection. These Japanese soft-boiled eggs are marinated overnight in a rich, sweet, savory, soy sauce-based marinade and are perfect for your bowl of ramen, as a side dish, or as a snack!
Servings: 6 servings
Print Recipe

Ingredients

  • 6 large eggs room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • water for boiling

Marinade

Instructions

  • Make the marinade. In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, add the soy sauce, dark soy sauce, dashi broth, mirin, sake, and sugar. Bring to a boil and whisk to combine. Once it is boiling, reduce the heat and simmer for 1 minute. Set aside to cool completely.
  • Soft boil the eggs. In a medium pot, add enough water to cover the eggs and vinegar. Boil over high heat. Carefully, lower the room temperature eggs onto the bottom of the pot with a spider strainer or a slotted spoon and gently rotate the eggs for the first 2 minutes. Turn the heat to medium heat and simmer for 6 minutes and 30 seconds.
  • Place the eggs in an ice-water bath. Using a slotted spoon or spider strainer, scoop the eggs out and transfer them to an ice bath. Make sure the ice water covers the eggs. Chill for at least 10 minutes then gently peel the eggs. Pat to dry and set aside.
  • Marinate the eggs. Add the eggs and cooled marinade into a large ziplock bag or a container with an airtight lid. Marinate in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours or overnight. Rotate the eggs after 4 hours for even coverage.
  • Serve. Remove the eggs from the marinade and cut them in half to serve. You can use a knife, string, or cheese cutter for a clean cut.

Notes

  • Cook the marinade. Cooking the soy marinade is necessary to burn off the alcohol flavor of the sake and to completely dissolve the sugar. Make sure to continue cooking the soy marinade for at least 1 minute after it reaches a boil.
  • Use room temperature eggs: using room temperature eggs takes out all the guesswork. It will ensure that you have the perfect jammy runny center and there is less of a risk that your eggs will crack upon touching the boiling water. If you don’t want to wait for the eggs to naturally come to room temperature, gently submerge them in lukewarm water for 5 minutes before boiling.
  • Add vinegar to the boiling water. Adding vinegar to the boiling water helps with peeling the eggs. Since the ramen eggs are soft boiled it may be difficult to peel the eggs without breaking the egg whites.
  • Cook the eggs over medium heat. The water should come to a boil and then be reduced to medium heat where the eggs are cooking over a gentle simmer with medium bubbles on top not aggressive roaring ones.
  • For the perfect centered yolk, gently roll the eggs with a wooden spoon or chopsticks for the first 2 minutes in the boiling water to center the yolk.
  • Shock the soft-boiled eggs in an ice-water bath. Soaking the soft-boiled eggs in ice water for at least 10 minutes allows the egg whites to contract, and firm up the egg white proteins which release them from the shell making them easier to peel.
  • Marinate the eggs overnight and for a max of 2 days. For the best flavor, serve the ajitama egg after an overnight marinade. The soy-marinated eggs should only remain in the marinade for a maximum of 2 days.
  • Storage Instructions: You can store the Japanese ramen eggs in the marinade for a maximum of two days. Then you can store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for an additional 1 day (for a total of 3 days maximum).

Nutrition:

Calories: 115kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.02g | Cholesterol: 164mg | Sodium: 1019mg | Potassium: 129mg | Fiber: 0.1g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 239IU | Calcium: 41mg | Iron: 1mg

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