No bowl of ramen is complete without some Soy-Marinated Ramen Eggs!
Everyone has an idea about what constitutes their perfect bowl of ramen. For me, first of all I prefer noodles with a bit more bite. I also like a spicy broth, a good serving of greens, and of course, ramen egg. As for the meat, I’m fine with both chashu and ground pork as long as they’re cooked well, but if you give me a bowl of ramen without ramen eggs in sight, I’d say it was a very very sad bowl indeed.
Serving ramen without ramen eggs should be a crime. Seriously.
I never actually thought I would need to learn how to make ramen eggs at home. It used to be so easy to just go out and have some! Now so many things you never used to give a second thought to seem so far away. These are such strange and disturbing times. Still, I can’t help but feel grateful because I have learned to cook so many things this past year (and a half?) that I normally wouldn’t even think about attempting at home. And ramen eggs are definitely one of the things that will be on regular rotation in this house from now on. I am looking forward to experimenting on the soy marinade.
I have to admit, I was incredibly nervous about attempting this. It’s funny because if you think about it… It’s just eggs. But the thought of messing up this thing that I love so much made the task feel kind of daunting even before I began. I did my research though. After trying this recipe out once, and then testing it again another two times, I have determined that this is the process that I will stick with from now on. It seems to work very well for me. In fact, I just bought a special egg piercer because I’m anticipating many many soft boiled egg recipes in my future.
Anyway, I thought I would write a separate post dedicated to these Soy-Marinated Ramen Eggs. I want to talk about the things that worked for me, and hopefully it will help and encourage more people to try this. Trust me, it’s TOTALLY WORTH THE EFFORT. Plus, you can top it on this excellent Tantanmen.
Things that worked for me
- USING ROOM TEMPERATURE EGGS. Compared to eggs straight from the fridge, I find that the 6-minute rule for cooking soft-boiled eggs apply best to room temperature eggs. Not only that, room temp eggs are less prone to cracking when added into boiling water because there is less of a temperature difference versus cold eggs. Other people prefer to use their eggs straight from the fridge but this has not worked for me.
- POKING A HOLE ON THE EGG SHELL BEFORE BOILING. Although I do not recommend using a cake tester, I think this step does help the shell to not stick to the eggs once cooked. Please do not poke a big hole on your egg because the egg whites will leak once in the water, as mine did, and I think this does tend to mess with the shape of the egg in the end. Not to worry though, it will still be delicious, just not perfectly shaped.
- BOILING THE WATER FIRST BEFORE ADDING IN THE EGGS. Some people like to have the eggs in the pot with the water before bringing the water to a boil. This process gives me a very hard time with timing and my results are usually varied so I prefer to add in the eggs after the water comes to a boil. I start my timer once all my eggs are in.
- ADDING VINEGAR TO THE BOILING WATER. I think this does help in making the eggs a lot easier to peel. This and the hole-poking step remove any of the grief that usually comes with peeling eggs perfectly. To make it even easier, gently crack the egg on several parts on a flat surface, then use your palms to apply a bit of pressure and roll the egg until you hear it popping all over. The shell practically comes right off.
- COOKING FOR SIX MINUTES. It’s definitely the magic number. Set your timer! During this time, make sure you prepare the ice bath.
- HAVING AMPLE WATER FOR THE ICE BATH. It’s very important that your eggs are completely submerged in the ice water once they come out of the pot so make sure you have enough water in your ice bath. (But please also remember that the eggs will push the water up once you put them in so don’t fill your ice bath to the brim or it’ll be a mess!) Leave them in there at least 5 minutes to completely stop cooking.
- HAVING A BIG ENOUGH CONTAINER TO MARINADE THE EGGS IN. You want the container to be big enough that the eggs do not press against each other or against the walls of the container once they’re floating in the marinade. Any part of the egg that touches or presses against any other surface will not get properly marinated. You also want to use something that won’t absorb the soy sauce.
- USING ROOM TEMPERATURE SOY SAUCE MARINADE. When you make your marinade, let it cool down completely before pouring into your eggs so that the eggs do not get heated any further. We don’t want to cook it again.
Some extra notes
- A NOTE ON THE MARINADE. The marinade below is a bare bones version. Feel free to add other spices to make the flavors more interesting. Star anise and dried chilis would work pretty well. You can experiment with your marinade each time you reuse it, just make sure that you reheat the marinade first. The heat will help the spices release their flavor into the soy sauce. I usually take out any whole spices I add in before using the marinade again. I will recommend using the marinade up to 4 times.
- A NOTE ON HOW LONG TO MARINATE THE EGGS. I know I said that you can eat the eggs after a minimum of 3 hours, but I personally think the yolks start reaching their peak creaminess after about 2 days in the marinade. See, when the soy sauce seeps into the eggs, it cures the yolk inside and turns it into this vibrant and creamy yellow. 3 hours will not be enough to achieve that. I think you will need at least 1 day. Now if you are afraid that the eggs will become too salty, feel free to take them out of the marinade around Day 4. I actually tried leaving an egg in for a week. The yolks became super dark in color, but I did not think it tasted salty.
Soy-Marinated Ramen Eggs
- 6 to 8 eggs, at room temperature
- 1 Tablespoon white vinegar
- 2 to 3 cloves garlic, smashed to release some of the flavor
- 3 slices of fresh ginger, smashed to release some of the flavor
- 1 Tablespoon sugar, brown or white
- 1/4 cup soy sauce, preferably dark
- 3 Tablespoons mirin
- 1 Tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1½ cups water
- Optional seasonings for more aroma and smokiness: Star anise, dried chili*
Prepare the eggs
- If you’re eggs have been in the fridge, allow them to come to room temperature before starting the recipe. Carefully prick the eggs with a needle or an egg piercer, preferably on the wider end. Use something small because anything that makes a hole too big will only cause the egg whites to leak out. (If this happens, don’t worry. The eggs will still boil properly but they will not be perfectly shaped.)
- In a pot, bring water to a boil. You want enough water to completely cover the eggs. Once boiling, add the white vinegar. This won’t make the eggs sour but will help make the eggs easier to peel once boiled. Now carefully dip the eggs into the boiling water and boil for exactly 6 minutes. You want to boil the eggs for exactly 6 minutes for a runny yolk, so depending on how fast you can get them out of the water once they’re done, you might want to make an allowance of 15 to 30 seconds on your timer.
- Meanwhile, prepare the ice bath for your eggs. You want enough water to fully submerge the eggs. (Remember that the eggs will push the water up once you put them in so don’t fill your bowl to the brim or it’ll be a mess!) Once the 6 minutes are up, immediately scoop out the eggs and place into the ice bath. Be careful as the water is very hot! Leave the eggs to chill in the ice bath for 5 minutes.
Make the marinade
- In a saucepan, mix together soy sauce, mirin, rice vinegar, sugar, garlic, and ginger. Cook over medium heat until sugar is dissolved and the mixture comes to a boil. Simmer for 5 minutes. It will look slightly thicker and a bit caramelized around the walls of the pan. Remove from heat and mix in the water. Remove the ginger and garlic if desired. Set aside to cool further (although the water should cool it down significantly).
Marinate the eggs
- Peel the cooled eggs by gently tapping against a hard surface all over then carefully rolling it on a flat surface to crack. Be careful when removing the peel so you don’t accidentally poke the smooth surface of the egg. (And if you do, it’s not the end of the world. Frankly, what matters is inside!)
- Place the peeled eggs into a glass or plastic container with a lid. (Something that won’t absorb the soy sauce marinade.) You want the container to be big enough that the eggs do not press against each other or against the walls of the container. Any part of the egg that touches or presses against any other surface will not get properly marinated.
- Pour the semi-cooled marinade on top then cover. Marinate eggs for a minimum of 3 hours in the fridge if you’re in a really great hurry, but I suggest leaving them in at least overnight. It’s normal for some of the eggs to float to the top. Again, do not press them down with a weight. If you want, you can check on them occasionally and rotate the eggs so the top flips to the bottom. Over time, the eggs will sink as they become saturated with the marinade. The yolks will also become cured by the marinade and turn creamier by the day.
- The eggs will keep fresh in the marinade for up to 1 week. If you are afraid that the eggs will become too salty, you can remove them from the marinade on Day 3 or 4 and just store separately. Leftover marinade can be stored in the fridge and reused at least 3 times more.* Eat as is or serve in a bowl of homemade ramen. I would highly suggest this fantastic bowl of Super Easy Shortcut Tantanmen.
Adapted from Alpha Foodie & Omnivore’s Cookbook
Serve these Soy-Marinated Ramen Eggs with this amazing and easy Tantanmen Ramen!
All images and videos on this blog are owned by The Tummy Train and Clarisse Panuelos. Unauthorized use of content, removal of watermark, or edit and reupload is prohibited and will constitute theft.