Ramen eggs, or ajitama, are Japanese soft boiled eggs soaked in a sweetened soy marinade. They're sweet and savory with umami-packed soft, jammy yolks! Great for ramen and also as a side. For a similar addictive Korean soy marinated eggs, try mayak eggs.
My absolute favorite topping in a bowl of ramen is the ramen egg, also known as ajitama, short for ajitsuke tamago. They also go by shoyu eggs or simply as Japanese soy marinated eggs. Whichever name you know them as, I'm sure you can agree that they are delish!
If you’ve made this recipe or any recipes from our blog, please tag us on Instagram using #twoplaidaprons! You can also tag us in your Instagram stories using @two_plaid_aprons. We would love to see your creations! It absolutely makes our day! 🥰
How to enjoy ramen eggs
Here are some of our favorite ways to use ramen eggs:
- Bento box - Pack a ramen egg with your lunch box and maybe with a bowl of miso soup!
- Light breakfast spread - With plain congee, ramen eggs, kimchi, and seasoned tofu.
- Avocado toast - Swap out plain eggs for these umami packed soy marinated egg!
- Tonkotsu - Our favorite ramen with thick, rich bone broth.
- Shoyu ramen - A lighter ramen made with a soy sauce based broth.
Please scroll down to the recipe card for the ingredient quantities!
- Eggs - Our recipe is based on large eggs. So if using smaller or larger eggs, the cook time will be different.
- Vinegar - This is optional, but we recommend adding some plain white vinegar to the boiling water to help make the egg shells easier to peel.
- Soy sauce - We recommend using low sodium soy sauce, as the ratio we provided in our recipe is based on that. If you are using regular soy sauce, you may want to reduce the soy sauce by a couple of tablespoons.
- Water - To slightly dilute the marinade so that it won't be too salty.
- Mirin - This is a Japanese pantry classic and we highly recommend using it in the marinade as it helps to get rid of some unwanted eggy flavor. If you are looking for a nonalcoholic substitute, try this alcohol-free mirin.
- Sugar - Some sugar is needed to add some sweetness to the marinade, which helps to add another layer of flavor.
How to make ramen eggs
Please scroll down to the recipe card for the full recipe and instructions!
1. Boil the eggs. Gently place the eggs into a pot of boiling water and set a timer for 6 minutes, or longer, depending on your preferred doneness. 6 minutes will give you perfect soft boiled eggs.
🌟 Pro tip: Add some white vinegar to your boiling water to help your eggs peel easier. We recommend about 2 tablespoons of vinegar per 5 to 6 cups of water.
2. Cool the eggs. Once the eggs are done, immediately place them into a bowl of ice water. Allow them to cool completely.
🌟 Pro tip: If you have time, it will be life changing if you can let the eggs soak for at least 15 minutes. This helps to make the eggs so much easier to peel.
3. Make the marinade. While the eggs are cooling, make the marinade by combining soy sauce, water, mirin, and sugar. Stir until the sugar has dissolved.
4. Marinade eggs. Once the eggs have cooled, crack and peel them. Rinse them with fresh water if needed to remove any stray shells. Place the eggs into the marinade.
🌟 Pro tip: If marinating in a container, place a sheet of cling film on the eggs to help keep the eggs submerged in the marinade. You can also marinate the eggs in a resealable bag. Whichever way the eggs are marinated, if the eggs are not completely submerged, rotate the eggs occasionally.
5. Enjoy. Allow the eggs to marinade for at least 8 hours, best overnight. The eggs can be kept in the marinade for 12 to 36 hours, depending on how seasoned you'd like them. Once marinated to your taste, remove from the marinade and enjoy or store them separately from the marinade.
Tips for peeling eggs
- Add some vinegar to the boiling water. We recommend about 2 tablespoons of vinegar per 5 to 6 cups of water.
- Allow the eggs to soak in the ice bath for at least 15 minutes. Soaking the eggs in the ice bath not only stops the cooking process, preventing the eggs from becoming overcooked, it all helps making the eggs easier to peel.
These ramen eggs need about at least 8 hours of marinating, and up to 36 hours. Once the eggs are marinated to your preference, remove them from the marinade and enjoy. Remaining ramen eggs should be stored separately from the marinade, for up to 3 days if the eggs are soft boiled. As the eggs sit, the yolks will become jammier and less runny.
As for the leftover marinade, it is best to use it in cooking, like stir fries, within 1 week of making it. We don't recommend reusing the marinade for another batch of eggs, for food safety purposes. However, if you really want to reuse the marinade for another batch of eggs, we recommend using it within 5 days of making the marinade and only using it once more. Every time the marinade is used, the flavor becomes more diluted.
Ramen eggs, or aijtama, are soaked in a sweet and savory soy marinate made of soy sauce, water, mirin, and sugar.
It is best to enjoy soft-boiled ramen eggs within 3 days. However, if you prefer hard-boiled eggs, they can be stored for up to 5 to 7 days.
Leftover ramen egg marinade can be used for cooking, like in stir fries. We do not recommend reusing it to marinate more eggs, for both food safety purpose and because the marinade will be more diluted in flavor. If you'd like more details on this, please refer to the "Storage" topic above.
To make the perfect soft-boiled ramen eggs, we recommend boiling for 6 minutes. 7 minutes usually gives us a more cooked yolk.
If you can't find mirin, you can substitute each tablespoon of mirin for 1 tablespoon of sake with 1 teaspoon of sugar. For an alcohol-free substitute, try this nonalcoholic mirin.
Ramen Eggs (Ajitama)
- Boil the eggs:Bring a pot of water to a boil and gently place the eggs in the boiling water. Let the eggs boil for 6 minutes for the perfect soft boiled eggs.*If you wish, add some vinegar to the water. This will make the eggs a bit easier to peel, especial when the eggs are not hard boil eggs. Use 2 tablespoons of vinegar per 5 to 6 cups of water.*
- After 6 minutes, remove the eggs from the boiling water and shock them in ice water. Let the eggs cool completely.*This shocking process will help stop the eggs from cooking further and also help to make the eggs easier to peel. We found that soaking the eggs for about 15 minutes or longer is the key to make the eggs much easier to peel. So if you have time, we highly recommend.*
- Make the marinade:While the eggs are cooling, make the soy marinade. In the marinating container or a bowl, combine the soy sauce, water, mirin, and sugar. Stir until the sugar has dissolved. If the marinate was made in a bowl, transfer to the container that you'll be marinating in.
- Marinate the eggs:After the cooling process, crack and peel the eggs. Rinse with water if needed to remove any stray egg shells. Place the peeled eggs into the prepared marinade and allow the eggs to soak for at last 8 hours, best overnight.*If the eggs are not totally submerged in the marinate, be sure to rotate the eggs occasionally.*
- Enjoy the eggs in ramen, as a side, or as a snack. Leftover ramen eggs should be removed from the marinade after 12 to 36 hours, depending on how seasoned you'd like the eggs.
- 6 minute cook time - Our cook time for our eggs are based on large eggs taken out straight from the fridge. This has always given us perfect, soft-boil eggs with runny yolks.
- Hard-boiled egg - Although ramen eggs are usually served soft-boiled, you can make these eggs hard-boiled egg by cooking them for 12 minutes instead of 6 minutes.