Ramen School 003: Ajitama (Ramen Eggs)
The key to ramen eggs (known in Japanese as ajitsuke tamago 味付け卵) is that they aren’t just flavoured by their marinade. The salty and sweet marinade actually acts as a cure to firm the whites and yolks, and give the yolks a savoury and jammy taste and consistency, which is a much better texture for ramen. Two days curing is about right for curing ramen eggs, but you can go more or less depending on the levels of salt and sugar in the liquid.
1 cup chashu braising liquid (or 1 cup homemade teriyaki sauce)
½ cup soy sauce
¼ cup mirin
¼ cup sake
any aromatics, dried shiitake mushrooms or dried seafood you might like
Prick a hole in the base of the egg. Bring a pot of water to the boil, add the eggs, reduce the heat and simmer for 6 minutes. Remove to a bowl of iced water and allow to cool completely.
Combine the eggs with the chashu braising liquid and 2 cups of water. Refrigerate for 48 hours. Serve with ramen. Alternatively, bring the mirin and sake to the boil and flambe. Add soy sauce and 2 cups of water, plus any dried aromatics, shiitake mushrooms or seafood you might like. Add eggs and refrigerate for 2 days.
Top Tips for Ramen Eggs
- When cutting the eggs in half, the yolks are likely to stick to the knife. Use a wet knife to minimise this, or do as ramen shops do and cut the eggs with a piece of string or fishing line.
- Some common flavourings that can be added to the steeping liquid are: dried shiitake mushrooms, dried sardines or anchovies, bonito flakes, kombu, and even onion and garlic.
- Ramen eggs will keep for around 4 days refrigerated in their liquid or out of it. The eggs will likely be fully cured after 2 days.
I am Ela and I live in Berlin, Germany.
Since I found you/your recipes every thing is ok ^__^
I want to thank you , you made my cooking days complete , easy and delicious !
Now I am waiting for #4 in Ramen School ♥
With best wishes, Ela
Hey Adam!! Thank you for this great recipe! Can we use this steeping liquid for anything else after the eggs (safely)?
where did you get your piercing tool?
Hi Adam, I just tasted the ajitama I cooked strictly following your instructions. And it’s awesome.
You’re my new rock star! Keep on.
Hi Adam thanks for sharing this! Are the eggs at room temp before cooking?
I was very disappointed with this recipe. Adam, you do not say what size your eggs are or how to compensate for eggs being in the fridge. I had 75 gram eggs stored in the fridge and I guessed at 8 minutes. But that didn’t seem to work and I have no idea how far I should compensate.
Firstly it is extremely difficult to start the hole. My meat skewers wouldn’t even scratch the egg. So i ended up using a scalpel then the point of a steak knife then the skewer to get a hole like in your video. When each implement won’t turn easily move to the next otherwise you will crack the egg.
Then into iced water for 6 minutes then wait a couple of minutes (while finishing the curing liquid) then try and peel the eggs. Totally no different from peeling a conventionally boiled soft egg. The shell and the membrane stick to the white which comes away in chunks but you have no trouble shooting guide so I have no idea what I did wrong. Also my eggs still have a pocket except now it is full of water instead of air.
I bought a tool that puts a hole in eggs. I think I paid around $14.00 on Amazon. It was listed as bar equipment. Just type in ‘egg piercer’ and you will find a bunch of options.
Hope this helps. Happy Rahmen eggs!
Mine are in the fridge now, I can’t wait until Monday for the results.
Does anyone know if the brine can be used again?
Use a small needle to pierce the hole if you dont have a skewer. keeping the eggs in the carton keeps them steady and you can more easily pierce the shell. Try scratching a spot in the shell to start.
My eggs were “large” eggs and about 65g. I followed the recipe and it the eggs turned out great so don’t be downhearted, have another go.
Holy shit dude, relax! haha
If you ever need to poke a hole in an egg again, just take a thick sewing needle and lightly hammer it in with the back of a small spoon. Works perfectly — no need to buy any fancy equipment.
Coming in late with a comment, but anyway…in most countries, eggs are not refrigerated, so I let the eggs come to room temperature before cooking them. As for pricking a hole, I was not about to buy a special tool! I made do with a pushpin, which would perfectly.
I can help! I am late to comment and hope you get to see this. I share your frustration today and even threw one of my damaged eggs hard onto the sink cursing the air today.
I made ramen eggs 6 different times since this recipe and am not sure why this time my egg shell held onto the whites for dear life. The first two times I had failed and the 3rd-6th times not counting today, worked great. The mistake I made was not letting the egg whites set in the cold water long enough. The firmer it is, the easier to peel. But this time I soaked my eggs in an ice bath for 15 minutes and it was very difficult to peel. Maybe there are difference in quality of egg?
This bugged me so much that I went online to see what others are doing. Afterall, how do the restaurants do it when they serve many, many eggs throughout the day? At the speed I was going, I took up 7 minutes per egg and it was not even close to baby smooth. More like a case of bad post-acne craters!
Some say to add baking soda or vinegar to aid in egg peeling. I used baking soda on my second batch today and that was a total failure. My eggs all came out rough and slow; chunks missing throughout and it got me to let out much emotional steam. Everything stuck to the egg white.
Regarding poking a hole into your egg: I bought stainless steel skewers for my western Chinese BBQ recipes and it works great in poking a hole. It’s thin and round, not the flat skewers. They sell it on Amazon. I also have a cigar rod to assist in plugged cigars which has a sharpened tip. If you have either of these, it will work great.
With regards to the timing of the eggs, 7 minutes from taking it out of the fridge cold and right into boiling water works. However, I prefer it more drippy so would go 5-6 minutes instead.
Helen Rennie (another YouTuber I follow) advises to steam the egg instead of boiling it to make peeling easier. Place no more than 6 eggs straight from the fridge into a pan with a half inch of boiling water. Time as follows based on weight (size) of eggs:
Soak eggs to cold water for 30 seconds. Take each egg and crack it all around and then place it back into the cold water bath. One by one, peel. Apparently, the cracking and soaking helps with peeling much easier. I just discovered this so had yet to try.
If these methods are not satisfactory, there is another method I had found which involves a spoon. Crack the end with the hole and wedge a spoon between shell and egg white to remove the shell. Be gentle and it may take some wiggling.
ps: To heat eggs up, add eggs to 140F water but no higher.
Now officially addicted to these eggs and marinade. Thanks Adam!
Using Size 7 eggs straight from fridge and boiling for 8min 30sec, getting perfect results. Alex, that french guy cooking has an excellent youtubee video outlining perfect way to get the exact egg doneness you want.
Thanks for the series, I’ve found them really inspiring.
However, there’s a few details left out, like do you only dilute the teriaky sauce and not the fresh mixture? And do you cool the marinade before adding eggs?
Best wishes, M
I have the same question! Do you cool the marinade down? And do you need to let it simmer? If so, for how long?
Important note for everyone, as I just did this. Make sure you poke the BASE of the egg, the flatter side, not the pointed side. The pointed side made some egg come out. Also, don’t poke so deep that you hit egg. Just enough to break the shell and membrane.
Making these as a rice complement and topping with toasted sesame seeds and chives. Thank you.
I am from Lithuania and i don’t understand what is : ¼ cup mirin
Can you explain me or send a link where i can buy it.
Thank you in advance.
Sir , Mirin is a cooking wine . It is made from rice.
Andrius, Mirin is a Japanese rice wine. If you can’t find Mirin where you are, google substitutes for Mirin. Happy Cooking!
Hi Adam! Thanks for this great advice, a soothing video and inspiring instruction.
Hei, is it possible to re-use marinade after 2-3 day for a new batch of eggs?
Can I repeat using the same marinade?
I don’t have sake
I peel the eggs before marinating them, I assume?
For those not feeling great about this: just keep swimming! You’ll get it, and experimenting in the kitchen is fun!
I’d suggest to throw the marinade away afterwards as there is direct contact with the eggs, and there will be plenty bacteria floating around, nomming on the sugars and such.
I absolutely adore ajitama in any ramen, especially with a spiced teriyaki sauce (mine has 1 madame jeannettes, thumb of ginger ginger and a few shiitakes). Thanks so much Adam, for the inspiration to get more involved in asian quisine!
If you reboil the used ramen steeping liquid and let cool, wouldn’t that kill any bacteria? Like master stock.?
Can’t speak in terms of food-safety, but I have reused the alternate marinade for second batch of ajitama and they were as delicious as the first batch. I probably wouldn’t reuse the braising liquid for a second batch, however, as it contains meat juices.
Thanks for the process. I have used one safety pin to pierce.It worked fine. Did the rest process as described. The egg could be nicely peeled. I had one smaller sized egg than the one shown, boiled for 4 minutes.
Used soya sauce,little salt and sugar for the liquid. Kept in the fridge, one day is over now. Would like to keep for total 3 days and see the result. Keeping the process same would like to change time to adjust and see and take the best result. Then add other ingredients in the liquid during the next trial.
Thanks for the process.
Many may think me insane, but my opinion to speed up the process is to leave the eggs in the braising liquid on the counter overnight since all of the effects were looking to accomplish are diffusion driven, …and diffusion is temperature driven (Fick’s Laws of Diffusion:
In the “old days” grocery stores used to leave eggs out in baskets at room temperature (and eggs in the nest stayed at room (or higher) until the chicks broke them) …and the eggs were fine.
I’m glad to see that I’m not the only person who was wondering about time adjustment for refrigerated eggs. You did mention it in the video but never said how to adjust! Also knowing different times for different egg sizes would be very appreciated. We have bantam chickens who okay small(quail sized) eggs and they’re delicious! Knowing how long to cook them using this method would be super.