Ajitama, also known as ramen eggs or ajitsuke tamago, are soft-boiled eggs marinated overnight in a soy sauce mixture. Ramen eggs have a rich umami flavor and are a quintessential ramen topping or snack.
Ajitama is one of the most popular ramen toppings. They have a silky egg white, soft buttery yolk, and almost teriyaki-like flavor. To make these restaurant-worthy marinated ramen eggs, all you need are 4 ingredients for the sauce, eggs, and a few minutes to prepare the recipe.
We love to eat ajitama as a snack or in a "mega bite" with ramen noodles and a little bit of every other toppings. While these eggs are delicious as a ramen topping, they are also perfect with fried rice, a breakfast rice bowl, or in an egg salad sandwich.
What is Ajitama?
Ajitsuke Tamago, or Ajitama for short, are marinated soft boiled eggs. They have a unique umami flavor, a jammy texture, and are a quintessential addition to ramen. But they can also be enjoyed as a delicious side or in a sandwich or salad.
Where to Get Your Eggs
We are strong proponents for pasture raised eggs. Pasture raised eggs are laid by hens who have access to outdoor pastures. As a result, the eggs are flavor and vitamin packed. This is reflected in the bright orange and red color of the egg yolks.
Our favorite pasture-raised eggs are distributed by Vital Farms. Vital Farms works with carefully-selected farmers throughout the United States.
- Fresh Large Eggs - Eggs are an excellent source of protein. We use pasture-raised eggs because they are have a delicious flavor. They also contain more vitamins and omega-3 fats than cage-raised eggs.
- Soy sauce - Soy sauce, or shoyu in Japanese, is an essential condiment in Japanese cooking and adds a rich umami flavor to the sauce. We use low sodium shoyu because it is healthier without sacrificing flavor.
- Mirin - Mirin is a Japanese sweet rice wine that adds umami flavor and is the base of of many Japanese sauces.
- Sake - Sake adds savoriness to the sauce.
- Brown sugar - Brown sugar provides a rich sweetness.
See recipe card for quantities.
- Soft boiled jammy egg - Soft boiled jammy eggs have a similar texture to ajitama eggs but are not as richly flavored.
- Gluten-free - Use gluten-free soy sauce or tamari to make this recipe gluten-free.
- Granulated sugar - Use granulated sugar, coconut sugar, or another sugar of your choice instead of brown sugar.
- Store-bought teriyaki marinade - If you don't feel like making the marinade yourself, you can use store-bought teriyaki sauce and it will still be tasty. Although, our method is tastier and more economical.
- Spicy - Add red pepper flakes while to imbue heat to the sauce and eggs.
- Bonito flakes - Add bonito flakes to the marinade for extra umami flavor.
- Hard boiled eggs - You can also make hard boiled eggs by boiling the eggs for an extra 2 minutes (10 minutes total).
- Garlic - Minced garlic or garlic powder adds a pungent aroma to the eggs.
- Fresh ginger - Add fresh grated ginger for a slightly peppery and pungent flavor.
- Boil the water - Fill a saucepan or small pot with water. Bring the water to a boil on medium heat. Use tongs or a slotted spoon to gently lower the eggs in the water and cook for 8 minutes. Lower the heat so that the water simmers. Set a timer to be exact. (Photo 1)
- Cool the eggs - Once the timer pings, use the tongs or spoon to transfer the eggs from the pot to a bowl of ice water. Let the eggs cool in the ice water for 5 minutes before you peel them. (Photo 2)
- Crack the eggshells - Using a spoon, lightly tap each egg to crack the shell. The shell should easily peel off once the egg is cooled. (Photo 2)
- Make sauce - Add soy sauce, mirin, sake, and brown sugar to a mixing bowl and mix until incorporated. Set aside. Pour the soy sauce mixture into a resealable plastic bag. (Photo 3 and 4)
- Add eggs to sauce - Place the eggs inside the bag of sauce. Push the air out of the bag so the eggs are well covered in the sauce to marinate. (Photo 5 and 6)
- Marinate - Marinate the eggs in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours or overnight. When ready to enjoy, wet a knife to slice the eggs in half and serve. (Photo 7 and 8)
Pro Tip: Cut the eggs with a wet knife to help prevent the yolks from sticking to the knife.
How to Enjoy Ajitama Eggs
There are a ton of ways enjoy these perfect soft boiled eggs. Our favorite way is in a bowl of hot ramen. However, they are also delicious in breakfast fried rice or a bacon breakfast rice bowl. They are even delicious over toast with fresh cracked pepper and Maldon Sea Salt Flakes.
Ramen Eggs FAQs
Yes, these eggs are soft boiled then we refrigerate and marinate them for 8 hours.
Soft boiled eggs are already delicious, but the marinade takes the eggs to another level. The eggs absorb the marinade to create a uniquely savory and sweet flavor when combined with ramen.
The marinade turns them light brown.
Yes, this Ajitama recipe is vegetarian. However, some other recipes may use animal stock or bonito flakes (dried fish flakes).
The best way to enjoy ramen with egg is a megabite. We love to combine some egg, some noodles and a little bit of meat into one uber delicious bite.
This easy ramen egg recipe calls for just a few common kitchen essentials. For the eggs, you will need tongs or a slotted spoon, a pot to boil the eggs, a knife, and a cutting board. For the marinade, you will need measuring spoons, a small saucepan, whisk or silicone baking spatula, and a jar or container for storage.
You can marinate these ramen eggs in the refrigerator in an air tight container for 3 days. Here are some containers we recommend: OXO Pop Containers, Glass Meal Prep Containers, Glass Food Containers. When you are ready to enjoy the eggs, you don't need to reheat them, just drop them straight into the hot ramen. If you have leftover marinade, store it in an air-tight container or lidded jar for up to 2 weeks. You can use it for salmon, chicken, and veggies. Before using it again, stir it softly until it reaches its original consistency. You can also freeze it for a few months. Just be sure to store it in the correct container (not a lidded glass jar, which can break in the freezer). When you are ready to enjoy it again, let it thaw.
- Make ahead of time - We often make these the night before we plan to eat them and let them marinade overnight. This way we can streamline the ramen process and don't have to make the eggs a few hours before we eat them.
- Make sure the eggs are at room temperature - One of the most important things to note about boiling eggs is that the eggs need to be at room temperature before you boil them. If the eggs are cold and right out of the fridge, they will crack when lowered into the hot water. If you don't have time to let your eggs get to room temperature on their own, fill a bowl with warm water (not hot) and let them sit in the water for a few minutes to expedite the temperature change.
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Ajitama (Soft Boiled Ramen Eggs)
- Boil the water - Fill a saucepan or small pot with water. Bring the water to a boil on medium heat. Use tongs or a slotted spoon to carefully lower the eggs in the water and cook for 8 minutes. Lower the heat so that the water simmers. Set a timer to be exact.
- Fill a bowl with ice water - As the eggs cook on the stovetop, fill a bowl with cold water and ice. The bowl of ice water will stop the eggs from cooking and will preserve the soft yolk.
- Cool the eggs - Once the timer pings, use the tongs or spoon to transfer the eggs from the pot to the bowl of ice water. Let the eggs cool in the ice water for 5 minutes before you peel them.
- Make sauce - While the eggs cool, make the marinade. Add soy sauce, mirin, sake, and brown sugar to a mixing bowl and mix until incorporated. Set aside.
- Crack the eggshells - Using a spoon, lightly tap each egg to crack the shell. The shell should easily peel off once the egg is cooled. Pour the soy sauce mixture into a resealable bag and place the eggs inside. Push the air out of the bag so the eggs are well covered in the sauce to marinate.
- Marinate - Marinate the eggs in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours or overnight. When ready to enjoy, wet a knife to slice the eggs in half and serve.
- Make sure the eggs are at room temperature - If the eggs are cold and right out of the fridge, they will crack when lowered into the hot water.
- Use a wet knife - Cut the eggs with a wet knife to help prevent the yolks from sticking to the knife
- Make ahead of time - We often make these the night before we plan to enjoy them so we can streamline the ramen process.
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