Ramen Eggs (Japanese Marinated Eggs) Recipe (nut-free)

close up of a whole ramen egg and a ramen egg cut in half on a wooden cutting board
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Ramen eggs (Ajitsuke Tamago), also known as marinated eggs, are yummy marinated soft-boiled eggs. They’re so beautiful and delicious. This Japanese inspired recipe is very easy and mostly hands-off, while waiting for the eggs to cook, chill, and marinate. I highly recommend preparing the soft-boiled eggs with an Instant Pot but included stovetop instructions as well.

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What are Ramen Eggs (Ajitsuke Tamago)?

Ramen eggs are marinated eggs that is cut in half and served with Japanese ramen. I have a recipe for Shoyu Ramen with Panko Breaded Chicken & Spinach and these ramen eggs would be a wonderful addition. We also like eating these delicious ramen eggs for a quick snack. You can add them to a salad or eat them with rice. I have a recipe for Instant Pot Chicken Congee (Chicken Jook) and love to top my rice porridge with a ramen egg (or a fried egg) and some cooked vegetables to make it a complete meal.

These marinated eggs are called Ajitsuke Tamago in Japanese, ajitsuke means marinated or seasoned and tamago means egg. Another name is Ajitama which is a nickname that combines the words ajitsuki and tamago.

This ajitama recipe can inspire you to make other marinated egg variations. Try other flavor combinations that you enjoy such as soy sauce and sesame oil, ponzu sauce, or just sake and sugar. As long as someone is not allergic to eggs, they can adapt this dish to suit their food allergies.

My son who is away at college needs to eat eggs on a regular basis to maintain his egg desensitization. So I’m always thinking about different ways to make eggs delicious for him. My son who is home again enjoys packing these ramen eggs as a side or a snack to eat with his lunch, doesn’t need to eat them with ramen.

How Soft Do You Like Soft Boiled Eggs?

The first question you need to consider is how soft do you like your soft boiled eggs? Some people like the yolk to be barely set with a runny center. I like it mostly solid but still a tiny bit raw (as pictured).

Eating raw or undercooked eggs increases one’s risk for food borne illnesses. They’re not recommended for anyone who is very young, very old, or immunocompromised. You can make hardboiled eggs for this recipe and still enjoy the flavor and experience of eating marinated eggs.

Instant Pot Soft Boiled Eggs

My recipe for Instant Pot Soft Boiled Eggs as writen is the easiest way to make soft boiled eggs. The eggshells slip right off and are easy to peel. The egg whites are completely set and the egg yolks are set around the edges but creamy in the center. I program my Instant Pot Pro to cook for 3 minutes but also set a back up timer (kitchen, phone, etc.) for 11 minutes. Have a large bowl of ice water ready to chill your eggs when they’re done cooking.

  • If you like a soft boiled egg with a runnier yolk, set your Instant Pot to cook for 3 minutes but take them out 15-30 seconds earlier by setting your kitchen timer for 10 minutes and 30-45 seconds.
  • If you prefer your soft boiled eggs to be fully set then program your Instant Pot to cook for 4 minutes and then quick release when they’re done. That would be a total time of 12 minutes.

Stove Top Soft Boiled Eggs

I confess that I’m not patient about making soft boiled eggs (or hardboiled eggs either) on the stovetop. The basic idea is to first boil water, then lower the temperature to simmer so that the eggs won’t bounce around in the pot and crack. Then simmer for 8-9 minutes.

I tried simmering my eggs for 7 minutes and the egg whites were partially set. The jiggly eggs were challenging to peel and way too undercooked for my preference. I think cooking them for 8-9 minutes might be better.

It might help to add some salt to your boiling water and then add the eggs. Cooking the eggs in salty water will help the egg whites solidify quickly and stay inside the egg. If you have an Instant Pot, I highly recommend pressure cooking your eggs instead of cooking them in a pot.

Collage of ramen eggs plain, topped with chopped scallion, with congee, and marinating in a bag
As I was making this collage, I realize that I don’t have any photos of ramen eggs served with ramen, oops!! I will add a photo next time I make ramen with ramen eggs. Top left, you can see that the marinated eggs are slightly brown from the soy sauce marinade and the yolk is creamy on the inside. Top right: I sometimes cut the ramen eggs in half and just have them as a snack. Bottom left: Also add ramen eggs to my bowl of jook (rice porridge) served here with sauted spinach and baked butternut squash. Bottom right: I make a small amount of marinade and marinate the eggs in a sandwich bag for maximum exposure to the marinade. In this photo, I had just added 2 more eggs to reuse the marinade for a second round.

Make a Small Batch of Marinade

I make a small amount of marinade to marinate a few eggs at a time in the refrigerator. The eggs are ready in 2 hours but taste better if marinated overnight. However, it’s a good idea to transfer the eggs to a clean airtight container the next day otherwise they will be too salty. They are good for 2-3 days refrigerated.

I usually will reuse the marinade to marinate a few more eggs in order not to waste the marinade. To save time, I often make 8-10 Instant Pot eggs and have extra eggs in the refrigerator so it’s easy to peel a few more eggs and reuse the marinade at least one time.

If you want to make more than 6 ramen eggs at once, double the marinade portion of the recipe.

Caveat regarding alcohol in mirin

Since this marinade is cooked for a few minutes, I was curious whether there’s still a significant amount of alcohol left in the marinade and if people who are sensitive to alcohol can eat the ramen eggs? I am sensitive to alcohol but seem to tolerate small amounts of alcohol in my food.

I learned that if a dish containing alcohol is cooked for 15 minutes, 40% of the alcohol remains. It seems to take a long time to cook off most of the alcohol. For example, after 2.5 hours of cooking, 5% of the alcohol remains in a dish.

If making this dish for young children, pregnant women, or people who avoid alcohol for health, religious, or mental health reasons, look for mirin options without alcohol, such as kotteri mirin or honteri mirin. If you have a copy of my Chinese Instant Pot Cookbook, there’s a recipe for tea eggs in the appetizer section that is an alcohol-free recipe.

Allergy Aware Ramen Eggs

These Japanese style marinated eggs are very simple to make. Ajitsuke Tamago is easy to adapt for your allergies, except for egg. The marinade is basically made of soy sauce, mirin, water, and sugar.

For a soy allergy, you can try making this recipe with soy-free soy sauce or omitting it altogether and add 1/4 teaspoon of salt. If coconut amino sauce is an ingredient you can have, then that is a perfect substitute for soy since we want some sweetness in the marinade anyways. There are other soy-free soy sauce options as well.

If allergic to wheat, gluten-free tamari might be a great option instead of using soy sauce.

This recipe peanut-free, tree nut-free, dairy-free, fish-free, shellfish-free, and sesame-free as written.

close up of a whole ramen egg and a ramen egg cut in half on a wooden cutting board
5 from 2 votes
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Ramen Eggs (Japanese Marinated Eggs)

Ramen eggs (Ajitsuke Tamago) are yummy marinated soft-boiled eggs. They're so beautiful and delicious. This recipe is very easy and mostly hands-off, while waiting for the eggs to cook, chill, and marinate. I highly recommend preparing the soft-boiled eggs with an Instant Pot but included stovetop instructions as well.

Course Appetizer, Breakfast, dinner, lunch, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine Japanese
Keyword ajitsuke tamago, marinated eggs, ramen eggs, soft boiled egg
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Marinate 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Servings 6 eggs
Author Sharon Wong @ www.nutfreewok.com

Ingredients

  • 6 eggs
  • 2 cups ice
  • 1 teaspoon salt optional, for stovetop method only
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce or tamari sauce for gluten-free
  • 1/4 cup mirin
  • 1/2 cup water or sake
  • 1 teaspoon sugar

Instructions

Make soft boiled eggs in an Instant Pot

  1. Place a trivet inside the liner, add 1/2 cup water, and arrange the eggs on the trivet. Lock the lid and program the Instant Pot to pressure cook on high for 3 minutes (set a back up timer for 11 minutes). Combine the 2 cups of ice with 2 cups water to make an ice water bath. Quick release the pot, carefully open the Instant Pot, and transfer the eggs to the ice water bath.

Or make soft boiled eggs in a pot (stovetop)

  1. Fill a small pot (1 quart) halfway with water and bring to a boil. When the water boils, lower the temperature to low so that the water simmers. Carefully add the eggs and 1 teaspoon salt to the pot and cover with a lid. Set a timer for 8-9 minutes, depending on how you like your soft boiled eggs. Combine the 2 cups of ice with 2 cups water to make an ice water bath. When the eggs are ready, transfer them to an ice water bath.

Marinate the Eggs

  1. In a small pot, combine the soy sauce, mirin, water, and sugar and cook on medium heat. When the marinade boils, lower the temperature, and simmer the sauce on low for 4-5 minutes to cook off some of the alcohol. Remove from heat and allow the marinade to cool down.
  2. Peel the eggs and rinse any shell fragments off. Place the eggs in a quart sized freezer bag and add the marinade. Use a rubber band to tie off the top of the bag so that the eggs are completely immersed in the marinade. Place the bag of eggs in a bowl and refrigerate at least 2 hours but no more than overnight.

  3. The next day remove the eggs from the marinade and store the marinated eggs in an airtight container for 2-3 days in the refrigerator. Do not leave the eggs in the marinade for more than 1 day otherwise the eggs will be too salty. The marinade can be reused with a second batch of softboiled eggs, if desired.

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About Sharon Wong 275 Articles
Welcome to Nut Free Wok, a blog about Allergy Aware Asian Fare. I hope that you will find my food allergy mom experiences helpful and enjoyable to read as I write about recipes, cooking techniques, Asian ingredients, and food allergy related awareness and advocacy issues. My professional experiences include education, teaching, and a little bit of science and computers. Thank you for visiting! ~Sharon Wong, M.Ed.

4 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Love jammy ramen eggs! The perfect topping for ramen soup and bento boxes. Love your quick and easy version. Had no idea it took so long for the alcohol to burn off either. So interesting.

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