The 'nitamago ramen egg' is the cult topping for ramen, so it's important to get it just right! Learn how to make the perfect ramen egg in three easy steps. From rich runny yellow yolk to flavoursome soy-sugar-sake marinade, it's one of the best ramen eggs you'll try.
Ramen egg 'nitamago' is an egg of many names. It’s also known as a hanjuku ramen egg, ajitsuku tamago, molten egg and lava egg. Regardless of what you choose to call it, a soy-marinated egg makes a great addition to a steaming bowl of ramen.
Aim for a soft orange centre, and a dramatic, rich dark brown outside to add colour and flavour to the ramen.
Although the outer colour of the egg comes from the dark soy sauce, Japanese alcoholic drink, sake is also a key ingredient for flavour. You are probably familiar with the drink sake from eating in Japanese restaurants, either served chilled in glasses or warmed in small ceramic cups.
How to make the perfect soft-boiled egg for ramen
Part of the joy of the ramen egg is its liquid bright yellow yolk. First choose an egg with a rich coloured yolk, for example Clarence Court in the UK.
For the perfect runny centre, just add the eggs to boiling water and time exactly 6 minutes. Strain and plunge into cold water to cool. Change the water several times if it starts to warm up.
Take care peeling the eggs as soft-boiled eggs are always a little trickier to peel than hard-boiled.
How to make a ramen egg – simplified
- Make a 'chashu' marinade – gently heat soy sauce, sake, sugar and water together.
- Peel cooled soft-boiled eggs.
- Soak eggs in chashu marinade in the fridge for at least four hours.
Recipe tested by Nicola on 24 January 2020.
Ramen Egg Ingredients Serves: 6
Ramen Egg Recipe Method
- Put the sake and Kikkoman soy sauce, brown sugar and 60g water into a small saucepan. Heat gently, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. This sauce is called the chashu marinade.
- Plunge the eggs into boiling water for 6 minutes, and then ‘shock’ cool in an ice bath.
- Peel the eggs and place them in a 500ml rectangular tupperware-style box (for example a food takeaway container). Pour over the sake-soy-sugar marinade and top up with cold water so the eggs are just covered. Cover and place in the fridge for a minimum of four hours, but ideally all day or overnight.
- Cut the eggs in half to serve, and use to garnish a bowl of ramen.
After a stage as a chef at a London Michelin-starred restaurant Nicola became obsessed with seeking the best flavours from around the world. She started Sous Chef in 2012, and is always sharing her knowledge of ingredients and writing recipes to showcase those products. Learning from the products, Sous Chef's suppliers and her travels, Nicola has written the majority of the recipes on the Sous Chef website, all of which are big on flavour.