Building a Ramen Bowl: Ramen Eggs

A couple of years ago, I feel in love with pickled shiitakes as a glorious condiment for any cuisine remotely Asian in nature ... or just anything wanting a salty, sweet, umami kick. But once I've made them, there's no way I'm tossing the brine! I use it to splash into fried rice, add to other sauces, or thicken and use as a sauce on its own. But my very favorite way to use it is as a marinade for soft-boiled eggs. The resulting jammy eggs are absolutely perfect when gently sliced in half and nestled into a piping hot bowl of ramen.

Ramen is a little bit of art swirled into some of the most amazing cuisine you'll ever enjoy. No two bowls ever need to be the same and that's the beauty of it. Particularly during cold and damp months, I tend to have ramen on my menu nearly weekly! So that means I usually have both the aforementioned shiitakes and the ramen eggs presented here. Since one leads very much to the other, I tend to think of them together. However, you can make a quick marinade apart from the leftover brine, but you can definitely tell I have a preference!

I've given a guide to different levels of cooking you can use for your soft-boiled egg. I love a good jammy egg, so I let mine sit in the gently boiling water for 6 ½ minutes and then, carefully using tongs or a slotted spoon, move them to a bowl of cold water and add enough ice to cover the eggs. When the ice cubes are melted, it's time to peel the eggs and give them a bath. A couple of hours (or more) later, and you've got the most glorious addition to a bowl of ramen I know. Ingredients in my ramen come and go, but jammy ramen eggs are my most prized addition. Try them!

Ramen Eggs

  • 4 – 5 large eggs (I make more in case some crack or don't peel well)
  • Leftover brine from pickled shiitakes
  • ¾ cup mirin
  • ¼ cup regular soy sauce
  • ¼ cup dark soy sauce (if you can’t find it, substitute with an equal amount of regular soy sauce + 1 tablespoon brown sugar)

Fill a saucepan with water. Make sure the pot is large enough for the eggs to sit at the bottom in one layer, and to have about 1 inch of water above the eggs once added to the pan.mAdd some salt or a little vinegar to the water to keep egg whites from collecting in the water if an egg cracks while boiling.

Bring the water to a boil over high heat with the lid on. Then lower the heat so that the water is still bubbling but not at a rolling boil. Lower each egg gently into the water. As soon as you’ve lowered all the eggs into the water, place the lid back on, and immediately set the timer to cook the eggs to your preference:

  • 6 minutes for a set white, but runny egg yolk.
  • 6 ½ minutes for a set white, a jammy/runny egg yolk.
  • 7 minutes for a set white, and a half set egg yolk.

When the time is up, remove the eggs and immediately place them in a bowl with cold water and ice cubes for a few minutes to stop the cooking and allow the eggs to shrink within the shells. This will make them easier to peel.

Carefully peel the eggs by gently tapping them on a hard surface to create little cracks along the surface. Once peeled, place the eggs in the brine or marinade (see instructions for marinade below). Allow the eggs marinate for at least for 2 hours, or up to 24 hours.

Remove the eggs from the brine or marinade and place them in a separate air-tight container. These can be stored in the fridge for up to 4 days. Keep the rest of the brine or marinade in an air-tight container in the fridge. This can be re-used for up to 3 weeks.

Place the marinade ingredients in a tall container with an air-tight lid. Whisk to combine (if you added any brown sugar, make sure the sugar is completely dissolved). Use as described above if you do not have pickled shiitake brine.

  • Yields: 4-5 eggs
  • Preparation Time: 15 minutes plus marinating time