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Shoyu Ramen Egg – Instant Pot or Regular Boiling Method?

November 24, 2017

Since we made the shoyu and miso ramen videos, people have asked us how to make the ramen eggs. This recipe is based on the tare sauce that we used for shoyu ramen. The most basic tare sauce consists of soy sauce, mirin, and sake. For this recipe, we added bonito flakes and other spices. With these ingredients, it gives the eggs tons of umami flavors and goes very well with any noodle soups.

If you’ve made soft-boiled eggs before, you know how tricky it is to cook the eggs perfectly. Unlike the typical soft-boiled egg, a perfect ramen egg should have a fully set and tender white. The egg yolk is slightly runny, almost a fudge-like texture in the center, deep orange and translucent. After marinating, the egg is savory and sweet with a rich umami flavor. That’s my favorite kind of ramen egg.

The key to making the perfect ramen egg is time and temperature. I’ve tested cooking the egg in a pressure cooker and a regular pot. Here’s what I’ve found:

Pressure Cooker

If you’ve been following us, I love my Instant Pot. But so far I had no luck getting the results I want. The challenge with Instant Pot is I couldn’t set the timer down to seconds, for example, 5 1/2 minutes. If you look at the image below, both eggs are straight out of the fridge. I cook the eggs separately in the Instant Pot on Manual with low pressure, then quick release and put them in ice-water.

As you can see in the picture below, I set the cooking time to 6 minutes, the egg white was slightly rubbery. The outside of the yolk became pale yellow and crumbly. For the 5 minute egg, the yolk is almost 100% liquid, and the white is not completely firm. So there’s no way to set the timer in between. I have to give up on this method. Plus, it’s the same amount of work as the regular method.

Regular Cookware

I’ve found this method gives me more consistent results. Here’re a few important tips to consider:

  • If the eggs are taken out of the refrigerator and cooked immediately, warm up the egg with warm water (104F / 40 C) for 1 minute and cook for exactly 7 1/2 minutes.
  • If the eggs have been brought to room temperature, the cooking time is 6 1/2 minutes.
  • Use a digital timer for the exact timing to get the desired result consistently.
  • Transfer the eggs to a bowl of iced water immediately so as to quickly cool down and stop cooking.

How about Sous Vide?

We use sous vide for onsen eggs (45 minutes at 145F) where a longer cooking time with steady heat makes the yolk nice and gooey similar to the ramen egg. The white becomes opaque and jelly-like at that temperature. Since we need the ramen eggs to be firm enough to hold its shape, we use hotter water to set the white and control the consistency of the yolk with cooking time.

Shoyu Ramen Egg
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
7 mins
Total Time
8 hrs
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Japanese
Servings: 8 eggs
For the tare sauce
  • 240 ml Japanese soy sauce see notes below
  • 1 piece kombu
  • 120 ml mirin
  • 120 ml cooking sake
  • 1 leek
  • 1/2 cup bonito flakes
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 inch ginger thinly sliced
  • 8 cloves garlic crushed
  • 8 extra large eggs about 65g each
  1. In a medium saucepan, add all the seasonings and bring it to a boil. Switch to lowest heat and gently simmer for 15 minutes. Strain the sauce through a fine-mesh sieve. Let it cool and set aside.

  2. Bring the water to a boil in a large pot. Make sure you have enough water to fully submerge all the eggs.

  3. if you take the eggs straight out of the refrigerator, place them in a bowl of warm water (104 F / 40 C) for 1 minute. The water should be a little warmer than body temperature.

  4. Use a slotted spoon to lower the eggs into the boiling water gently. Cook for exact 7 1/2 minutes over medium-high heat. If the eggs are room temperature, boil for exact 6 1/2 minutes.

  5. Prepare a bowl of ice-water. Drain the hot water and transfer the eggs to ice-water and let them sit for a few minutes. Peel the eggs under running water.

  6. Transfer the eggs to a zip top bag and pour the tare sauce over them. Squeeze out the air from the bag to marinate the eggs evenly. 

  7. Refrigerate for at least 8 hours and up to 24 hours. Discard the sauce and transfer the eggs to a sealed container. Consume the eggs within 3 days.

Recipe Notes
  • Any regular/ gluten-free soy sauce from Kikkoman, Yamasa or other Japanese brands is fine. I love Chinese soy sauce, but it tends to be saltier than Japanese soy sauce in general.
  • Most recipes commonly suggest 6 1/2 minute for the soft-boiled egg. While this cooking time works for me, do remember that it may vary depending on the size of the egg, egg's temperature, egg-to-water ratio, cookware, and even altitude. So do a few test runs and adjust the cooking time.
  • You can re-use the marination for 2-3 times or use it for ramen broth or chashu. The eggs would extract some liquid after marination. So the flavor is not as intense as the first time. I made a video for shoyu ramen a while ago and used the same sauce for the broth.

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Joun November 30, 2017 at 10:31 pm

The instant pot duo has an special egg function that makes wonderful soft / hard boiled eggs.

jessie December 2, 2017 at 9:56 am

Good to know, mine doesn’t have that function unfortunately 🙁


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