testing: ajitsuke tamago recipe from Serious Eats

Recipe by Serious Eats. Find the original recipe here

Ajitsuke tamago. Aji tamago. Ajitama. Or simply: marinated egg. Perhaps my favorite ramen topping.

The best eggs have firm (but not rubbery) whites, creamy yolks, and a salty/sweet/savory flavor from the marinade. This was one of the first recipes I tried to make my own marinated eggs at home. How did it stack up compared to the eggs at my favorite ramen joints? Let’s find out!

Here is what you’ll need. It’s a very simple recipe.

Ajitsuke Tamago Ingredients

Mix all of the ingredients in any order.

This recipe calls for one whole cup (!) of sake. If you don’t want to crack open a large bottle, you can find these “one cup” sake containers in certain stores. Oddly, they aren’t quite one cup. See picture below – I added a line to make it easier to see. It’s about 3/4 cup. If you want to follow this recipe exactly, keep that in mind. I had an open bottle of sake in the fridge, so I just topped off the cup with that.


I personally do not suggest using a full cup of sake anyhow. It results in a super boozy egg. It completely detracted from the wonderful flavor of the rest of the marinade. I made this recipe again with only 1/2 cup sake and it was much tastier. Of course that also has the benefit of requiring less sake, so these baby containers will work perfectly. Measure 1/2 cup and then sip on the rest while you cook!

Recipe recommendation: cut the sake in half! The original recipe results in a super boozy egg. Something to consider, unless that is your preference.
Making Marinade
Measuring Sake One Cup
Marinade Mixed

Feel free to make the marinade ahead of time if desired.

Next, boil yer eggs. The original recipe says to boil for 6 minutes, but in my experience this results in watery whites. I cook my eggs a bit longer. Here’s an experiment I did on boil times for perfect soft boiled eggs. In this guide, I go over boil times in detail.

Once boiled and peeled, add your eggs to the marinade. Cover with a paper towel. This soaks up the marinade to ensure it covers the tops of the eggs as well.

Marinating Eggs for Ramen
Cover Eggs with Paper Towel

After 4-12 hours (I did around 10), pull out your eggs. Marinating longer may sound like a good idea, but it is not! It will make the whites too rubbery.

Protip: don’t discard the marinade! What a precious (and sorta expensive!) thing to waste. Keep it in your fridge, you can reuse it a few times. I’ve reused it 4 times to date. I’ll keep using it until it stops being flavorful or goes bad. You may even be able to freeze it to save for later. I have not tried.

Japanese Marinated Egg

The result certainly looks beautiful. Great color, and the marinade made its way through the entire white.

Finished Aji Tamago for Ramen

Overall, this recipe was a great starting point. Once I halved the amount of sake, it was a near perfect recipe. Salty, sweet, savory. A perfect addition to any bowl of ramen.

But I cannot stress this enough: seriously consider the amount of sake. We really did not enjoy them when we used a full cup. I tested both with 1 cup (as in the original recipe) and also with 1/2 cup. 1/2 cup of sake was much, much, much better. A whole new egg.

recipe: ajitsuke tamago from Serious Eats


  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sake (I highly suggest 1/2 cup instead)
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup mirin
  • 1/2 cup sugar


    View instructions and the full recipe at Serious Eats

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