Thursday 26 July 2012

Ajitsuke Tamago Recipe

Home-made Ajitsuke Tamago
Ajitsuke Tamago (Japanese Runny Egg) is marinated soft boiled egg. The egg is frequently served in Japanese restaurant along with Japanese Ramen, sometimes for an extra $2 (which I feel is ridiculous..expensive..)The characteristic of the Ajitsuke Tamago is that the egg whites are hard boiled (solid but soft, delicate yet firm) while the egg yolk are runny/molten. 

I am posting the Ajitsuke Tamago Recipe here. In addition, there are several tricks to making this. I will list those that I know in this post. (If you know of any others, please let me know. So that, we can share  it in here for everyone. Thanks.)

Below is the recipe for making five Ajitsuke Tamago.

Items required:
1) Two pots (one for boiling water, the other for ice water) 
2) Thumbtack 
3) Spoon
4) Timer / Mobile phone
5) Ziplock bag / Bowl & Paper towel
6) Fridge

1) Five room temperature eggs
2) One pot of boilding water
3) One pot of ice water
4) Soy Sauce
5) Water (boiled water that has been cooled to room temperature)
6) Brown sugar 
7) Mirin (not necessary - depending on type of marination sauce)
8) Sake (not necessary - depending on type of marination sauce)

To make the Marination Sauce:
Two methods, either (a) or (b)
2 cup water (boiled water that has been cooled to room temperature)
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 tbsp brown sugar / white sugar, to taste
Combine the water, soy sauce and brown sugar. Mix well and ensure that the brown sugar has been dissolved before adding in 1 slice of ginger. You can add other ingredients such as spring onion, seasame oil, anything to your liking. Also, change the proportion of soy sauce, water, sugar to suit taste.
1 cup water (boiled water that has been cooled to room temperature)
1 cup sake
1/2 cup mirin
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 tbsp brown sugar / white sugar, to taste
Combine the water, sake, mirin, soy sauce and brown sugar. Mix well and ensure that the brown sugar has dissolved. You can add other ingredients such as spring onion, seasame oil, anything to your liking.   Also, change the proportion of soy sauce, water, mirin, sake, sugar to suit taste. 

1) Pierce the base of each egg with a thumbtack to make a small hole. This will prevent the egg from cracking when placed into boiling water. (My recent past few attempts I skipped this step) 
2) Using one pot of water (enough to cover the eggs), bring it to a boil. After that, reduce the heat to bring it to a bare simmer. Gently lower the eggs in with a spoon and start the timer. 
3) Cook for 5mins and 45 seconds. Using a spoon, take out the eggs (draining away the hot water) and put them into a pot of ice water for at least 5 minutes. This process is called 'shocking', it will stop the cooking process and create a layer of air (from the difference in temperature) between the shell and membrane making it easier to peel. 
4) Gently de-shell the eggs. This is the hardest part as the egg (white) is very delicate and fragile; wobbly and soft.
5) Two ways, choose either (c) or (d)
    (c) Pour the marinade sauce into a ziplock bag, place the eggs inside and seal it, squeezing out as much air as possible. 
    (d) Pour the marinade sauce into a bowl and place the eggs inside. Cover with a paper towel so that the towel soak the sauce, hold it over the top of the eggs and marinate the whole egg (as the egg will float). 
6) Refrigerate and marinate for at least 2 hours and not more than 12 hours. 
7) Discard the marinade sauce. Serve cold immediately or store eggs in a seal container in the fridge for not more than 3 days. Other methods of serving includes letting the eggs cool to room temperature or putting them into simmering broth for 30seconds if you need to serve them warm. 

1) Use room temperature egg
2) Use 3 to 6 day old eggs. Older eggs are easily to peel.
3) Bare simmer means that there are pin dot size bubbles rising up around the eggs. It should not be on a rolling boil as this will crack the eggs
4) Extreme care is required when peeling the eggs. Instead of tapping the eggs on a hard surface (e.g. table), put a wet towel (to cushion the impact) on the table and try to crack the egg shell on the cloth gently. Ensure, all surface area of the egg shell has small cracks before you attempt to peel it. Any excessive force will break the egg and you will have to eat it immediately. (In the first few attempts, on average I ate one egg for every five eggs I peel.) 
5) Ensure that the membranes are all peeled as they are unpleasant to eat and will cause stained patches on the eggs. This will be obviously (and unsightly) after marination
6) If this is your first attempt, make (use) more eggs than require as you may loss some due to cracking when it is cooking and some during the peeling process
7) The timing of 5mins 45secs is for making five Ajitsuke Tamago. This timing will differ depending on the size of the egg, the number of eggs, the size of the pot, amount of water and the heat control. 

The below pictures show some of the cooking process of my recent attempt:
Step 2: Cooking process
Notice the pin dot size bubbles rising up? This is what is meant by bare simmer. 
Step 3: Shocking (ice water)
For marination choose either Step 5(c) or Step 5(d).
Step 5(c): Marination 
Step 5(d ): Marination (Paper towel has not been added over it)
The outcome should be smooth and beautiful exterior with soft but firm egg white and runny egg yolk in the interior.
These were made using the above method/recipe. If you are wondering which steps I chose, for marination sauce, I used (a). For Step 5, I prefer 5(c) using the ziplock bag.

Hope this post is useful. Have fun making it! 


  1. I have a high weakness for eggs, in fact I can have eggs everyday but need to cut down because I love the yolk more than the white part.

    Very nice and wonderful runny yolks inside. I need to try out this and my other half will also enjoy them very much.

    1. Hi Nava

      Thanks! Eat in moderation.

      I like runny yolks too.

  2. Beautiful! I will try this some day!

  3. Wow, your eggs look like they came out of a Japanese kitchen. I'm very impressed.

    1. Hi Bern

      really! Thanks! Enjoy your weekend!

  4. what soy sauce you use?

  5. As much as the (first) pic looks rather tantalizing, guess I'll never really try it coz I dislike runny egg yolks. -___-

    Good try though, FC! Im sure those who love soft egg yolks will like it better!

  6. Omg...I tried making those eggs...they were dam hard to peel! I peeled 3, had to egg 2 on the spot and 1 barely make it. Mine turned out more like poached eggs...x.x

    1. Hi Alvin, yes I understand. Maybe you could try buying the eggs,then using it (making it) about 3-6 days later. Older eggs are easier to peel. There are some attempts where mine also turned out like poached eggs. But once you get it right, you will feel the satisfaction!

  7. I had those pin size bubbles too but I suspect my heat not high enough...x.x....Will try again next time as I already 'drank' up those 3 eggs. By the way, I added like 20 ice cubes to make my ice water..zz..

    1. trial and error =)

      I did not add so many ice cubes. I added less than 10, and then put the water in the fridge before I used it.


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