Shoyu tamago, or Japanese soy sauce eggs, are easy to prepare at home and can be made quickly, with only two ingredients. Soy sauce eggs are one of the most basic of snacks in Japanese cuisine, and can also be enjoyed as an appetizer or at mealtime, for example at breakfast or included in a bento (box) lunch. Another common Japanese dish where shoyu tamago might appear is as a topping for ramen (noodles in broth), or as a garnish for side dishes.
Shoyu tamago are hard boiled eggs that are peeled and steeped in dark soy sauce. If you prefer soft boiled eggs, these are equally as delicious when seasoned with soy sauce. Visually, these eggs are quite different than the traditional hard boiled egg most Westerners are accustomed to. Shoyu tamago are not white, but rather, they range in color from a light tan to a dark brown, depending on your preference for saltiness.
While these eggs seem deceptively gourmet in appearance, in reality, they are extremely easy to prepare. For instance, the recipe requires only two ingredients: soy sauce and hard-boiled eggs.
The longer the peeled hard boiled eggs are steeped in the soy sauce, the more bold and salty its flavor becomes. It’s very simple, however, to control the saltiness of the eggs. Allow eggs to steep for a short period of time for a lightly salted version (one to two minutes), and longer for salty shoyu tamago (five minutes or longer).
It is not recommended that the hard boiled eggs be left in a container of the cooked soy sauce for an extended amount of time or unsupervised. The eggs quickly absorb the soy sauce and can quickly become too salty.
- 4 hard boiled eggs
- 5 tablespoons soy sauce (regular or dark)
- Boil eggs until soft or hard boiled to your preference. Allow eggs to cool slightly and remove shells. Rinse with water to remove any tiny shell fragments. Set aside.
- In a small pot, bring soy sauce to a boil. Turn off heat. Then add eggs. Using a rubber spatula or wooden spoon (so that the eggs don't become nicked) gently roll the eggs around, coating the eggs with the soy sauce mixture. Continue to steep the eggs with soy sauce until desired color or saltiness. One to two minutes for lightly salted flavor, five minutes or longer for well-salted flavor.
- The eggs and soy sauce marinade may be transferred to a glass storage container and placed in the refrigerator for longer marinating if desired. Turn the egg periodically in the container until desired color or boldness of flavor is achieved. Remove eggs from the soy sauce mixture when the desired flavor is achieved. Any remaining soy sauce mixture may be stored in the refrigerator for up to three days.