How to Make the Perfect Soft-Boiled Egg for Ramen

All you need is six minutes.

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Food Network Kitchen's Spicy Rice Cake and Ramen (Raboki) for LESSONS FROM GRANDMA/MICROWAVE VEGGIES/CHICKEN SOUP, as seen on Food Network

Photo by: Renee Comet ©© 2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Renee Comet, © 2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

By Heath Goldman for Food Network Kitchen

Whether you’re making ramen from scratch (props) or simply doctoring up a bowl of the instant stuff, a perfectly cooked egg is guaranteed to take your creation to the next level. And the great news is that soft-boiled eggs are ridiculously easy to pull off at home. If you can make a big ’ole bath of hard-boiled eggs, you can make perfect soft-boiled eggs for ramen.

So what, exactly, is a “perfect” egg for ramen? For starters, the white needs to be completely solidified and opaque. And the center should be somewhere between runny and set. In recent years, the ramen egg yolk has been colloquially christened as “jammy” because its texture is sticky and spoonable like marmalade. Add a jammy egg to ramen, and as you dig into the noodles with your chopsticks the yolk will seep into the broth and enrich it with extra flavor.

If you’ve ever eaten ramen at a slurp shop, you might have observed that the ramen egg is a precious commodity. Much like avocado, restaurants often upcharge you to add a ramen egg to your bowl of noodles. Given how easy they are to whip up at home, we’re total advocates for DIYing, seizing the day and adding not one but two whole ramen eggs to your bowl at home.

Here areour precise guidelines for making a large batch of perfect soft boiled eggs for ramen.

First, fill a large pot with water. How large is large? The number of eggs you’re using should have enough space to sit in a single layer and move around a bit.

Second, bring the pot of water to a boil over medium high heat. Gently lower the eggs into the pot. Once the water returns to a gentle boil, start your timer for six minutes. Meanwhile, fill a bowl with water and ice to create an ice bath, and dig out your slotted spoon.

As soon as the timer goes off, quickly remove the eggs from the boiling water with the slotted spoon and plunge them into the ice-water bath. Allow the eggs to sit in the bath until their shells have cooled off a bit but are still warm (about two minutes). Working with one egg at a time, carefully crack it at the wider end with the air pocket, keeping in mind that the white and yolks are fragile because they’re just set. Quick tip: week-old eggs are easier to peel than ones you’ve just picked up from the supermarket.

At this point, your perfect ramen eggs are ready to be halved and enjoyed. Alternatively, you can take your ramen egg game one step further by marinating them (also extremely easy). Here’s how. For every four eggs, combine 1 cup water, 1/2 cup soy sauce, 1/3 cup sake, 3 tablespoons of sugar and a big pinch of salt in a medium bowl and stir to dissolve the sugar. Add the whole peeled eggs, cover and refrigerate for 6 hours and up to overnight. The resulting eggs will have the same delightful jammy texture with an added layer of savory umami flavor.

Soft-boiled eggs can be stored in the refrigerator, covered for up to three days. To reheat them, plunge into simmering water for 1 minute (or simply add to a bowl of piping hot ramen).

We caution that once you make perfect ramen eggs once, you might just become hooked. Never fear, there are many ways you can use jammy eggs in addition to ramen. Try slicing them over avocado toast, nestling them in a plate of steaming pasta with Parmesan cheese or packing them in your lunch grain bowl.

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