Sep 27

Shoyu Tamago, Japanese Soy Sauce Eggs

in Bento Buddy, Darling Dozen, Eggs & Tofu, Japanese

Shoyu Tamago (Soy Sauce Eggs)

Did you know that it’s National Food Safety Month? Well, it is!  I figured I’d talk a bit about food safety as it pertains to eggs, since I’m sharing one of my favorite egg snacks today.  Actually I’m revisiting one of my favorite eggs snacks—shoyu tamago, or Japanese soy sauce eggs—hard boiled eggs that have been cooked or marinated in soy sauce.  I first wrote about these eggs a few years ago, but am back on the topic to share a second method of making them that’s even easier (although the first method I shared was pretty darn easy too).  But we’ll get back to that!

Shoyu Tamago

Food safety is so important, and I think it’s always wise to review some basic food safety practices.  The USDA recommends four basic steps to food safety in your household:

1.CLEAN: Wash hands and surfaces often
2.SEPARATE: Don’t cross-contaminate
3.COOK: Cook to proper temperature
4.CHILL: Refrigerate promptly

These steps are particularly important when it comes to eggs considering Salmonella bacteria in food causes more than 1 million illnesses, more than 19,000 hospitalizations, and 378 deaths in the US every year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Among bacteria, Salmonella are the number-one cause of foodborne illness. 4 out of 5 Salmonella Enteritidis foodborne illness (food poisoning) cases come from raw or undercooked eggs. Yikes!! The FDA advises us to avoid raw or undercooked eggs, unless they are pasteurized. You know that we love Safest Choice Eggs at our house, since they are pasteurized in a natural, warm water pasteurization process. Sayonara salmonella!

Making Shoyu Tamago

Okay, back to those shoyu tamago.  The first method I shared involved cooking hard boiled eggs in heated soy sauce so that the egg white turns brown on the outside.  This second method is much easier, although it requires a bit more advanced planning.  All you have to do is hard boil some eggs, peel them, stick them in a bag with some soy sauce, and pop them into the refrigerator overnight.  In the morning they are ready to go and are perfect for packing in a bento.

Shoyu Tamago

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Shoyu Tamago, Japanese Soy Sauce Eggs

Soy sauce

1. Place the desired number of eggs in a saucepan and fill the saucepan with cool water until the eggs are almost covered, but not quite.  Put the saucepan on the stove and bring the water to a boil over medium heat.  Let the eggs boil for 7 to 8 minutes (7 minutes for a softer yolk, and 8 minutes for a firmer yolk).  Remove the saucepan from the heat and immediately run cold water over the eggs to stop them from continuing to cook.  Peel the eggs carefully (I find that peeling them under cool running water helps).

2. Place the eggs in a plastic bag and add enough soy sauce so that they are covered.  Press the air out of the bag and tie it shut.  Put the bag in a bowl or container, in case the bag leaks, and put it in the refrigerator for an hour.

*If you want to make the eggs the night before, then you will need to dilute the soy sauce with water or dashi, otherwise the eggs will become unpleasantly pungent.  I find that a ratio of 1:1 or 2:1 (1 or 2 parts water or dashi to 1 part soy sauce) keeps the eggs from becoming too strong.  If you want to make a larger batch of eggs to use over several days, then the same is true.  Using a ratio of 3:1 or 4:1 (3 or 4 parts water or dashi to 1 part soy sauce) will keep the eggs from becoming too strong and is good for about 3 days.


* Disclosure: I was compensated for recipe development and writing this post as part of my ambassador work as one of the Darling Dozen for Safest Choice Eggs.  All opinions are my own.

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Betty Ann @Mango_Queen September 27, 2013 at 3:36 pm

Oh I love Shoyu Tamago. I love eggs and anything with soy sauce,too. I’ll make a huge batch of these for the family this weekend. Thanks for sharing.


Christine Ee September 27, 2013 at 6:27 pm

My mum cracks the eggs shells a little bit when it’s almost done, so you get this beautiful pattern on the eggs.


Fuji Mama (Rachael) October 3, 2013 at 8:55 am

@Christine — These are marinated with no egg shell at all! I’ve seen the eggs you’re referring to though, and they are beautiful! I believe it’s more a Chinese style? I’ve never seen them done that way in Japan.


Lizzie September 29, 2013 at 10:57 am

I love marinated eggs; I usually add mirin and sugar to my mix too. For ramen I especially like my eggs still runny in the middle, though for bento a bit more set does work better. These look lovely.


oakley September 30, 2013 at 9:54 am

Ooooh I’m going to make this! In Thailand, we do salt-pickled eggs. Different texture and flavor but nonetheless yum. But this, THIS is a perfect snack.


Fuji Mama (Rachael) October 3, 2013 at 8:59 am

@oakley — Ooooh, I don’t know if I’ve ever had salt-pickled eggs, but they sound delicious!! I think you should share your recipe! :)


Jannica October 1, 2013 at 7:52 pm

Hi! Love your recipes! Do you have to eat them the next day or can you keep them in the redrigerator for a couple of days?


Fuji Mama (Rachael) October 3, 2013 at 9:01 am

@Jannica — So glad you asked! I’ll update the info above, but the answer is that you can keep them in the refrigerator for a couple of days if you water the soy sauce down a bit with some water. This keeps them from becoming too strong! I currently have a batch in the refrigerator that is on day 3. I used a 1:1 ratio of soy sauce to water.


Alicia October 17, 2013 at 4:42 am

First of all, I really enjoy reading your blog with all the interesting recipes!
When I was in China, I’ve tasted soy sauce eggs and loved them, but I didn’t know that there were also Japanese soy sauce eggs. I love eggs and soy sauce and Japanese food, so I can’t wait to make my own soy sauce eggs.


Samantha @FerraroKitchen March 2, 2014 at 3:18 pm

Hey Rachael! I have a question…can I do this with soft boiled eggs? I’d love to make ramen soon and have had it with the shoyu egg, but I think it was soft rather than hard boiled. And if so, can they keep (soft boiled) in the fridge as well? Thanks gf!


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