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Onsen Tamago 温泉卵

Onsen Tamago 温泉卵literally means ‘hot spring eggs’ in Japanese. It refers to eggs that were originally prepared in hot spring water to create silky egg whites and custard-like yolk. Today I’m going to show you how you can make this delicious egg recipe at home.

What’s Onsen Tamago?

Onsen means hot springs, and tamago means eggs in Japanese.  Why is the name “hot springs eggs”?  Originally, eggs that were prepared this way were slow cooked in Japan’s warm hot springs water.
What’s so special about these eggs?  These eggs are perfectly poached inside its shell.  While the whites are soft and silky, the yolk comes out firm, but retains the color and creamy texture of an uncooked yolk.  It’s basically the complete opposite of soft boiled eggs that are firm whites and soft egg yolk.


   ·     1000 ml water (1000 ml = about 4 cups)
   ·     200 ml tap water (200 ml = little bit less than 1 cup) (needs to be colder than room temp)
   ·     4 large eggs (refrigerated)
   ·     ¼ cup dashi (for vegetarian use kombu dashi)
   ·     ½ Tbsp mirin
   ·     1 ½ Tbsp soy sauce
   ·     3 g katsuobushi (dried bonito flakes) (skip for vegetarian)
   ·     1 green onion/scallion (for garnish)


1.    Gather all the ingredients.
2.    Add 1000 ml water in a heavy bottom saucepan, cover and bring it to a boil.
3.    Once boiling, remove the pot from the heat. Take the eggs out from the refrigerator. Add 200 ml cold tap water and gently submerge the cold eggs in the hot water. Immediately cover and set timer for 17 minutes (or longer).
4.    If you like to enjoy onsen tamgo with the sauce, combine the dashi, mirin, and soy sauce in a small saucepan and bring it to a boil. Add katsuobushi and turn off the heat, let katsuobushi sink at the bottom of the pan. After 30 seconds or so, strain through the strainer and set the sauce aside. You can keep the sauce in refrigerator for 4-5 days.
5.    Cut scallion into thinly slices and set aside.
6.    Once 17 minutes have passed, take the eggs out gently and set aside for 5 minutes.
7.    You can enjoy onsen tamago either cold or warm. Crack the egg and pour the sauce over, garnish with chopped scallion. You can keep the onsen tamago for 1-2 days in the refrigerator.  To reheat, take out the onsen tamago from the fridge to room temperature.  Place it in 160F(70C) water for 10 minutes to warm up.  Do not reheat higher than that otherwise the egg will be cooked.

Recipe Notes
Equipment you will need:
   ·     5 qt saucepan with lid (make sure water will cover eggs)
   ·     A ladle or mesh strainer


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