Recipes from a Singapore kitchen

Soy Sauce Eggs

December 8th, 2011 | Posted by yvonne in Food - (1 Comments)

the ultimate umami egg

Anyone who knows me knows about my obsession with eggs. I will happily eat eggs every day whether it’s morning, day, or night (sometimes in succession), so I felt it fitting that the first recipe for this blog would feature the egg. When I moved to Singapore I was quite happy to find that Singaporeans also share my obsession. Almost every hawker stand sells them in some form or another: in carrot cake omelettes, char kway teow, a simple fried egg as an added touch to a dish, or a quartered century old egg on the top of a big steaming bowl of pork congee (so far I’ve been too afraid to try the century old egg).

At the moment though, the egg that has me completely enamored is the soy egg. I tried it for the first time a few weeks ago in a bowl of Japanese ramen. Also called a “seasoned egg”, this hard-boiled egg is just about completely brown from being marinated in soy sauce. I’ve been completely addicted to these eggs ever since. This is the ultimate umami egg.

To make a soy egg, you  just have to hard boil an egg, peel it and marinate it. The egg will get saltier the longer it sits in the soy, so I’d advise only making what you think you’ll eat over the course of a few days. This recipe is for 4 eggs.

Place the eggs in a medium saucepan and just cover them with cold water. Heat on medium-high until the water just comes to a boil, turn off the heat and let them sit for about 9 minutes. I like my hard boiled eggs a bit on the undercooked side, but if you want them fully cooked, let them sit for another minute (10 minutes total).

Submerge the eggs in an ice bath for another 10 minutes. Shocking the eggs in ice water stops the cooking and helps the eggs peel easier.

After the eggs are peeled, place them in a jar. A pint jar worked for 4 eggs. Pour the soy sauce, water, and sesame oil over the top. The first time that I tried to make these, I used straight soy sauce, but this made the eggs way to salty by the time they had browned through. I found that 1 part water to 3 parts soy is the way to go. I also really like the flavor that a small amount of sesame oil adds. You can add any number of ingredients to this such as ginger, pepper, some brown sugar, scallions, etc… but I like the purity of the soy and sesame.

Put the lid on the jar and gently turn the jar upside down to distribute the marinade. Refrigerate the eggs for 1 to 3 days. Especially if you use a larger jar, you’ll find that the eggs will float and won’t be completely covered in the marinade. Just give the jar a turn every time you remember it, to move the eggs around.

After 24 hours, the eggs will be beginning to turn brown, and can be eaten at this point, though they won’t be completely flavored. I think they hit their peak flavor between 2 and 3 days. The white firms up slightly from sitting in the salty soy. These pics are of a 3 day egg.  You can also see how the yolk is a little bit undercooked here. I find it a little bit creamier and less pasty than a fully cooked hard boiled egg.

If you want to enjoy them in ramen, leave them whole and let them sit in the hot soup a few minutes so that they warm through and soften slightly. You could also slice and eat them in a salad, but to be honest they really don’t need anything at all–they’re great for snacking  just on their own.


Soy Sauce Eggs


4 large eggs

3/4 cup soy sauce

1/4 cup water

1/4 teaspoon sesame oil


  1. Place eggs in medium saucepan and cover by 1/2 an inch with water. Heat over medium-high heat until it just comes to full boil. Turn off heat and let sit 9 minutes for just undercooked hard boiled egg/10 minutes for fully cooked hard boiled egg.
  2. Submerge eggs in ice water bath and let sit 10 more minutes.
  3. Peel and rinse eggs, and place in jar.
  4. Pour soy sauce, water, and sesame oil over eggs and screw on lid. Turn jar over once or twice to distribute marinade.
  5. Refrigerate for 1 to 3 days, turning jar occasionally so eggs are marinated evenly. Serve.