Shoyu Tamago (Soy Sauce Eggs)
Shoyu tamago, or hard boiled eggs steeped in soy sauce is one of the simplest okazu (Japanese dish) that can easily be enjoyed as a meal, especially in a bento lunch, or on it’s own as a mid-day snack or even for breakfast.
In my youth, my mom hardly ever made shoyu tamago for us, instead preferring to make tamagoyaki (sweet and savory egg roulade; my recipe available here). I enjoy eating both types of egg, but for lunch when I’m looking for a simple meal that’s easy to make, for me, cooking shoyu tamago is sometimes easier than tamagoyaki.
The longer you steep the hard boiled egg in the soy sauce, the bolder the flavor. It can get very salty if you over-steep them. For Bebe, I’ll roll them around in the soy sauce until they’re a light tan, but I don’t mind a saltier shoyu tamago.
The technique for making shoyu tamago is easy. If you’ve ever colored eggs, you can make shoyu tamago. The concept is very similar. All you need to do is roll the egg around in shoyu, just as if you were coloring eggs.
As for ingredients, all that’s needed are hard boiled eggs and regular soy sauce (I use a Japanese brand).
- 4 hard boiled eggs
- 5 tablespoons regular shoyu (soy sauce)
- 3 tablespoons water
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- (water and brown sugar can be adjusted to taste, i.e. to make eggs less salty or more sweet)
- Boil eggs until soft or hard boiled to your preference. Remove shells. Rinse with water to remove any tiny shell fragments. Set aside.
- In a small pot, bring shoyu 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 egg. Note: for Bebe's shoyu tamago, I barely steep the egg in the shoyu (less than a minute), but for my own, I will continue to steep and "color" the egg for a few minutes.
- Continue to "color" the eggs with shoyu until desired color/saltiness. The eggs and shoyu marinade may be transferred to a glass storage container and placed in the refrigerator. Turn the egg periodically in the container until desired color/boldness of flavor.
- Once you've reached the desired "boldness" of shoyu tamago, discard shoyu mixture (I store excess shoyu in the fridge for cooking) and enjoy your shoyu tamago.
*Updated January 2, 2018