You just celebrated Easter, and that could very well mean you have a dozen-plus leftover eggs on your hands. Here’s a delicious yet simple recipe for onsen tamago, which translates from Japanese as “hot springs egg.”

When I first visited Japan, a group of us went to Hakone and stayed in a hot springs inn near Mount Fuji. After taking the cable car to the top of a nearby mountain, we sat down in a cafe and ordered Fuji apples and onsen tamago. (Yeah, super creative, right?) The egg came steaming in a lightly seasoned broth, the yolk creamy. It was such a simple dish, yet there was something so zen about partaking in this breakfast of egg cooked in the natural hot springs of Japan.

The Japanese say there are health benefits to bathing in onsen and eating eggs cooked in the onsen. I don’t have a clue about that, but I can attest to the fact that it was such a simple yet joyous experience, and that emotional and mental peace, I believe, should count for something. We live in a world with so many surrounding stressors that it’s nice to meditate on the small joys in life. In this case, that joy came to me in the form of onsen tamago.

The egg is best served soft-or medium-boiled—I personally like my whites set and yolk creamy to almost runny—but if you just have a bunch of dyed hard-boiled eggs from Easter, that’s fine too. They’ll still taste wonderful in the soy miring broth–just skip steps 1 and 2.

I usually serve this straight-up, but you can eat it over rice if you’d like. Happy cooking!

Recipe: Simple Japanese Hot Springs Egg | Onsen Tamago

Notes: Dashi is a umami-bomb broth typically made by boiling kombu (seaweed) and bonito (a type of fish). To make this dish quick and easy, though, I use instant dashi powder instead of making dashi from scratch. All these ingredients can be found at a Japanese or Asian market; otherwise, I’ve included Amazon links below if you don’t live near one.

Ingredients

  • 4 eggs
  • 4 shiitake mushrooms, reconstituted as needed & thinly sliced (optional)
  • Broth:

  • 1/2 c soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp mirin
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tbsp dashi powder diluted in 1.5 c water
  • Garnishes:

  • thinly sliced scallion or chives
  • finishing salt (e.g. Maldon or Himalayan pink sea salt) – optional

Instructions

  1. Cook eggs using immersion circulator: Cook eggs at 75°C for 13m; transfer to ice bath.
  2. Cook eggs using stovetop: In a small saucepan, bring to boil enough water to cover eggs. Gently lower eggs into water and cook for 6m for soft- or 8m for medium-boiled eggs. Shock in ice bath.
  3. Make kaeshi (soy miring broth): In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring to simmer soy sauce, mirin, and sugar until dissolved, stirring frequently; remove from heat. Let cool to room temp or chill as desired. I like to serve it slightly warm.
  4. To serve, stir together kaeshi and dashi broth. Peel eggs and arrange one in each bowl with shiitake and scallion. Pour approx 4 ozs broth into bowls and season with finishing salt.

Active time: 30m
Total time: 30m
Yields: 4 servings

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2 Discussion to this post

  1. Danish says:

    Thanks for sharing this delicious recipe.

  2. Nychloas says:

    Great post, thanks for sharing with us.

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