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Friday, August 10, 2012

Shoyu Tamago (醤油 卵)

Shoyu Tamago (醤油 卵) means soy sauce egg in Japanese, which is a pretty self explanatory name: hard boiled eggs cooked in soy sauce until the outside is wonderfully salty and umami-filled, with a beautiful mahogany color.

The best thing about shoyu tamago is that these eggs wonderfully portable and great for picnics. Unlike plain hard boiled eggs, there is no need to bring along salt and pepper because these are preseasoned.  A spam musubi and a shoyo tamago, along with some celery and carrot sticks, make an amazing packed lunch.

Since I always have access to insane amounts of eggs (see my Hapa Farm Girl post on eggs) I tend to try and use eggs a lot. Especially since nutritionists have found that eggs are no longer a cholesterol scare which was touted back in the day, and they have found the healthier the chickens eat, the better the eggs are for you.

There's only one snag: Mr. Mochi hates hard boiled eggs, even deviled eggs!

The soy sauce will foam up
Along with marbled tea eggs, shoyu tamago is a bento staple. I also like to cut them into quarters and dunk them in my ramen, as well as on salads.

My grandmother would always serve us shoyu tamago her way: Cut open a hard boiled egg and pour a little soy sauce over the top and let it soak into the yolk. With a bit of black pepper, this is how I remember eating eggs as a kid. I never even thought of this being a Japanese American food until I wrote this blog post.

Maybe if Mr. Mochi had a little Japanese American grandmother he would love hard boiled eggs too.

Now you can use normal shoyu, or tamari shoyu, but I like tamari shoyu for eggs because it is a stronger shoyu with a deeper color that really makes the eggs a beautiful color, but some feel this makes for an egg that's too salty for their preference. Either way, the egg turns into a salty umami powerhouse, so I encourage you to try both and see what you like!

Shoyu Tamago (醤油 卵)

4 hard boiled eggs, peeled
6 tbs tamari shoyu

Place the shoyu in a small pot, if it is too big you will spread it too thin, shoot for about 8-10" in diameter (the pot shown is smaller because I only did two eggs). Heat the shoyu on medium until it starts to foam at the edges. Add in the eggs and roll them around in the foam until the shoyu reduces and gets a bit scummy looking and the eggs have turned a deep brown. The longer you roll them around, the deeper the shoyu will penetrate, but I don't like them too salty so it only takes about 4-5 minutes of rolling. Let cool, wipe off excess shoyu and serve.

P.S. No saturation tinkering or photoshop on those eggs. They really are that insanely orange/yellow even in my bad light.

See Also:
Marbled Tea Eggs
Hurricane Popcorn
Nori Furikake Chex Mix

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