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Shoyu Eggs

PREP TIME 10 mins | COOK TIME 8 mins | TOTAL TIME 18 mins | SERVES 4

This may be my favourite way to eat eggs (besides Cheddar Soufflé from Uncomplicated). They are salty and sweet and sour and creamy and just so good. Eat them as-is or toss them on some toast or in a salad or a bowl of miso soup. You cannot go wrong.

A few things about boiling eggs:

  1. I was a die-hard cold-starter until J. Kenji set me straight. Here’s his treatise on the subject. TL/DR: For easy-to-peel eggs, you gotta use the hot start method. (Or steam them in an instant pot — same diff!).

  2. That means carefully lowering raw eggs into already-boiling water. A few things can go wrong here, which is scary. But the payoff is 100% worth it.

  3. What can go wrong? Well, the egg can crack upon entry, causing the raw egg to slither out and start to cook. It’s very weird, but fine, but you end up with a non-peelable boiled egg.

  4. You might splash yourself with boiling water while you try to gently ease the eggs into the pot. Use a spider or long-handled slotted spoon to lower in the eggs.

Here’s the full how-to:

Shoyu Eggs


  • 4 eggs

  • ¼ cup warm water

  • ¼ cup soy sauce

  • 4 to 6 teaspoons vinegar (depending how pickle-y you want them)

  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar


  1. Boil a medium pot of water. Carefully lower in the eggs (see above). Cover, lower the heat and boil 6 min for runny-soft yolks, 11 min for very hard yolks, or anywhere in between (I like 8 min, as the ones pictured above). Plunge eggs into ice water to chill them, then peel once you can handle them.

  2. Combine water, soy sauce, vinegar and sugar in a 500-mL mason jar (or small bowl). Stir until the sugar dissolves. Carefully add the peeled eggs. Cover and chill for at least 2 hours, but up to 24 hours, gently swirling the jar every now and then so every surface of each egg gets a good soaking. Remove the eggs from the soy solution and either eat them all right away because you can't even or keep them for a day or two. You can re-use the soy solution!

TIP: I used apple cider or sherry vinegar, whatever I have on hand. Anything would work (except seasoned rice vinegar).

Click below for a printable version of this recipe.

Shoyu Eggs_Claire Tansey
Download PDF • 112KB

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