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How to cook Onsen Tamago 2006/6/24 05:02
I really started loving those half-cooked, onsen tamago they started serving everywhere in Japan - not just on noodles but even in Matsuya and Yoshinoya these days. (I have cheap taste, I know)

I did some research on the net but I still don't understand the 'secret' to making them look glamorous like the shops do them.

Is the proper way to cook them, to steam them within the shell in some rice cooker?

My other question is, do Japanese people make poached eggs in any dishes?

The poached and onsen tamago seems to have difference taste. FYI, I can't seem to get poached eggs right either (even with lots of swirls and vinegar).

Thanks for suggestions!
by rouge  

... 2006/6/24 10:29

This person has tried:
1. Wrap a few eggs (out of the fridge) in two layers of rather thick kitchen paper, sprinkle some warm water (from your kitchen heated tap water... meaning not too hot) to bring the eggs to room temperature.
2. Boil some water in a saucepan, when it comes to boil, turn off heat, and place 1 in the water and put the lid on.
3. Let it sit for 15 minutes then it's ready.
4. This 15 minutes is for winter, and for people who prefer to have the egg yolk half-cooked too.
5. Try a few minutes shorter in summer).
(6. is some suggestion for a sauce.)

The key seems to be to keep the eggs in 65 degrees C water for 20 - 30 minutes. Because the moisture in the kitchen paper lowers the hot water temperature, the heat from the pot does not directly reach the eggs, so it works.

...I haven't tried it though, but it looks good :)
by AK rate this post as useful

. 2006/6/28 01:55
Thanks for the great weblink AK.
I haven't had time this week to try anything yet. Will attempt to take some pictures of my success and compare it to that site.

Now just need to get some kitchen paper that doesn't disintegrate easily :(

by rouge rate this post as useful

Shops 2006/6/28 07:10
You can buy Onsen Tamago in supermarkets. The most famous one comes in the usual clear colored egg pack , usualy 3 per pack with a sauce and has an orange lable. My personal favorite is with curry, at sukiya. Unbeatable.
by Azumi rate this post as useful

Easy! 2006/6/28 08:12
A proper onsen-tamago is, of course, prepared by dipping it into a real onsen spring (not the bath, but the real steaming hot spring) for a while.

To do this at home, all you have to do is to find something that can maintain a fairly hot but not too hot temprature for a long enough time.

There are onsen-tamago-makers available, but you don't need this. You can put a raw egg into a thermos full of hot water overnight, and you can have a nice onsen-tamago in the morning.

Or what I do is to put a raw egg inside a rice-cooker that is warming rice. What I mean is, don't put the egg in as you are cooking rice. But after the rice is done, most modern rice-cookers automatically switch to "ho-on" mode where the cooker keeps the rice hot. Put the egg in there. Keep the egg in for about 40 minutes, and your egg will be perfect. If you wet the egg just before putting it in the cooker, it will prevent the rice from sticking to the egg. If you leave it there longer, it turns into a tasty hard-boiled egg, btw.

As for poached eggs, I've seen it being made countless times on Japanese TV cooking programs, and I tried to do it myself, but noticed that it's much easier to make an onsen-tamago.
by Uco rate this post as useful

. 2006/6/29 16:34
Just tried to make some this morning but failed miserably...

Cooked it too well. I think I'm getting the hang of it.

I am trying the warm water method first by the way, as I don't normally cook or eat rice.

by rouge rate this post as useful

Foolproof Onsen Tamago Recipe 2006/10/14 23:19
I was shown how to make onsen tamago by the Chef of the "Jukkokuso" Spa at Shiobara Onsen north of Tokyo. A wonderful, quiet spa with great food. I have made this recipe several times in the U.S. with no problem.

Temperature control is the key - you must use a thermometer.

Set eggs out to room temperature for half hour or so.
Heat water to 62 degrees centigrade, add eggs.
Over the next 25 minutes or so, raise the temperature to 72 degrees centigrade. Do not go over 72 degrees.

After 25 minutes, remove eggs, put in cool water for about a minute, then take out and set on counter.

Crack eggs open into individual dishes, add about 2-3 tablespoons of dashi (I use bottled liquid dashi called shiro dashi - Shichifuku brand - thinned down with a bit of water) and serve. Optional garnish chopped green onion.

by Dennis Howard rate this post as useful

. 2006/10/17 00:47
Thanks very much for that very scientific approach.

I will try it this week and will report back, hopefully with some pictures.

It sounds very promising.
by Rouge rate this post as useful

Onsen Egg 2007/8/3 05:52
boil water in a pot. When you see it's bubbling put one whole egg inside the boiling water and leave it for exactly 120 seconds. Take it out. Wash it in cold water and then careful how you crack it open because the yolk might break and come out.
by Doris Avram rate this post as useful

I failed too 2008/7/20 08:04
We had onsen tamago in Kyoto and Miyajima. I didn't think it was anything special when I had it in Kyoto, but the one we were served in Miyajima - wow! I asked the proprietress of our Miyajima ryokan how they were made, and she said simple, and gave me the 15min recipe mentioned here already. Well, I cooked the eggs last night, and cracked them open just now, and found hard boiled eggs. Obviously my water was too hot and/or eggs too small for the 15min soak time to work. I think the 2min cook time suggested by a person here would be too short though.

I would prefer a simple method, and not have to use a thermometer and cook for as long as 25min. But it looks like this will take some more trial and error...
by Warren rate this post as useful

onsen tamago... 2008/11/26 21:50
very easy, go to the nearest convenience store and buy the onsen tamago pack and presto! you can eat it without thinking how to cook it!
by Dante rate this post as useful

Poached 2009/2/8 21:50
I have no idea about the onsen egg. But the secret to poached eggs (apart from the vinegar and the swirling)...

Do not let the water come to full boil. A bubbling slow boil just before full boil is best and should be maintained. I believe its called insipid boil.
This will cause the white of the egg to wrap nicely around the yolk while cooking. A full boil will make the egg want to break up and turn into a nasty soupy pot of water.

I hope this helps.
by Rob (guest) rate this post as useful

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