Sho-yu Tamago (Soy sauce eggs)


Since many of you asked about the sho-yu tamago (soy sauce eggs) that my mother used to pack for me in my school outings bentos, here’s the recipe for them. Well, I hesitate to even call it a recipe - it’s so easy.

All you do is:

  • Hard boil some eggs . My hardboiling method is this: Put the eggs in enough cold water to cover. Heat up the pan while rolling the eggs around - this makes the yolk stay in the middle. When the water comes to a boil, turn off the heat, put a lid on the pan, and leave for 10 minutes. (I read this in the Julia Child book that is being given away over on Just Hungry.)
  • Drain the hot water, and cool the eggs rapidly under cold running water. Peel the eggs. Try to keep the surface unscathed. (The batch I made above have a few nicks.)
  • In a pan large enough to hold all your eggs comfortably, heat up some plain soy sauce. Figure about a tablespoon per egg.
  • When the soy sauce is foaming up, lower the heat to about medium, put in your eggs, and roll them around to coat them as evenly as possible. Keep rolling them until the pan is almost dry and the eggs are a chestnut brown. (To make darker eggs, use tamari soy sauce.)
  • Let cool before packing for bento.

Since the soy sauce is salty enough, there’s no need for extra salt or other seasonings, which makes them very portable - therefore great for picnic or school outing bentos.

These are even easier than the lazy tea eggs, but they don’t really keep, so you do have to make them when you need them.

They are very pretty when cut in half or in slices, and make a nice gap filler in a regular bento box.


Flavor wise, miso marinated eggs or the lazy tea eggs, but both methods take some time. When you are in a hurry these soy sauce rolled eggs do fine.

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OOH Thank you! I went

OOH Thank you! I went looking for them yesterday on your site. ;) Happy happy.

it’s been a long time

it’s been a long time since I havent made these! they’re easy enough but I just never think of them….


I was planning on experimenting after I saw your post. It will be nice to have the recipe. Thanks!

I’m so happy to see this!

I’m so happy to see this! Ever since i left Japan last summer i was wondering how to make those yummy brown eggs i had. Thankyou!

rolling eggs, of course!

Thanks for the tip on rolling eggs around to keep the yolks in the middle. I’ve never heard that before and it makes sense. Your kitchen wisdom is much appreciated.

Re: rolling eggs, of course!

Another good way to keep the yolk in the middle is to store your eggs in the crate on it's side. Learned this from Alton Brown's Good Eats show :)

Like this:

Or if you just have 1 crate, lean up against side of refrigerator.

shoyu tamago

So, simple, yeah. I’ll def be making some of those for my obento. :)

Very easy!

I have never had these before - can’t wait to make them. thanks!


Those are pretty!! I am going to have to try that!! Thanks for the directions. :)

Normally, I don’t like

Normally, I don’t like hard boiled eggs, but I think if I tried this variation, I might actually like them! I love how simple this is. Thanks!


I’m going to try these eggs. They look easy to make.

San Antonio, TX

I'll have to try

My son has fallen for bentos as quickly as I did. I’ll have to try these, since we both love boiled eggs in our bento lunches!

Thanks for the recipe! You’ve been invaluable in helping me learn how to pack healthier lunches for us.

this is great~!

i never got these. i’ll have to try them out. this would work GREAT in the bear egg mold. LOL

Oh, much easier than tea

Oh, much easier than tea eggs! Thanks, I’m going to try this next week!

yey! thanks for the recipe!

i will definitely add shouyu tamago in my bento for my nihongo exam this sunday! thank you for the recipe.

Korean variety

Those look so delicious! They remind me of a Korean variety my mother would buy, and I’ve since learned to make. It involves boiling beef brisket in water until the water reduces by half, adding a cup of soy sauce, peeled garlic bulbs, and peppers. After the meat was done, you add the boiled eggs in the beef/soy/garlic/pepper broth until they’re the same beautiful brown color. To make bitesized versions, I’ll sometimes substitute quail eggs. Then serve shredded beef, eggs, and the veggies, if you don’t mind strong flavors, with rice.

Thank you! Now I know how to

Thank you! Now I know how to make them. =)

i'm definitely going to make these!

…and this is the first time i’ve heard of rolling eggs in the pot to keep the yolk centered. this is probably old news to most people, but great tip!

nom nom nom!!! Just finished

nom nom nom!!! Just finished an egg as a late night snake and boy was it tasty! thanks!

soft yolks

Thanks for the instructions!

The soy sauce eggs i usually have at my fav ramen place usually have soft semi runny yolks though. Do you have instructions for that ?

I may or may not have

I may or may not have already asked this question somewhere either on Just Bento or Just Hungry and i don’t doubt others have asked as well… but when when you have a recipe asking for Soy Sauce, what kind do you mean? I’m Chinese, and I have 3 soy sauces at home, general Light soy and Dark soy… then the readily available in supermarkets Kikkoman soy sauce… Where does Kikkoman soy sauce fall in the dark/light scale anyway? I could never figure it out as it’s darker than light soy and less salty but lighter than dark soy… leaving me moderately confused @_@

What a funny colour. I

What a funny colour. I remember the tea eggs, it was a real surprise for me.

These look rally interesting

These look rally interesting and a good change for my bentos, I’m going to try soon !


thanks for sharing this. This does sound easier than tea eggs. Not having to pack soy sauce for the eggs sure sounds good for my ears. haha.

Oooohhhh. *That's* how you do it. Thanks!

I like to make soy sauce eggs, too, but I never actually knew how you were supposed to do them before. I always just peeled them and plopped them in a Tupperware full of soy sauce and stuck them in the fridge. I guess that’s what happens when you only see things in pictures and try to improvise them. hehe Mine get pretty dark, and they’re probably saltier than these guys come out, but I feel okay about leaving them in the soy sauce in the fridge for a few days (if I can avoid eating them that long), since they’re almost kind of sort of pickling themselves. I’ll have to try this method instead. Yours look just like bento book photos! :D

drools all over I’m so

drools all over I’m so gonna try this next week, and I bet i’m gonna love it =D what i do know for sure is that they will look good on any bento box 8)

You can also have colorful

You can also have colorful eggs by boiling them with onion skin :-) The more brown the onion, the better. The final color is similar to the sho-yu version


I tried these out with ramen and it was so good! It very simple and a nice deviation from normal hard boiled eggs. And thanks for the tip about the yolk! I never knew about that. :D


I made these Friday night,

I made these Friday night, but I misremembe4red the recipe and cooked them on low heat until the soy sauce was almost gone. It took probably about half an hour and hoo boy are they salty! Addictive anyway, though.

Now that I’ve reread the recipe, I’ll have to make more.


This has quickly become a staple food for me. I usually have a couple boiled eggs in the fridge to grab for breakfast on the run, and now I’ve been eating them shoyu—so nice and warm, much more delicious than cold with salt! I need to figure out how to make a slightly spicy variety. Thanks!

Eggs Sticking to Pan

I have four peeled hardboiled eggs slowly simmering in Aloha Shoyu. The eggs are sticking to the bottom of the pan. How can I prevent the sticking so I get blemish-free eggs?

They look delicious, but damaged.

You should not really simmer

You should not really simmer them in the soy sauce untouched, but rather keep the eggs moving (rolling them around) until the soy sauce is just about gone. That prevents them from sticking to the pan. Take the eggs out before the moisture in the pan is all gone or the egg white may stick and rip away.

simply loved it

i tried this last weekend and i loved it. the recipe was so simple but i would never have figured it out on my own. :P next time, i am going to perfect it without the nicks. thank you!

They were a hit with my kids

My kids like boiled eggs, but I always have to help them with the salt. When I saw this blog it was like lightbulb!! And they loved them, ate them right up. My boyfriend remarked that they still looked like they had the shell on. Such a great and simple idea, thank you!


i cant wait to try this. great site! :)

Oh, YUM!!!

I finally got around to making some of these last night (I’m remodeling my kitchen and it’s been Out of Order) and I’m in LOVE! I used tamari and kept rolling the eggs around until the tamari was as thick as a syrup. Wonderful flavour and just the right amount of saltiness. I made the “lazy tea eggs”, too, and I like them, too. Can’t wait to see what another day in the fridge will do for them…

I actually tried these the

I actually tried these the other night and they turned out great, although I think I used a bit too much soy sauce. Anyway, even my Mum who is quite sceptical towards soy sauce liked them. So thanks for such an easy and tasty recipe!

Tip for easy peel eggs...

Will have to try these soy sauce eggs!! I used to get annoyed finding some eggs hard to peel—after researching the problem I learned that older eggs do better than new eggs for peeling. For hard boiled eggs, try using eggs that have been in your fridge a week or two… they will be easier to peel once cooked!

Mystery solved!

I used to love these when I was in Japan, but I always wondered how to make them. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe, I could have never guessed it was so simple! I made some today, and though the surface was far from perfect after peeling, the eggs were great. What a pretty, yummy snack =9

Yay! My husband ate it! ^_^

Thank you so much for this, Maki! My husband will never eat the yolk of a hard-boiled egg. He always throws them away, making me weep inside for the waste of good food. But, I made these today and my husband ate the whole thing, yolk and all! No wasted food! It really made my day.

My 1st BENTO

This my 1st time visiting this website.i just fall in love exspecially Sho-yu Tamago (look easy).This EGG will be My first japaness so blur with some japanes ingredient,i also like to try the carrot too but im blur with the ingredient can u tell me more?i afraid would get the wrong things from the shoping rack. thks

loved these when I tried

loved these when I tried them. in my opinion, these taste better after they’ve been in the fridge for a few hours as the soy sauce starts to sink into the egg more.


And sooo addictive! I think I could change my diet completely to soy sauce eggs if it wasn't for health considerations...

Also, it's something even my boyfriend can cook, which is always a plus ;)

Re: Sho-yu Tamago (Soy sauce eggs)

I made these last night but used part tamari, part soy sauce and put some Makato Ginger dressing in the tamari/soy mixture. I also used a basting brush to keep them moving around in the pot. They were great, we all loved them.

Off topic: Have you checked out the foods-to-go section of The Container Store website? They have inexpensive 'lunch cubes" both divided and not and other lunch accessories. The folding beetle spoon/spork is cute.

Re: Sho-yu Tamago (Soy sauce eggs)

My kids loved these and ate them all up. They asked for them again the next day! Thanks again Maki for another great recipe.

Re: Sho-yu Tamago (Soy sauce eggs)

My mom covers them with soy sauce, wine, beef, seaweed, tofu, etc. in a large pressure cooker. I find this version very interesting.

I especially love eating the eggs fresh. After a few days in the pot in the fridge, the egg white turns entirely brown. They're still edible, though.

Re: Sho-yu Tamago (Soy sauce eggs)

I'm going to have to try hard boiling eggs that way ^_^ Usually I just toss them in a small pan, fill with water and boil for 7min (as long as it takes me to get everything else ready).
One trick I picked up for peeling eggs without nicks that I thought i'd share;
right after you take them out of the hot water, refill the pan with cold and start pulling them out. Quickly crack the eggs up (roll method works for me) and try to peel them under a running tap of cold water. This gets a little warm, but the running water keeps you from actually burning your hands and it gets under the membrane to help lift it with the shell. Usually I can get the shell to slide off most of the way, using the pad of your thumb as you would a parring knife once you get a spot where the membrane has come off with a piece of shell.
Off to try these eggs ^_^

Re: Sho-yu Tamago (Soy sauce eggs)

I just made these earlier in the week, and they turned out okay. They still tasted pretty awesome, but I suck at peeling eggs, so they were definitely blemish-full! Also, like someone said earlier, the eggs tended to stick to the bottom, and bits of eggs came off when I rolled them around. Any suggestions? (Either for peeling eggs better, or keeping them from sticking to the pan?) Thanks!
Even if I don't get them perfected, these were super tasty and my bf loved them, so I might make them often even though they were not perfect!

Re: Sho-yu Tamago (Soy sauce eggs)

The trick to having blemish-free hard boiled eggs is to use eggs that are at least a day old (not freshly laid), and to cool them rapidly after cooking. Also, you can try a little gadget that pierces the end of an egg to break through the albumen , allowing an airpocket to form between that and the egg white - this is supposed to make peeling eggs easier. (You can try piercing the end of the egg with a plain needle, but be careful not to crush the egg!)

Anyway, once the eggs are peeled, when you roll them around in the soy sauce make sure that you don't let all the soy sauce evaporate. If you think the soy sauce is evaporating too fast, lower the heat and/or add a bit of water to the pan. Take the eggs out before all the liquid is gone.

Re: Sho-yu Tamago (Soy sauce eggs)

ZOMG, so delicious.

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