I was travelling in Manhattan and went to a ramen restaurant near Washington Square Park for a quick lunch. It turned out to be a good decision since the miso soup noodles I ordered tasted wonderful. The miso soup base was rich, smooth and very flavorful. What impressed me more was a beautiful egg half sitting on top of the steaming ramen. The yolk looked like jelly, and reminded me of some jade too, translucent and shining... So I started to do some research on how to cook this perfect egg, testing many different cooking times and techniques in my kitchen. And here it is, my version of the perfect jade egg. Since then, my weekend lunch -- Noodle with Fried Shallots Pork Sauce (红葱酥肉燥面) has a beautiful addition on its top.
Step 1: Making Marinade
1 anise star, 3 bay leaf, 2-inch cinnamon, 1 teaspoon of Sichuan peppercorn, 1 piece of galanga, 2 cardamom pods (cracked), 2 tablespoon loose black tea
Step 2: Cooking Eggs and Marinating Eggs:
8 eggs (cold, right out of fridge) (size of eggs: large) (If you use extra large eggs, you may need to add one more minute of cooking time)
Water: add into your saucepan to the height enough to cover all the eggs
Salt: 1 teaspoon
Fill a saucepan with water. Add in the salt. Bring to a boil over high heat. Once the water boils, turn heat down to medium.
Add in ¼ cup of cold water to cool down the water a little bit.
Gently place the eggs in the boiling water.
Set a timer for 8 minutes.
During the first 2 minutes, use chopsticks or a spoon and spin the eggs around in the saucepan for the entirety of 2 minutes. The centrifugal force will make the yolks set in the center of the egg, making eggs pretty. This helps with even heating.
Keep the water boiling during minutes 3 to 8. Do not leave the stove, and pay close attention to the pot. Meanwhile, fill a big container with cold water and set aside.
Once your timer beeps, scoop out the eggs and transfer them to the container with cold water. Once the water gets warm, replace it with cold water again to fully cool down the eggs. Peeling eggs will be much easier with the help of this step.
When eggs turn cool, crack each egg gently and peel them.
Pour your marinade into a bowl along with your peeled eggs. Marinate them in your fridge for 24 hours. The longer they site in marinade, the more the egg will absorb the flavors. The eggs can be kept in the marinade in fridge for up to a week or so. The yolk may turn a little bit harder after being marinated for over 24 hours.
When you’re ready, slice the eggs lengthwise and lay them upwards on top of your noodle bowl and enjoy! It looks pretty and tastes great!
Depending on the size of the eggs, how long they are cooked, and how long they are marinated, the firmness of the yolks will be different. Test it yourself to see how to get your perfect egg yolk texture.
Results of my tests:
日式酱油: ½ 杯
糖： 2 小勺
香叶： 3 片
小豆蔻： 2个 （敲开 ） （可省）
做法：将香料和茶叶包入咖啡滤纸， 用棉线系紧。将日式酱油， 水，和料包加入锅中，烧开， 并彻底冷却。
鸡蛋8个 (大号) （注意， 不是特大号）
锅中水开后，加入1/4杯冷水。 接着把鸡蛋轻轻放入，调至中火，确保让水保持沸腾。 同时不停搅拌两分钟。这样可以使蛋黄在中间。
接下来， 继续敞开锅， 让水保持沸腾六分钟（必须掐准，每多一分钟， 蛋黄会更加凝固， 造成不同口感）。
六分钟一到，立即关火， 将鸡蛋逐一捞出放入冷水盆中， 使鸡蛋迅速降温。 中途可以再换一次冷水。
鸡蛋完全冷却之后， 轻轻敲破蛋壳， 将蛋剥出。
鸡蛋的蛋黄是偏的，煮好后有可能导致一边蛋黄太熟，而另一边蛋白没熟。煮蛋的时候搅拌，在飞速旋转中蛋黄会转到中间，这样能让溏心蛋黄更漂亮。 且蛋黄四周均匀受热， 口感更佳。
蛋的大小， 煮蛋的时间， 火候决定蛋黄的熟成度，所以要自己试几次， 找到自己最喜欢的口感所需要的时间，火候， 等因素。
9分钟，蛋黄太硬， 口感干， 不滋润
4. 蛋放入料汁中浸泡一天后， 蛋黄会进一步凝固， 且呈现出玉石般通透明亮的质感。 口感也更Q滑。