An egg in a nest for any time of day


Most of us have had the standard breakfast version of egg in a nest, where a piece of bread represents the nest. This can be a great meal, but as any robin will attest, many different materials can make up a nest. As long as there’s an egg, the nature of the nest is negotiable. An egg nest made of ramen noodles not only does the job but looks the part, and it can be enjoyed any time of day.

Sure, you’ve added egg to ramen before. But there are levels to this game. Getting the egg right is the hardest part of cooking ramen, and it’s hard to monitor progress if you just drop it in because it hides under the noodles at the bottom of the pot.

I like to cook the egg until the white is solid and the yolk is runny but not broken. If you want to cook it to the consistency of rubber or stir it in because you broke the yolk, that’s your business. But if you want picture-perfect and satisfying egg-nest ramen, read on.

As far as I know, I’m the only one who poaches an egg on low heat atop a brick of ramen. The egg steams above the broth until it and the noodles cook enough to sink. Even then, the egg gets enough support from the noodles below to remain at broth level so you can monitor progress.

I make it sound easy, but the crux of this operation is keeping that frisky raw egg on top of the raft of noodles. It desperately wants to slide off and take a swim, but that will cause it to overcook, and it will break if you try to fish it out.

As with any dish, the road to success begins with high-quality ingredients. With egg-in-a-nest ramen, this means choosing the correct package of highly processed noodles and flavorings. With a dizzying array of options online and  at Asian supermarkets, it can be tough to know which to choose. My favorite is the Nongshim brand from South Korea. (Another viable option is the venerable Japanese brand Sapporo Ichiban.)

Whatever package you choose, follow its printed directions while incorporating the tricks below. In short order, you’ll have a nest of woven noodles cradling a round, runny yolk.


The road to ramen righteousness

In addition to the package of ramen, the only other ingredients you’ll need are the egg and perhaps some chopped herbs like parsley, cilantro or basil.

Pre-crack your egg into a little bowl. This allows you to add the egg one-handed and eliminates the possibility of a broken yolk.

Add the noodles to a pot of boiling water and turn the heat down to low. Then, with a flick of the wrist, invert the bowl so the egg slides into the middle of the noodles. As the egg lands, use the spatula to control the noodles, raising them in front of wherever the egg tries to run, pinning them against the side of the pot if necessary and generally going to heroics to keep the egg on top. After a moment, the noodles will sink, and the egg will solidify around the softening ramen and stop trying to escape.

As the egg approaches your preferred state of doneness, add the chopped herbs, if using, and turn off the heat. Cover the pot for a few minutes to steam the top of the egg, being careful not to overcook. When the egg is perfect, gently pour the broth into a cup. This allows the noodles and egg to stop cooking while keeping the broth available for sipping.

Slide the noodles onto a plate with the quivering egg perched on top. Poke the yolk so the rich yellow cream anoints the noodles. That’s what I do, at least. What you do with your egg in your nest is your business.


recipes, eggs, traditional breakfast, comfort food, Ramen, asian food.


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