The Perfect Time To Add An Egg To Your Ramen

Ramen has accrued an almost animated level of cultural notoriety in the U.S., per the Food Channel, and its social scope seems to grow broader by the day. The dish is the namesake of independent pop-punk music label Fueled By Ramen, which signs such famous groups as Paramore, Panic! At The Disco, and Fall Out Boy. Ichiraku Ramen, a specific dish from the popular anime Naruto, has inspired a mass of apparel from a variety of retailers (like this tee shirt from Hot Topic). Ramen is a culinary and cultural giant in the U.S. and the best part is, it runs for $0.45 a packet.

Seems like ramen couldn't possibly get any better, right? Wrong. For an easy addition to a staple meal, just crack an egg. They're rich sources of protein, vitamin D, and B12, per the BBC –- and, at roughly $0.20 retail price per egg, your ramen deserves it.

A note on technique: Try whisking your egg in a separate bowl before adding to minimize air bubbles, then slowly pouring it in. But there's nothing in the rulebook that says you can't just crack that bad boy directly into the pot. 

Now that you have an idea of what technique you might want to use, let's investigate the perfect time to actually add egg to your ramen. The noodle experts have spoken and they all have something different to say.

This is the sweet spot

All ramen recipes begin with the same basic steps: bring water to a boil, then add in the noodles. But ramen experts have a lot of different opinions as to when the absolute best time is to add an egg to your ramen. So, let's hear them all.

According to Japanese pottery kitchenware purveyor Apex S.K., the perfect time to crack in your egg is two minutes after adding the noodles. Asian restaurant Szechuan House says two-and-a-half minutes after adding the noodles is the right time for the egg. Asian food guide Bite My Bun maintains that you should wait twice as long; it suggests four minutes after adding your noodles is perfect egg time. Household name, trusted friend to self-starters since 1977, and worldwide instant-ramen legend Maruchan recommends four minutes, as well. Don't add the egg, it says, until after you've fully cooked your noodles and removed the still-hot pan from heat.

So, after compiling these various bits of expertise, the definitive answer is to add an egg to your ramen 2-4 minutes after adding the noodles to the pot. If you prefer a runnier or more solid egg bake, you can treat this range like a firmness continuum — or, switch it up and see which time works best for your taste.