onsen tamago salad

Onsen tamago salad

A quick Japanese lesson

  • tamago means egg
  • onsen means hot spring

Onsen tamago are eggs slowly cooked in hot spring water. Literally!

I get hungry every time I see poached eggs on a menu! Onsen tamago are extremely popular in Japan, they are served on their own with just a dash of tsuyu (I love this preparation!), or along with a bowl of rice with beef, pork or chicken. I’ve gotten used to adding them to just about anything these days; with ramen bowl noodles, next to roasted asparagus and prosciutto.. Even as a pasta topping to a simple tomato sauce or a carbonara! They are so good!

Poaching an egg can be REALLY frustrating – it took me a long time to find the proper way to do it. But once I got the hang of it, it suddenly became easy and a lot of fun! There’s a great video (posted below the recipe) from Runnyrunny that shows how to make perfect poached eggs. His technique is brilliant and it’s the one I used for this onsen tamago salad recipe. I like using arugula for its peppery flavor but you can use frisee or spinach as substitutes. It’s also very good topped with chopped nori (dried seaweed).

arugula, tofu and poached egg


Onsen tamago tofu salad

onsen tamago salad
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 8 minutes
  • Total Time: 18 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Salad
  • Cuisine: Japanese


  • 1 box silken tofu
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon potato or corn starch
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 2 teaspoon bonito flakes
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons mirin
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sake
  • 2 scallions (finely chopped)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons ginger (peeled and grated)
  • 1 cup arugula


  1. Drain and wrap the tofu in paper towel. This will remove excess water. Cut into quarters and set aside.
  2. In a small-medium size pot, add 4 cups of water and bring to boil. When the water is boiling, turn off the heat and move the pot to a cool surface.
  3. Mix the potato starch with 1 tbsp water, add to the pot and stir well.
  4. Gently put the eggs in the pot, cover and set the timer for 8 minutes.
  5. In four separate bowls, put arugula at the bottom and top with silken tofu.
  6. Make the tsuyu by combining soy, mirin, bonito flakes and sake. Microwave for a minute and set aside.
  7. When the eggs are done cooking, carefully transfer them in a bowl of cold water and let cool for a minute.
  8. Very gently break each eggs in a small bowl, then lay on top of each piece of tofu. This prevents the eggs from sliding to the bottom when breaking them right on top of the tofu.
  9. Add scallions and ginger and finish by pouring a little tsuyu on top. Serve immediately.


  • Calories: 125
  • Saturated Fat: 2
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