How to Make Korean Sauna Style Eggs in 25 Minutes (or in 50 Minutes)

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Korean Sauna Style Eggs

Have you ever wondered how to make brown eggs that are often seen in a Korean sauna/spa (Jjimjilbang, 찜질방), which are also often featured in many Korean dramas and movies? Then, you are not the only one. A couple of days ago, I was asked that same question by one of my readers.

How to make Korean sauna eggs

The photo below is of Park Si Hoo eating Jjimjilbang eggs in the Korean drama “Queen of Reversals (2010)
Queen of Reversal - Park Si Hoo at Korean Sauna

 (Original source: MBC, Photo edited by http://bntnews.hankyung.com/)

I mentioned about these special eggs back in 2007 in a post “Eggs Baked on Elvan Stone” (no recipe was included) and it was quite interesting to see how many people actually wanted to make them at home. A couple of readers commented in the post saying that you can make them in 70 mins using a high pressure rice cooker while others are saying 3 hours in a crock pot will do. So it is possible to make Korean sauna style eggs in your own home! I found that very fascinating, so off I went researching on a Korean version of google, naver, and found that most Koreans use their rice cooker in making them. While I can’t confirm the fact, people said you don’t have to use the fancy cuckoo rice cooker, a simple mechanical rice cooker can to the same job. (Though I am assuming you might have to cook a bit longer?)

Holding a Korean Sauna Egg after pressure steamed twice

(Me, holding the 50 mins pressure steamed eggs, no colouring is used on eggs!)

Though, 3 hours or even 70 minutes seems too long for my patience. I also was worried that I might blow my precious rice cooker if I cooked for that long! So here, I tested the recipe in two stages (in 25 mins interval) to check the progress.

Stage 1.

Ingredients for 6 Korean sauna style eggs (cooking time 25 mins in a high pressure rice cooker)

  • 6 large eggs (approx. 400g total)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 tsp fine sea salt

Direction

1. Eggs need to kept at room temperature for at least 2 hours. Otherwise, apparently, they crack badly while cooking. To fast track the process, I kept the eggs in warm water initially and left them there for 2 hours.

Warming up eggs

2. After two hours, move the eggs into the rice cooker then dissolve the salt (1/4 tsp) in the water (1/2 cup) and pour it onto the eggs. Cook it for 25 mins in a rice cooker. (I used the multi steam function where I can set the timer).Pressure steaming eggs stage 1

3. After 25 mins later, they look like this. Pressure steamed eggs after stage 1

(25 mins later)

Korean Sauna Egg  after pressure steamed once (v)

(More of beige colour than brown colour)

Korean Sauna Egg  after pressure steamed once (h)

Stage 2.

Ingredients for 5 Korean sauna style eggs (cooking time 25 mins in a high pressure rice cooker)

  • 5 pressure steamed eggs from stage 1 (Only 5 eggs were used for me as I tested one for the stage 1 result)
  • 1/4 cup water

Direction

  • Add more water and cook the eggs for another 25 mins.

Korean Sauna Egg after pressure steamed twice

 (Another 25 mins later)

As I was quite enjoying this scientific (?) experiment, I also boiled some eggs in a sauce pan. Look at the colour contrast! Amazing, hey? (The line on the sauna style egg is due to the crack. Yes, it stilled cracked even though it was left at room temperature for 2 hours, but only 2 of them cracked. Though, I think the line gives kind of cool look.) :)

Boiled egg in a pot vs. pressure steamed egg

(Normal hard boiled egg vs. Korean sauna style egg)

Boiled egg in a pot vs. pressure steamed egg cut in half

My sister was very impressed with my home cooked Korean sauna style eggs. She keeps asking me what’s the secret but I said she needs to find out from my blog. :) She told me that it tasted very similar to the one you can eat at a Jjimjilbang. What a nice complement!

Note:

  • The egg is very hot once cooked, so use caution when taking them out and peeling the shell.
  • Eggs cooked for 50 mins have a more nutty taste. However eggs just cooked for the initial 25 mins still taste nice.

Update:

I tried making these Korean sauna style eggs for 50 mins in a rice cooker on one setting (as opposed to two settings as above) and the result has been great! (Refer the photo below) My rice cooker was safe too, of course. :) The printable version of the recipe below reflects this setting.

Korean Sauna Style Eggs

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How to Make Korean Sauna Style Eggs in 50 Minutes
 
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Snack
Cuisine: Korean
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 6 large eggs (approx. 400g total)
  • ¾ cup water
  • ½ tsp fine sea salt
Instructions
  1. Eggs need to kept at room temperature for at least 2 hours. Otherwise, apparently, they crack badly while cooking. To fast track the process, I kept the eggs in warm water initially and left them there for 2 hours.
  2. After two hours, move the eggs into the rice cooker then dissolve the salt (1/2 tsp) in the water (3/4 cup) and pour it onto the eggs. Cook it for 50 mins in a rice cooker. (I used the multi steam function where I can set the timer).

 

About Sue

Hi, I'm Sue and I am the author/cook/photographer behind My Korean Kitchen. Thank you for joining me in this delicious culinary journey!

Comments

  1. I was intrigued by the notion of pressure cooking eggs and did quite a bit of reading. I stumbled upon a resource you and your readers may find interesting, which may explain the color of the spa eggs scientifically.

    Excerpt: “We have been pressure cooking whole eggs for a long time. Pressure cooked eggs undergo Maillard reactions and turn brown. Eggs undergo Maillard reactions at lower than normal temperatures because egg whites are alkaline. Alkalinity promotes Maillard reactions. The whites have a toasted… well… “brown” taste. The yolks taste like cooked chicken giblets. We like ‘em. When we tried to cook the whites and yolks separately, we noticed the yolks didn’t have that awesome giblet taste. We thought that the lack of alkalinity was the culprit so we told one of the interns to put in some baking soda (it’s alkaline). Well, he messed up and put in baking powder instead (I’m calling you out, Ed!). The results were really cool. What we got was something with the texture of bread that was made entirely of egg yolks. It even toasts like bread. Gluten-free, baby.”

    From a post by NYC professional chefs playing with pressure cookers!
    http://www.cookingissues.com/2009/10/06/new-york-culinary-experience-technique-a-thon-pressure-cooking-eggs-super-rich-sorbet-nstuff/

    • Thanks Lars! I love food science.
      This is Jenna, from below. Since my first experiences with pressure cooking eggs, I have produced the brown eggs as shown in your pix. The change was I first used a vintage cooker which had an unknown psi. Since then, I’ve used a modern cooker both at low psi and high and have found the higher psi definitely produced brown whites. So my bad, egg shell color does NOT affect resulting color.

    • Thanks Lars for sharing your research! It’s very informative.

  2. Hello Sue

    I dont have a rice cooker, can I do it in a normal saucepan ?
    Also do you know what chemical reaction happens in the eggs because of the salt and
    long cooking?
    Thank you

    • Hello Aqua, I don’t think a normal saucepan would give the same result. It might just come out like a typical hard boiled egg (in white). Though I haven’t tried it! So you’re welcome to give it a try. In terms of the chemical reaction, I have no idea! (I’m not a food scientist. Sorry. :))

  3. I am a newcomer to your recipes. I love anything Korean and especially the dramas. Watch them all the time. Thanks so much for them. I will definitely try them.

  4. When is a good occasion to serve this? Is this more of a snack and not a side dish? I’d really like to make this, but when is it most appropriate?

    • Hi Ai, It’s more of a snack rather than a side dish. I would normally cook it when I feel hungry as a healthy snack. I wouldn’t serve it with other meals as a side dish though it’s completely up to you!

  5. Thank you soooo much! After I followed the directions completely (kinda cheating on keeping the eggs in room temp for 2 hrs, I kept for 40 min) I got perfectly beautiful brown colored eggs!! They tasted amazing!! I would also like to note that I used regular eggland’s best WHITE eggs!! Will be using this recipe weekly!!!!!

  6. Want to eat these Korean sauna eggs! How interesting, and I loved that you experimented. Very thorough report. :D Now I’m ready to eat them for tasting check?

    • :D Thanks Nami, I love experimenting with food. Hehe
      The taste is slightly different to the normal hard boiled eggs (in a better way). Hope you get to try this!

  7. I had to click on the link when I saw the name of the recipe. I’m Korean but have never been to a Korean sauna let alone have had sauna eggs. However, we always get a good laugh when watching actors crack these on their heads in Korean dramas. I will have to give these a try. Thank you for recipe (and the chuckles)! :-D

    • I can’t believe you’ve never been to a Korean sauna!!!!! Are you sure you’re a Korean? :D It’s quite an experience! Put it onto your bucket list at least. Hehe ;)

  8. Does the coloring come from the shell? In my area, brown eggs are much more expensive than white-shelled eggs. Does the color affect the flavor?

    • I don’t know where the colour is coming from. I am just thinking that chemistry changes caused by the heat and the pressure are giving the colour. Also I think the flavour is affected by the cooking process as in pressure and the heat rather than the colour itself. I have to say, it does taste different to the average hardboiled egg. Everyone who tested the recipe so far, including my family, preferred the taste of this egg more than the average boiled eggs. I think you will get the same result from any shell colour (brown or white). I hope this helps.

      • So, I’ve been using my vintage pressure cooker (from the late 40s, I think); being so old it’s designed to get about 16psi, so much weaker than modern cookers. The cook times do match up pretty well with the info in the mfr pamphlet, so it’s not too low psi.

        Anyway, I’m pretty sure the final color depends on the shell color. Makes me want to find some of those blue and green eggs, like Martha Stewart gets.
        I made a batch with 1 1/2 cups water + 3/4 tsp sea salt; used a small dish to elevate the eggs 1/2 way out of the water, in case that was important; timed 50 minutes after achieving pressure. The eggs came out a pale off-white, maybe “parchment” or light “ivory” would be a good name.
        Definitely noticed the tenderness others have mentioned but no discernible difference in flavor, from “regular” hard-boiled.
        2nd batch. Got ride of the dish. Was distracted trying to multitask, so the time went well over an hour, 80~90 minutes. The color was a few shades darker, but not turning mocha-colored like your pix. More like antique gold.
        And they were even more tender.

        The taste is good, but nothing to write home about. Perhaps the shells impart flavor, too. More probably, my taste-buds are fatigued from Easter baking, etc.

        Anyway, I’ll keep experimenting. I’m finding this method stress free, with better results than the classic “perfect hard-cooked eggs” method.

        Thanks for posting this method.

        PS. During this, I remembered a Korean daily drama where a Chinese girl who loves Kdrama makes a Korean guy re-enact stereotypical scenes. Including going to the sauna, cracking eggs on his head and making him eat them, like over a dozen. Those eggs were white inside.
        ***Maybe the show couldn’t afford real sauna eggs and used regular boiled ones.*** XD

        • Wow! What an experiment you did there! It’s very unfortunate that the colour didn’t turn out as brown as mine. Maybe the shell colour is important like you said. If I see other coloured eggs (other than beige/brown ones), I will experiment the recipe with them again.
          Though, my sister tried this recipe (with the same type of eggs I used here) but she only cooked them for 30 mins and they were mostly white. (My 25 mins cooked eggs were much browner than hers.)
          https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=173967466087203&set=a.153352098148740.34942.127970737353543&type=1&theater
          However, she also cooked new batches of eggs the next day for 50 mins straight (without any break), it was super browny. (Much darker than my 50 mins cooked eggs.)

          It’s good to hear that you find this method of cooking eggs easier than perfectly hard-boiling eggs. I can’t grasp what is considered as perfectly hard-boiled egg though. :D

          Thanks so much for sharing your experiment here. I am sure many will appreciate your comment too. :D

  9. stephanie says:

    SUCCESS! failed using the normal rice cooker. but a normal pressure cooker works amazing! :) Thank you Sue for the recipe! so yummy.

    • Super! Great! I am glad that it turned out well using your pressure cooker! Though, if you don’t mind, can you please briefly explain how you failed using a normal rice cooker? (I don’t have the normal rice cooker to test on and I think it would be a very useful info for other people who want to attempt and avoid the same failure). Thanks so much!!

  10. stephanie says:

    currently trying those eggs using my rice cooker. hope it turns out well! :D

  11. Ok Lady….it’s like you took a complete thought out of my mind…I was just thinking about those eggs and actually, don’t laugh try to make them haha -I used Soy sauce to see if the color will change! :D I was tempted to try ever sense I watched “Secret Garden” What a great Recipe…It will be made tomorrow! :D Thank you for the recipe!

    • Hehe I didn’t know you watch a Korean drama! That’s so cool. Well, I didn’t know I could make these egg at home until the begining of this year too. I am glad that I got the brown colour without the help of soy sauce. ;)

      • Update! It’s 10am here- I made them, and ate them!I cooked eggs for about 30min and the color was just slightly lighter than yours, but the yolk was so incredibly tender!(I couldn’t wait any longer hehe) Thanks again for the recipe! :)

        Oh and yes, I do watch Kdramas :D

  12. wow no colouring or anything added! amazing!

  13. I love those eggs. Do restaurants ever serve them, or do they just sell them at saunas?

    • I centainly haven’t seen them at a restaurant, but if they do serve, I think they would give them to you as a complimentary service rather than charging you for that, like quail eggs. But for sure, you can get them at a sauna!

  14. I don’t have a rice cooker. Do you think I could recreate this with steam in a pressure cooker?

    • I think you can make it in a pressure cooker. Though, would you be using a gas pressure cooker? or electronic programmable pressure cooker?
      I have a feeling that electronic programmable pressure cooker will give the same result for the same amount of ingredients and the cooking time, but for gas pressure cooker, you might have to adjust the water and/or cooking time also. To make sure you don’t blow your pressure cooker, I would recommend cooking them in a short interval in between like my experiment. :)

      • I tried these using my electric, programmable pressure cooker and it seemed to work like a charm! Two of the six eggs popped out of their shell (though with no mess and they were my testers as one popped out at each step). I don’t know if they taste like the authentic item, but they were good. The yolk was lovely and tender (as opposed to rubbery like over-boiled hard-boiled eggs).

        Thank you!

        • Wow!! Thank you for describing your process in such a detail. It will help other people who want to use their electric programmable pressure cooker. I am very happy to hear that you enjoyed it so much!

  15. Thanks so much Sue. We love to get the little sacks of 3 eggs and 3 kul as snacks when we travel and will miss them so much. At least I can make them at home. The last Jimjibang I went to was in Gwangju and they were 2 eggs for 2,000w ( about $1 each.)

    • Those eggs are getting expensive aren’t they? I hope you enjoy the recipe. Let us know how it turns out! So looking forward to hearing about it. :)

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