Mayak Eggs (Korean Marinated Eggs) Recipe

Mayak Eggs (마약계란) Korean Marinated Eggs are a delicious and flavorful Korean dish consisting of soft-boiled eggs marinated in a savory and slightly sweet sauce. The term "Mayak" translates to "drug" in Korean, which hints at how addictive these eggs are due to their rich taste.

The eggs are typically cooked to a soft or medium boil, where the yolks remain slightly runny. They are then marinated in a mixture of soy sauce, garlic, green onions, chili peppers, sesame oil, and a sweetener such as sugar, honey, or agave syrup. This marinade infuses the eggs with a complex umami flavor, making them incredibly savory and satisfying.

Mayak Eggs are commonly served as a side dish (banchan) in Korean cuisine but can also be enjoyed on their own, with rice, or as a topping for noodles and salads. They are easy to prepare and make for a versatile addition to various meals. The marination process usually takes a few hours to overnight, allowing the flavors to fully penetrate the eggs, resulting in a delightful, savory treat.

Hidden Secrets of Mayak Eggs

One lesser-known fact about Mayak Gyeran is that they can be customized with various additional ingredients to enhance their flavor and nutritional value. For instance, adding a small amount of kombu (dried kelp) or bonito flakes to the marinade can introduce a subtle umami depth, reminiscent of Japanese dashi. Additionally, some variations incorporate a splash of mirin (a sweet rice wine) to balance the salty and savory components of the soy sauce.

Another interesting aspect is that the marination process can be extended up to a few days, allowing the eggs to absorb even more of the rich, complex flavors. The longer they marinate, the more intense and deep the taste becomes, though the texture of the egg whites may firm up slightly.

Lastly, while Mayak Eggs are typically enjoyed cold or at room temperature, they can also be gently reheated in their marinade and served warm. This slight warming can intensify the flavors and make the dish even more comforting, especially during cooler months.

Key Ingredients

Soy sauce
Green onions
Chili peppers
Sugar or honey
Sesame oil
Sesame seeds
Optional: Rice vinegar, kombu, bonito flakes, or mirin.

Mayak Eggs (Korean Marinated Eggs)

5 from 7 votes


  • 6 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon salt and 1 tablespoon white vinegar (for boiling the eggs)
  • Optional garnishes: chopped green onions, seaweed flakes, sesame oil
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup honey, corn syrup, oligo syrup, or your preferred liquid sweetener
  • 1/4 medium onion, finely diced
  • 1 green onion, finely diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 chili peppers, finely diced
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds


  1. Combine all marinade ingredients in a bowl or container, ensuring thorough mixing to dissolve any sweetener like honey completely.

  1. In a pot of boiling water, add salt and vinegar. Reduce heat to simmer and gently lower each egg into the water. Cook for 6 minutes for soft-boiled eggs (or 10 minutes for hard-boiled).

  2. While eggs cook, prepare a large bowl of ice water. When eggs are done, transfer them immediately to the ice bath to cool completely, about 5-10 minutes.

  3. Gently peel the cooled eggs and place them in the prepared marinade. Seal tightly and refrigerate overnight, or for at least 6 hours, to enhance flavors.

  4. To serve, arrange marinated eggs over rice and garnish with chopped green onions, seaweed flakes, and a drizzle of sesame oil to taste. They also pair wonderfully with noodle dishes. Enjoy your flavorful Mayak Gyeran! ENJOY

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