Korean Sauna Eggs 찜질방 맥반석 계란

Monday, December 20, 2021

Korean sauna egg (brown egg). Jjimjilbang egg.

Korean Sauna Eggs 

But Laura, why are you holding a brown boiled egg? And also, why is your boiled egg brown and not white? My friends, this is not just some regular boiled egg. It is a Korean 찜질방 (jjim-jil-bahng, sauna) egg (also known as huevos haminados). Two weeks ago at Korean School, one of our Korean teachers brought a dozen of these Korean sauna eggs! And I cannot tell you how delicious they were! The last time I had these eggs I was in Korea at a jjimjilbang years ago.

So, Why Are the Eggs Brown?

When eggs are put under high-pressure cooking, the small amount of sugar that is in the egg will go through what's called a milliard reaction. A chemical reaction occurs causing the whites of the egg to turn brown. It doesn't mean that the egg went bad, just slightly changes the flavor and possibly the texture a little bit.

Calling All K-drama Fans!

For all you K-drama/K-pop watchers, I am sure that you have come across seeing these brown eggs before where actors, actresses, or celebrities eat this brown sauna egg. When I think about these jjimjilbang eggs, I always think of the K-drama, The Legend of the Blue Sea. If you have watched this K-drama before, then you must've watched Shim Cheong, played by Jun Ji-Hyun, eat these sauna eggs at a jjimjilbang.

Legend of the Blue Sea Shim Cheong eating a sauna egg(Jun Ji-Hyun)
Screenshot from The Legend of the Blue Sea on Viki

I remember watching this scene the first time and craving it so much which is why it left a lasting memory in my head. 

Legend of the Blue Sea Shim Cheong hitting a sauna egg on her head (Jun Ji-Hyun)
Screenshot from The Legend of the Blue Sea on Viki

In Korea, there is this "game" where Koreans will crack these eggs on each others' heads. I don't know about you but I definitely wouldn't like someone hitting a hard-boiled egg on my head. 

But anyway, the taste of these jjimjilbang eggs is a little different than your regular white-boiled eggs. Honestly, it's hard to really pinpoint out the taste but nutty would be the closest description I can give you. My daughter is a big fan of boiled eggs so I gave her one to try. She took one bite and out it came. She apparently didn't like it very much. 

I ended up eating 5 of these eggs that day. I know, it's CRAZY but really, they're that good! So, I looked up a bunch of recipes on the internet and followed Instant Pot's Recipe for Korean sauna eggs because it was given high reviews. I'll give you my honest review of this recipe. 

It wasn't what I was looking for. Yes, they came out brown and a little nutty, but it was definitely not the taste of jjimjilbang sauna eggs. It was missing a lot of the nutty flavor and it was a little bit too soft. Korean sauna eggs are very dense compared to what I was tasting.

After I pressure-cooked the eggs, I had my kids do a mukbang (eating show) together which is on YouTube now. It seems as though, Caleb was the biggest fan of these eggs. 

I will be trying a different method to get that perfect jjimjilbang egg so make sure to visit back here in the future for an update on how my second attempt goes.

Have you ever tried Korean sauna eggs? Do you prefer them over regular white boiled eggs? Would love to hear from you!

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