If you’ve been to an onsen resort in Japan, you’ve probably tried onsen tamago, eggs slow-cooked to runny perfection in the nutrient-rich waters of local hot springs. While the unusual texture and reported health and beauty benefits make these immensely popular with visitors, nobody has thought to capture and reproduce the flavour of hot spring eggs. Until now.

Curious for a taste, we went hunting and picked up a bag of the limited-release chips. Would they have a pungent, sulphur-like aroma? Or could this be as refreshing as a dip in onsen waters? Come with us as we find out!

The interesting science behind onsen tamago have made them famous in both professional and household kitchens around the world. The eggs are made by slow-cooking them in their shells at 70 degrees Celsius. Because the whites and the yolks harden at different temperatures, the heat firms the egg white just enough so it’s soft and silky while the egg yolk retains the texture and colour of a raw yolk.

Onsen egg

Well-known potato crisp company, Yamayoshi, has captured the taste of this unusual delicacy, releasing the new flavour on in mid-April at 150 yen (US$1.25) a pop. This special release is limited for sale at convenience stores nationwide.


▼ Even if customers can’t read the bold kanji characters that spell out “Onsen Tamago“, the prominent onsen mark on the packaging is sure to rouse interest.


The blurb on the back of the packet explains that the flavour of onsen tamago, familiar to children and adults alike, has finally been realised in potato crisp form. Please enjoy the taste of hot spring egg in dashi broth!


And, because it’s Japan, why not have a cow as the poster animal for the slow-cooked chicken egg? Here the chilled-out bovine is relaxing in a milky onsen, towel on head, and holding up one of the famous hot spring eggs.


And now to the chip itself. While it looks like any other thinly sliced potato crisp, this packs a mouthful of flavour, with the salty dashi broth taking centre-stage. Searching beyond the sauce flavour, there’s an underlying, subtle taste of creamy egg yolk. It’s like a spoonful of onsen tamago, only in crispy, potato-chip form!


If you’re curious to get a taste of this new release, be sure to check out the shelves at your local convenience store. It took us a few trips to track them down, but it was well worth the effort. Onsen tamago is definitely a flavour worth looking for!

Source: Yamayoshi Seika Co., Ltd.
Images: Yamayoshi Seika Co., Ltd.Takahiro Mashiko