Add Mirin To Your Scrambled Eggs For A Touch Of Sweetness

If you ask home cooks what their favorite scrambled egg method is, you'll probably get a wide variety of answers. Some swear by adding milk or cream and whisking the eggs away, while others crack their eggs directly into the pan prior to scrambling. But have you ever tried adding in mirin for a bit of sweetness and tang? Luckily, you just need a half teaspoon of mirin, the Japanese sweet rice wine, per egg to accentuate the taste of your next egg scramble.


A staple ingredient in Japanese cuisine, mirin is used in a variety of cooking applications, including marinades and teriyaki sauce. And the condiment is no stranger to eggs; most notably, mirin is added in, along with soy sauce and a touch of sugar, to make a signature Japanese rolled omelet dish called tamagoyaki. While the dish is enjoyed in both sweet and savory preparation, mirin's taste imparts both sweet and umami elements (read: funky) due to its fermentation. If you've had ramen, the eggs that top the rich broth are typically marinated in a combination that includes soy and mirin too, for an extra flavor depth.

Mirin adds a subtly sweet tang

Mirin is made by fermenting rice and shochu (a distilled spirit) with koji, a culinary mold used to make various Japanese foods like soy sauce and miso paste. The resulting sweet rice wine's taste packs a nice balance of sweetness, tartness, and fermented goodness. This makes it perfect for use in cooking.


When added to Japanese tamagoyaki, mirin adds a hint of sweetness that complements the creamy, richness of the eggs. Though tamagoyaki is typically cooked in thin rolled layers in specific rectangular pans, it is possible to give a nod to this signature Japanese dish when making your next morning breakfast scrambled eggs. Just add in your half teaspoon of mirin — yes, this small amount will do — per egg and scramble the whole thing together. Since mirin adds tart sweetness, it also helps to add a sprinkle of salt or a dash of soy sauce to the mix to create the ideal sweet-savory balance.

Get creative with your next egg scramble

To taste the inspiration for this sweet rice wine addition, you might be curious to seek out a Japanese restaurant that has tamagoyaki or try your hand at making the rolled egg omelet on your own. However, to add mirin to your next batch of scrambled eggs, you can simply incorporate it with your cream (and any salt or soy sauce), then whisk the whole mixture together and cook it. Some tamagoyaki recipes also call for dashi or Japanese soup stock. So, if you have it on hand (or have the time to make it), you can add a small amount to your egg mixture too. 


To start, though, keep things subtle and add just enough mirin to taste the difference (half a teaspoon per egg). You can always increase the amount up to 1 teaspoon per egg in future egg scrambles. If you want to up the sweetness further, add in a dash of sugar or honey — just like with the mirin, a little will go a long way. You could even add in a pinch of ginger or nutmeg to impart some warm spice. Once your eggs are scrambled and cooked, remove them from the heat and top them with toasted sesame seeds or togarashi, a blend of spices including chili peppers, sesame seeds, and nori. This will accentuate the tangy, sweet, and umami flavors from the mirin.