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What will happen if I fry an egg in soy sauce instead of oil? Has this been done before?

I am aware soy sauce is not a fat thus not ideal for this task, but I am interested to hear your thoughts..

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    it'll be incredibly salty and unedible. Also, by definition frying is done in fat, in water based liquid it's called poaching. The main difference between these two type of liquid is the boiling point. Water cannot reach further that 100c under normal atmospheric pression. If you add more energy water will just evaporate faster. With fat you will reach burning point (oil will start to smoke) before boiling point. – P. O. Jun 12 '14 at 18:14
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    It'd be a poach, not a fry ... and likely horribly salty, as Jo has mentioned. – Joe Jun 12 '14 at 18:16
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    It's not exactly what you're talking about, but it's probably a lot better. You might look into ajitsuke tamago – SourDoh Jun 12 '14 at 18:20
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As the comments note, this hasn't been done before because by definition, it's not frying. Frying always involves cooking with a liquid fat. This is a bit like asking what happens if you boil something in bacon grease. You can do something similar, but technically it's not quite the same thing.

Terminology aside, you will probably want to use only a very small amount of soy sauce - too much, and you'll wind up tasting pure salt. I think you might have trouble getting this evenly distributed with straight soy sauce, so consider diluting with 1-2 parts water as well before you add to the pan (which would make this a good candidate for Jolene's method). You'll also probably still want to have some fat in the pan for the flavor it will add and to help reduce sticking.

  • You don't have to immerse the egg in liquid, just put a splash in the pan. It's really not that crazy. – Cascabel Jun 12 '14 at 18:56
  • @Jefromi I suppose you're right - from the term "fry in" I'm imagining coating the pan in soy sauce, the same way you would with oil, but that's my bias. I still think you'd have to be pretty careful with overall amount. I'll edit a bit. – logophobe Jun 12 '14 at 19:13
  • Coating the pan in a thin layer of liquid doesn't take much, though, maybe up to a couple tablespoons for a big pan. It sounded like you were thinking of deep-frying (analogous to poaching), not shallow-frying. A tablespoon of soy sauce has about the same amount of salt as ~3/8 tsp of salt, so I agree it might be too much but if you're careful it sounds very reasonable. – Cascabel Jun 12 '14 at 19:19
  • And Jolene's method is pretty much what I was thinking of as analogous to shallow-frying. We used to call it "eggs in pajamas" when I was a kid (since they end up with that thin layer of cooked whites over the top), not sure if there's a real name. – Cascabel Jun 12 '14 at 19:21
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    Thank you for the responses. I know that frying is not the correct terminology here, hence the quotation marks. Anyway, I made eggs in soy sauce this morning diluted in two parts water. It was delicious! – jII Jun 13 '14 at 4:16

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