It seems that only the Japanese eat raw eggs on a daily basis. It is common for Japanese to eat rice with a raw egg and soy sauce stirred in. It is also very common to dip sukiyaki meat into a beaten raw egg, or mix natto with raw egg. Let’s look at why Japanese people do this.

Do raw eggs have more nutrition than cooked eggs?

Maybe raw eggs have more nutrition than cooked eggs?! Lets explore this hypothesis by trying to compare the nutritional value in the three stages of eggs cooking.

Raw egg

Vitamin B which is contained in the egg is a water-soluble basis vitamin and the nutritional value decreases when cooked. You can absorb all the vitamin B if you eat eggs raw.

Well then, maybe this is the reason. However, let's also check out cooked eggs.

Half-cooked egg

It is said that the absorption ratio of egg protein is 97% when the egg is in a semi-cooked form (such as a soft-boiled egg, etc). It is recommended for people with poor digestion since the digestion and absorption efficiency are better compared to other methods of eating.

Oh? That sounds better than a raw egg, right?

Hard-boiled egg

Since the egg yolk is well-cooked, the texture and sense of it being filling both increases, and so it is suitable for those who are on a diet. While the vitamin B value is slightly reduced,  there's no need to worry about salmonella or other bacteria because the egg yolk is well cooked.

So the conclusion is.... it is unlikely we can say that raw eggs have higher nutritional value.

There is only one reason why the Japanese eat raw eggs!

Raw eggs have no more nutritional value and no dietary benefit compared to cooked eggs. Since we still couldn’t find out a scientific answer, we decided to ask 20 Japanese members of the FUN! JAPAN Team the reason they eat raw eggs.

Unfortunately, no single specific reason emerged from the interviews. So there's only one possible reason. Because it is delicious. That’s all.

In fact, most of the foreign staff of the FUN! JAPAN Team who have lived in Japan for a long time also like to eat raw eggs. A typical comment is; "I didn't know how delicious raw eggs tasted when I was in my country because we don't have the habit of eating them."

Furthermore, our research into this matter suggests that Japan is the best in the world in terms of maintaining hygiene and quality control of eggs.

Hygiene management begins with the feed for chicks

Japanese use highly safe feed for chicks that have just hatched. The eggs produced from the chickens raised in this way are collected, graded (sorted), and packed.

Strict quality control for washing, examining, and sorting eggs

The eggs are packed in the container without being touched by human hands. All eggs go through many strictly managed stages before they are sold at the stores under full hygiene control.

Japan-specific rules

Eggs in Japan have a “best before date” but have no “expiry date”. With thorough hygiene management, even well after the “best before date”, eggs are safe to eat as long as they have been kept in the fridge and cooked. 

What do you think after reading this article? Please try raw eggs when you come to Japan. You might become addicted!