Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Soft-Boiled Eggs

For years I avoided soft-boiled eggs because I thought they were runny. I don't like runny egg yolk - just a weird quirk of mine.  Then I saw a photo on The Kitchn of congee with an egg that I suddenly realized was soft-boiled and I wanted to eat it.

So I made congee in my slow cooker overnight.  It's 1 cup of rice cooked very slowly for hours in lots of liquid until it makes porridge.  I had heard of it before and was curious.  We weren't crazy about it.  I think it falls under the comfort-foods-you-have-to-grow-up-with-to-love category.



I served the congee for breakfast with a softboiled egg on top.  Suddenly I knew what people were talking about when they said "two-minute eggs" (all those British novels, all these years - now I know!).  Turns out, I really like two-minute eggs; I think softboiled eggs can be even runnier, though, right?
  The way I made my soft-boiled eggs was to start as if making hardboiled eggs:  cold eggs in cold water to cover over low-medium heat.  When they came to a gentle boil, I timed the soft-boiled eggs for 2-3 minutes (for hardboiled eggs, I turn off the heat and let the eggs sit undisturbed for 15 minutes).



This was also over the time that Ben was just recovering from the yuck, and he was quite pleased to have an egg and a slice of white toast, homemade whole wheat toast being a bit too rough for his stomach yet.  I boiled his solitary egg in a tiny little pot from a cooking set my mother-in-law got for the children (from Ikea, I think).  And I was glad for all my odd little saucers, ramekins, limoncello glasses, and espresso cups to serve him tiny portions in adorable style.


He's now back to regular boy eating and stayed at the table a full 30 minutes after the rest of us at lunch today, eating and eating and eating.  He cleaned up a bunch of leftovers for me.  I love it.

14 comments:

Steve Finnell said...

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Dianna said...

I love soft-boiled eggs, and I like them runny! But not too runny—the egg white has to be set. I like my poached eggs the same way.

I also love them at the halfway point you pictured here, which is how I usually cook them as a compromise between how the grown-ups like them (soft) and the kids like them (hard). I'm definitely less of a fan of fully hard-boiled eggs, although they're all right if perfectly fresh and still hot.

Zoë said...

I like my soft boiled eggs runny. I scoop the egg out of the shell and plop it onto a piece of chopped up, well-buttered toast. I think you just inspired tomorrow's breakfast!

Hazel said...

Boiled eggs with runny yolks and toast soldiers. With butter and Marmite. Mmmm. May need to have that for breakfast tomorrow...

I cook my eggs like your soft boiled ones, Margo, if I'm going to slice or chop them. I don't like the yolks to be runny then- too messy!

Margo said...

so, to get a runny yolk, how do I do that? Just bring the eggs to a boil and take them out? All this talk of buttered toast makes me think maybe I should try again to love runny yolks! And that would also give me the perfect reason to acquire eggs cups. How divine: egg cups.

Victoria said...

I've never had a soft boiled egg, but for a period in my 20's I really had a thing for toast and sunny side up eggs... very runny yokes! Have you ever had a coddled egg? That's a English thing, too. I believe that technically the egg is suppose to be soft boiled when cooking it in an egg coddler, but we always cook ours well done. The great thing about coddled eggs is you can add different things... cheeses and herbs, etc. in with the egg... very yummy! (Now I'm hungry for eggs!)

nancy said...

I like my yolks runny as long as the white are done. Glad the little guy's feeling better! I think I'd skip the green onions for breakfast and throw some fruit on top though :)

Margo said...

Victoria, I've cracked eggs into buttered ramekins and added a bit of cream and cheese and then baked them - I think some people refer to those as coddled or shirred eggs. They're delicious! Blogged here: http://thriftathome.blogspot.com/2010/10/school-morning-breakfasts.html

AmyK said...

I really like soft boiled eggs where the yolk is runny, but the white is firm. The best way to eat them is from an egg cup (no joke!). You use a table knife to slice off a small bit of the top of the egg, then you use a small dessert spoon (think tiny teaspoon)to scoop out the egg. If you sprinkle some salt on the egg as you eat it, it's really good. I first learned to eat them this way in Germany. It's what we had for breakfast every Sunday morning.

Here's how I do it:
Put cold eggs in cold water. Bring to a boil. Remove pan from heat immediately and leave eggs in hot water for 2 minutes. Remove from hot water. Place in basket and keep covered with a tea towel until ready to eat.

It can be tricky to get the egg just right, so make sure you set a timer and can get the eggs out soon enough. Sometimes it still doesn't work out right for me, but as long as I get a little runny yolk, I'm pretty happy.

Good luck!

jenny_o said...

When I was very little, my father worked at an egg hatchery and we could have as many eggs as we liked. I couldn't/wouldn't eat them. I can remember gagging while trying to.

Now that I am older, I love eggs in so many forms. Reading all the comments has made my mouth water! Boiled, fried, scrambled, omelette, poached, quiche ... mmm

I'm so glad your son is feeling back to normal. He had quite a long session of that bug.

Sew Blessed Maw said...

So happy Ben is feeling better and eating ,as usual again..Always makes a mama feel better too.
I have to confess.. I am one of those people who..."CAN NOT" eat a soft boiled egg..I am so bad, that I will not eat eggs at any ones house.. I have to have my eggs hard [as hubby would say, she wants them burnt!" lol

Zoë said...

I get my runny yolks by boiling some water and then dropping the eggs in. Depending on how many eggs I drop in, I set the timer for 7 or 8 minutes (more eggs cool the water down...also depends on if your eggs were cold or room temperature to begin with).

I blogged about it here if you want to read it:

http://zoedawn.wordpress.com/2010/12/15/soft-boiled-egg/

Anonymous said...

I detest runny yolks also, but 2 minutes doesn't seem long enough to cook them so they're not runny. Do you let them set a while with the cover on top too? For how long?

Margo said...

Anon, the eggs you see in the photos were cold eggs placed in cold water and brought to a gentle boil, then boiled for 5 minutes. The next time I did them, I reduced the boiling time to 2 minutes and liked the softness (but not gooey!).

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