Thursday, February 21, 2013

Egg Basics - SOFT BOILED

Soft by Angie Ouellette-Tower for photo 010-5_zps0cea65cb.jpg

Egg Basics - SOFT BOILED

On this blog I have reserved Thursdays for "Beginners." For the next few months (on Thursdays) we will be concentrating on the Basics of Eggs. (I know that many of my readers are experienced cooks but there are just as many readers who are new in the kitchen and might desire some simple instruction on the basics).

Eggs are wonderful and so versatile! - - - They can be boiled, fried, poached, scrambled, deviled..........etc.   Many people have never had a soft boiled egg but this is actually one of my favorite ways to eat an egg. Today we will be learning how to cook a perfect soft boiled egg  - if you prefer the egg soft instead of runny  don't worry - I will give you those instructions also.

There is a controversy over the egg yolk - many people only eat egg whites and believe that the yolk is too fatty. I am from the opposite school of thought - I believe that the yolk is the healthiest part of the egg. The Yolk contains all of the fat-soluble vitamins like A, E & K & the yolk is one of the few foods that naturally contains vitamin D, the yolk also has lutein (good for the eyes), and is a good source of lecithin. (again - I'm not a doctor - please see my "disclaimer" at the bottom of this post).
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Opa & Me

My Opa (Grandpa in German) was a carpenter and he made these sleek & modern looking egg cups out of wood (see picture below).  He made them years & years ago (probably in the '60's).  The first soft boiled egg that I ever ate was in these egg cups while I was sitting in my grandparents' dining room - I remember that room clearly:  it was open to the living room which had that textured wallpaper in gold with raised brown felt and the dining room windows were clad with dark olive green velvet curtains that draped to the floor (Oh the 1970's!!).  And you can't forget about the Berber carpet that they kept from the 60's.  I fell in love with soft boiled eggs that first taste when I was 4 years old.
My grandfather lives on in my memory through his handy work - these Egg Cups sit on display in my China Cabinet (when I'm not using them of course).

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Step 1: Fill a medium size saucepan with cold water (when I say fill - leave at least 2 inches head space - you might need to pour out some water after you add the eggs - you don't want the water to boil over)
Step 2: Gently place the uncooked eggs into the cold water in the saucepan
Step 3: Place the pan on medium heat and bring the water to boil.
Step 4: As soon as the water begins to boil - set your timer for 3 minutes & 30 seconds exactly (this amount of time will cook the white but leave the yolk runny) (If you don't like a runny yolk & just want it soft then boil for 1 extra minute).
Step 5: After the desired time (3.5 minutes or 4.5 minutes - see step 4)- Immediately remove the egg(s) from the hot water & place in a bowl with cold water.
Step 6:  Take the egg(s) out of the water and place in an egg cup.
Step7:   Lightly tap the top of the egg with a knife (as seen below)

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Step 8:  Take off the top of the egg, salt the egg & eat with a spoon.


soft by Angie Ouellette-Tower for photo 009_zps83fe40cd.jpg
1.  Runny Yolk but Whites are solid (boil for 3.5 minutes)

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2.  Yolk is soft not runny (boil for 4.5 minutes)
Many "experts" will say that you can soft boil an egg between 1 to 3 minutes but I find that if it is boiled for anything less than 3 minutes and 30 seconds then the egg white is runny -
I only want my yolk to be runny - NOT the egg white.

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  1. I haven't had a soft boiled egg in like...forever! my late sister loved them. your Opa was very talented, I love handturned wood.

  2. Your grandfather did wonderful work! I don't think I've ever had a soft boiled egg to be honest. Thanks for sharing!

    Visiting from Blogging Buddies

  3. I haven't ever had a soft boiled egg. Actually, I've never even SEEN a soft boiled egg before. I'm not a great cook; I can bake (most of the time), but cooking is more difficult for me. So I love your Thursday "Beginners" posts. =0)

  4. I remember my Grandmother taking the top of the egg off for me when I was younger. Thank you for posting this. I am now following you from the GYB hop! I look forward to seeing what else you are up to.

    I have a link party, In and Out of the Kitchen, it is for recipes, crafts, DIY projects and etsy shops. It begins on Mondays at 7:00 p.m. EST. I would love it if you would drop by and share!

    Cynthia at

  5. What an excellent post! I love it, I remember my father always eating soft boiled eggs in little egg cups. I still have some of them... very ukranian looking cups!
    PS....I love the couch!!
    Great post!

  6. I've been cooking for many years but I loved this post. Everything is clearly photographed! Very nice. would love to have you share this at What to do Weekends also. Linda

  7. I recently saw a device you could put in the water with your eggs that shows the stages the eggs go through - soft, medium, etc. but I don't feel like using a device for that!

    My mother taught me to boil the water first and then add the egg. Of course it should be at room temperature so as not to break and boil exactly 5 minutes. I think it is pretty much the same as adding it to cold water and boiling for about 3 minutes.

    But I am intrigued now and I will try your suggestion too!

  8. Very useful knowledge as eggs are tricky things to cook in their shells, one never knows if the insides are going to be soft and delectable or too firm and rubbery.
    I love the wooden egg cups, I have a pair similar that I purchased when I lived in Trinidad in the West Indies and they are also only used for display.

  9. Hello and thank you for stopping by my blog. I'm already a follower even if I don't comment, I like the recipes you share ;)

    Sparkle from

  10. I love egg cups. We used to have one with my daughters name on it...where oh where did it go :( It must have been lost.

    THanks for linking up with us on the photo Friday blog hop.

  11. Very interesting! Never saw eggs cooked this way before. Thanks for sharing at A Humble Bumble :)

  12. I have been wanting to try a soft boiled egg after watching Nigella Lawson enjoy one on one of her shows! Now I know how to do it and will definitely have to try. Thanks for the info.

    Kerry from Country Living On A Hill


Please feel free to leave comments or questions (no question is ever stupid) - They will show up on the blog once I have read through them.
Thank You.

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