Thursday, March 05, 2009

Recipe: Perfect Soft-Boiled Eggs



I used to think making soft boiled eggs were so difficult - in fact, I was so bad at making soft boiled eggs, I used to go all the way to Himawari Ramen in San Mateo just to get my fix of soft boiled eggs.

This is no longer the case!

We have been enjoying perfectly cooked soft-boiled eggs for a year or so now - and it is literally perfect each time as long as we follow this very simple recipe. The key is in the timing, so a timer is definitely a necessity.

Here is how it goes:

1. Place cold eggs in a pan or pot with apx 1 cm of cold water. Yup, that's right, the eggs will not be fully immersed in the water. One cm deep of water is plenty for this method. Put the lid on the pan/pot and don't take it off until the very last step.
2. Bring water to a boil on High Heat.
3. As soon as the water boils, turn heat down to Medium.
4. Cook at Medium Heat for 4 min.
5. Immediately after these 4 min, remove from heat and let eggs sit in hot water, 3 min.
6. Quickly chill eggs in cold water briefly to cool down the eggs for easy peeling.
7. Peel and enjoy!

I swear by this recipe. As long as the timing is followed carefully, the eggs come out extremely consistently. The decadent creaminess of the soft boiled yolk is beautifully maintained while the outside white is firm enough to contain the goodness.

Needless to say, I have not had those violent urges to head over to San Mateo in a while!

***The original recipe/idea was found in Japanese here. We shortened the cooking time to modify the recipe to soft-boiled eggs from hard-boiled eggs.

22 comments:

The Papa Bear said...

Eggs were not my favorite food/snack ... until this recipe.

Don't forget to keep the lid on, however.

Kevin said...

This looks just like onsen tamago! I'll be sure to give it a try someday - thanks a lot, Alice. =D

Gourmet Mama said...

I`ll have to try this method. I`m not a big fan of eggs, but my husband likes them soft-cooked and I`ve never mastered it. He`ll be thrilled to have soft boiled eggs. :)

The Papa Bear said...

I think onsen tamago preparation gives the opposite effect - harder yolk with (very) soft white.

anne said...

Ooh, looks delicious. I've been wanting to make soft-boiled eggs ever since I had a deep-fried one at SPQR. My brother attempted it but the yolk didn't stay runny. I'm not allowed to experiment in the kitchen until I file my dissertation though, so this may need to wait until June...

dawn said...

I love eggs..eggs are my favorite.

maybelle's mom said...

Soft boiled eggs really are the best.

tse said...

I tried this method 3 times and I failed for 3 times, I followed the exact procedures and I don't know what went wrong. I did not keep the lid on though, is that necessary? How long do I need to let the egg chill in the cold water? I am longing for a perfect soft boiled egg for so long!

Alice said...

Oh, yes, very important detail! The lid needs to stay on the entire time!

You can take the eggs out of the fridge and use it right away, but it's absolutely critical to keep the lid on, since it basically works by steaming the eggs.

Anne, Good luck with your dissertation! I hope it's done!

Thanks, Tse. I will modify the recipe to reflect that.

J. said...

I found your delicious blog when searching for my favorite Sumika Grill. I crave the Sumika salad and the chicken with ume and shiso.

My brother just gave me a shiso plant, a mizuna plant, and one other that I don't know the name of, but recognize the taste, I think.

Do you know how they make the salad dressing at Sumika?

J.

Anonymous said...

My question is: How can I tell when the water is boilign if the lid is on?

Anonymous said...

I wonder, is it 1cm of water before or after the eggs are in it. As the eggs naturally ad volume when put into the water.

Nikko said...

Thanks for the tips - Ive never been successful at making soft boiled eggs but I'm going to give your tips a try!

Frankbones said...

I live in Denver, where the boiling temperature is lower. The soft boiled works pretty much as you explain it--but add an extra minute on high heat. And for hard-boiled eggs, I have to leave the boil for 7 full minutes. (Nice blog)

Richard said...

Fantastic!!! I have been trying to make these kind of eggs for a while to no avail. I slightly overcooked them when I tried this recipe, but basically it worked as advertised! The final trick after peeling is to soak the peeled eggs in a cold bath of strong katsuo dashi with a bit of soy sauce for 10 mins (or more), and then they have the authentic flavor of those runny yolk eggs in Japanese ramen shops.

Des Moines workers compensation said...

This looks amazing! I've always liked the yolk a little runny so that other things can soak up the flavor. Thanks for the tips.

huang said...

hi, i was just cooking noodles this afternoon and wanted to add some soft boiled eggs, so I googled 'soft boiled eggs ramen' and found you, and now I am sitting in front of my computer with perfect eggs in my noodles. :) thank you.
ps. i believe true onsen tamago is marinated, the eggs after peeling are left to sit in a mix of of tea and soya sauce in a bag for several hours, which changes its texture futher...?

Jessica said...

HOLY CRAP. I JUST MADE IT LIKE 5 MINUTES AGO AND IT TURNED OUT AMAZING! BEST RECIPE EVER. LEGIT. :]

wine cellar said...

This looks really good. I love the egg, sounds like I know what I'll have for lunch!

Tricia said...

I have been looking high and low for this recipe ... have tried many-many others and failed!

Just made it for my son ... he loves it! Asking for more!!!

Thank you!!!

strand woven bamboo flooring said...

I think my daughter will love this cause she like boil egg...will try it and look whether she like it this way or not.

alice.vaughn@gmail.com said...

My eggs were perfect. Thanks for the great recipe.