Soft Boiled Eggs

For years I wanted to try making soft boiled eggs, but for some reason, I thought they were just outside the scope of my culinary skills. Too fancy. Too sophisticated. About 2 years ago, I finally tried for the first time. I remember the whole time I was preparing them, I just knew they’d fail. Even as I cut into them, I knew they would be either overcooked in the middle, or that the whites would be runny. I was wrong.

My first attempt at soft boiled eggs back in ’10. Not too bad for an old Blackberry phone pic.

How to Make the Perfect Soft Boiled Egg

(Note: I’ve never tried steaming them. If I do try it, I’ll update this post. It’s just that boiling has always worked great for me.)

1. Prick the wide end of your eggs. I use a sewing pin. It works fine, and will keep the eggs from cracking. Plus, I think it helps flavor them if you salt the water.

2. Bring to a rolling boil enough water to cover however many eggs you are using, and then some. You want enough water that when you add your cold eggs, it will remain boiling. I use a 4 qt pot for 2-4 eggs, and my 8 qt pot if I’m making more.

2. Salt the water (a teaspoon or so), and add eggs.

3. Gently place the eggs in the boiling water, and boil for 5-7 minutes. I do mine for 6-6..5 minutes. I like the whites to be completely firm, and the yolk to be runny, but not too runny (see the pic above). The yolk needs to be sticky for me to eat it. 5 minutes will leave them very runny, with just the tiniest bit of the whites runny, too. 7 minutes leaves the yolks very soft, sticky and bright, but not very runny at all. I recommend practicing with three eggs. Take one out at 5 minutes, one at 6, and one at 7. Then you can taste and see which one you like best.

4. Immediately submerge the eggs in cold water. This will stop the cooking. Peel and enjoy! If you have an egg holder, you can just peel the top and eat them the fancy way. The way I like to do them is, as pictured above, peeled and sliced in half lengthwise.

****Important Tip: I’ve read that if you are at a higher altitude, add a minute or two, and if you are at sea level, subtract a minute or two. I am in the Midwest at around 10-11,000 feet to give you an idea.

How to Eat Them

I usually make them when I want to stretch my leftovers. Here are some of my favorite things to eat them with:

A plate of market (or garden) fresh mixed greens

Over some mac and cheese

Over leftover stir fry, with either noodles or rice

Over veggies

With leftover rice and cooked greens (my favorite!)

Over Spanish or otherwise flavored rice or a pilaf 

They taste great with almost any sauce or gravy. 

Today, we had them for lunch. We’d had fish tacos last night with blackened Mahi Mahi (pre-seasoned from Costco), avocado, salsa, cheese, and lettuce. I didn’t have any tortillas today, and not really enough fish for all of us, so I chopped the fish up with some leftover rice, put a little salsa, chopped lettuce, and avocado over it, and threw a soft boiled egg on top. It was delicious! 

I hope this helps if you’re like I was, wanting to try  soft boiled eggs, but feeling a little too intimidated. As always, let me know if you make some!

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