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Soft Boiled Eggs/Old School?

My 23 year old son recently asked me how to make a soft boiled egg and how do you eat them. It got me thinking that I haven't had a sb egg since I was a kid.

Picked up some cute little egg cups from Cost Plus for a buck each and had a proper English breakfast of soft boiled eggs and toast points and marmalade this morning. I have forgetten how good they taste with just s touch of S&P. A really good eggy taste that you can't get with fried, scrambled or HB eggs.

Does anyone eat eggs like this anymore???

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  1. Ha! Cute!!! My 27 year old son loves soft-boiled eggs...they really are great. I bring the eggs to a boil, turn off the heat, remove pan from heat and let them sit in the hot water covered for 3 or 4 minutes, that's it. (large eggs)...we don't have any egg cups...I like mine with the whites cooked and the yolks soft, somewhat runny...he likes them soft, whites and yolks, so he gets his at 3 minutes, I get mine at 4 minutes. Times may vary for anyone else out there...it works for us! We usually pair the eggs with a well-toasted English muffin and fresh fruit. Perfect weekend indulgence!

    1 Reply
    1. re: Val

      This is the same method I use. If we forget about it, they're hard boiled, but still good. I have noticed that the farm fresh eggs seem to take slightly longer to become hard boiled, which has worked to our advantage when we're distracted.

    2. Poached eggs are similar, and are more common, i think. Bittman in fact recommends in one of his books making soft boiled eggs rather than poached, because they are easier to make, he says.

      17 Replies
      1. re: cocktailhour

        Marginally easier to make (if you do them properly in a pan instead of those cup doodads), a good bit more difficult to eat neatly, though we never had egg cups when I was a kid. Mom would just butter some toast, tear it up into a bowl, and scoop the egg out onto it. I didn't like hard-boiled eggs at all back then, but I sure loved those things

        1. re: Will Owen

          Buttered toast and thin sliced cheddar. Just a touch of S&P. Mix and eat.

          You all have me craving now.

        2. re: cocktailhour

          I agree, and then you don't have to worry about the shell, although they are lovely to eat with a timy spoon scooping out all that goodness....I prefer them nice and hot, such a fun thing to try to handle. And whomever said before me, they are truly decadent when they're done right.

          1. re: cocktailhour

            I am a self-described egg whore (sorry, but it's true). Poached eggs are my favorite but I admit, I've never had a soft-boiled egg (unless you count the eggs in my ramen at Momofuku Noodle Bar). I'm going to try this. I hate making poached eggs. Mine never look as pretty as what Martha Stewart can do, or the ones I get in a restaurant, and I always end up frustrated. But this soft-boiled egg technique I think I can handle!

            1. re: lynnlato

              Lynn, I love poached eggs too, but my waistline tells me I don't need all that Hollandaise sauce. Yup. No willpower. If I have a poached egg, I can't resist turning it into eggs Benadict.

              But anyway.... You may already be using these tricks, but just in case, here are a few things that help me turn out better shaped poached eggs.

              First off, whether frying or poaching eggs, if you let the eggs come to room temperature, then soak them (uncracked or broken) in a bowl of hot tap water for about three or four minutes before craacking them into the pan helps the shite come back together like they were just laid. In other words, the whites won't wander off exploring the rest of the pan.

              Then I often have a problem with poachedx eggs sticking to the bottom of a pan, so I poach in a non=stick frying pan and butter the pan first, add cold water and bring it to a simmer before adding the eggs.

              Adding either vinegar or lemon juice to the water before intoducing the eggs will also make the white stay put. When I soak eggs in warm water, then cook them in acidulated water, I get pretty good looking eggs.

              It's now nearly quarter to ten and I haven't had breakfast yet, so I'm off to the kitchen. Well, as soon as I decide whether I want poached or soft boiled eggs. <sigh> Decisions, decisions!

              1. re: Caroline1

                Thank you so much, Caroline. You're always good for some good advice. :)

                Of all your advice, the only thing in that list that I do now is the vinegar. And my poached eggs still look sorry. I will heed your suggestions and try again!

                Enjoy your gooey egg breakfast. :)

                1. re: lynnlato

                  It was delicious. I ended up soft boiling them, then foregoing the egg cups in favor of a bowl with some toasted pumpernickel, buttered then broken into bite sized pieces and finally "baptized" with the soft boiled eggs. Oh, and with sea salt and fresh ground black pepper. Amazing how really simple preparations can be so good!

                  LOL! I wonder what the reactions would be if that was served at a dinner party? I guess it would fly if it was served in some exotically shaped white porcelain bowl with buttered toast "fingers" stacked in the middle like Lincoln Logs, then topped with a poached egg drizzled with melted butter and big fat flaky sea salt and a star shaped sprinkling of black pepper dropped on through a stencil.

                  Yeah, but would it taste as good as it does all smushed up for breakfast? '-)

                2. re: Caroline1

                  Some really good tips, thanks . You may also be able to help me with another egg question. I usually make about a dozen hard boil eggs several times a week. Trying to increase my protein thru-out the day. I've got the cooking part down but when I go to remove the shell, I sometime lose a good part of the white of the egg with it while other times, I'm able to easily peel all the shell off and have a perfect egg. Any suggestions or thoughts to why this is happening?

                  1. re: chocolate

                    For me, boiling them for a pretty long time, 20 min. maybe more, seems to make them very easy to peel. I believe the longer cooking time denature the proteing binding the white to the shell, thus making it easier to peel.

                    1. re: chocolate

                      A common problem and a popular question! If you'll enter "peeling hard boiled eggs" in the search engine at the top of this page, it will give you a whole bunch of threads discussing it. Some great tips, some not so great.

                      As for me, I usually bring the water to a full boil, add my eggs, when the water returns to a boil reduce the heat, then simmer for 16 to 20 minutes. Plunge eggs into ice water. When cold enough to handle, then I hit the fat end against the countertop first, the skinny end next, then with my thumbs crack the shell all over, then roll the egg between the palms of my hands and for me the shell "rolls itself off the egg." But I've had people tell me this doesn't work for them. From all the discussions on these boards, I've about concluded success in peeling a hard boiled egg depends entirely on the mood of the egg and whether it likes the person trying to peel it! '-)

                      Good luck.

                      1. re: Caroline1

                        Wow.....thanks. Maybe thats my problem..I'm just not boiling my eggs long enough. . I 've been putting my eggs in cold water and then when the water begins to boil I turn off the heat and cover the pot and leave for 10 min. After the 10 min., I run under the cold water to halt the heating process. Up until recently, I had only left for 8 min before rinsing. A big difference from Rick and yours 16-20 min. I'll try increasing my time, and hopefully that will do the trick. I'm also gonna take a look at some of the other threads on this. Thanks so much...

                        1. re: chocolate

                          To give you a 180° different answer, here's what works for me. Bring water to a boil. In the meantime, poke a hole in one end of the egg using a tack (if you're German you have a special tool for this, but a tack works just fine). Put the eggs in the water and simmer/boil for 8-10 minutes. Take them out of the water and put them in a bowl of ice water for a few minutes.

                          For the eggs you're going to eat now, crack their shells in several places and put them back in the ice water for a minute, then peel. For the others, keep them cold until you eat them, and it's easier to peel if you use the crack-then-soak method.

                          For the time to cook them, I use 8-9 minutes if they started at room temperature, or 9-10 if they started cold.

                          1. re: chocolate

                            Never ever boil an egg! If you do you will end up with rubber in a shell. I wish we could make the word boil go away when referring to cooking eggs. Soft or hard cooked is more accurate. Put ther eggs in a pan and cover with cold water add a few drops of white vinegar, if there is a crack in the egg the vinegar will coagulate the white and it won't form ribbons all over the pan.

                            When the water just begins to break into bubbles on the surface, lower the heat to the lowest setting, or remove from the heat, cover and let stand the desired time. 3-4 mins for soft cooked and 15 mins. for hardcooked. If you are hard cooking to peel you need older eggs. If they are fresh that shell will stick like glue. If you can only get really fresh eggs you can age them quickly by allowing them to sit out at room temperature for about 24 hours. That will equal about a week at cold storage.

                            1. re: Candy

                              And if you poke a tiny hole in each end of the egg, you don't get any cracks at all.

                            2. re: chocolate

                              I should clarify by adding that my "simmer"means the water is just barely shimmering on top. No active bubbles rising from the bottom of the pot!

                              I have no idea how accurate my "home workshop testing" methods are, but by trial and error I seem to have discovered that plunging the eggs into boiling water then grealy reducing the heat seems to center the yolks much the way that steeping a whole egg in warm water before poaching or frying does. When I have put the eggs in cold water and brought them to a boil, its was really easy to figure out whih were the oldest eggs because some of them had the yolks resting against the shell! That's an OLD egg! But I guess it's also possible that the eggs I've plunged into b oiling water and then reduced the heat have been fresher, but I kind of doubt that.

                              The best and most accurate way to cook eggs I've ever had was an old Sunbeam egg cooker from my grandfather. I think it was from the 30s or 50s. You measured the water in the bakalight lid which had markers for soft, medium and hard boiled. Then you poured the water into the cooker, put the lid on, pushed a lever down and when the lever popped up (the cooker boiled dry) my eggs were cooked perfectly. My lever stopped popping back up. <sigh> I think I'm going to have to break down and buy a new one.

                          2. re: chocolate

                            First, I have read on CH and elsewhere that hard-boiling ties up much of the nutritional value and makes it non-digestible. Soft-cooked eggs have more bio-available nutrition - so you might want to research and re-think that.

                            The most important factor in "peelability" is not to use very fresh eggs. Shells are porous and the contents will shrink a bit as the egg ages, so that the membrane separates, making peeling easier. A very fresh egg will sink and a too-old one will float. You want your pre-hardboiled egg to stand upright in water, large end up (that's where the air pocket forms and that's the end to start peeling).

                            1. re: greygarious

                              But have you ever tried to make egg salad with soft boiled eggs? '-)

                    2. I always forget about soft boiled eggs, but I love them. We have a couple of styles of egg cups we got in cheapy variety stores in Paris - along with tiny spoons - and the combo just seem to make the oeuf taste better. Another bonus is cutting toasted white bread into strips for dipping in to the yolk.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: the dog ate my homework

                        When I was little it was a piece of buttered toast cut into strips and they were "Soldiers" I still make them for myself when I have a cold (like yesterday). It's very British, I think, the soldiers I mean...

                        And (being half a brit) SB eggs on toast. Too tired to cook? Eggs on toast is perfect!

                      2. love them, but never make them. they are better than poached for eating on toast! i remember a german hotel buffet that had these, with all sorts of german cold-cuts and great bread and butter. oh, that was fine eatin'.

                          1. Eggs have always been comfort food for me and remind me of my childhood. At least a couple weekend days of the year I make soft boiled eggs. I always add a little pat of butter to the egg when I scoop it into my bowl. Soft Boiled and Egyptian Eggs are still my favorites. For Egyptian Eggs you tear a hole out of the center of a piece of bread and you fry the egg in the hole in the bread (and the piece you tore out). Egg and toast all in one.

                            22 Replies
                            1. re: folprivate

                              Hmm, never heard them called "Egyptian eggs". In my house, these were called hole in the wall eggs. I know I've heard others too, but of course can't remember them right now.

                              1. re: Hunicsz

                                We called it Birdie-in-a-Basket.

                                    1. re: Caralien

                                      Yes, Toad in a hole! I first saw them in a kid cookbook I had from the 60s. Anybody else remember it? Becky Crocker maybe? It had black and white sketches of clean cut boys and girls creating delicious dishes.

                                      1. re: Caralien

                                        I've never heard that dish called toad in a hole. The Toad in a Hole I know is a very different dish. It requires a pound of British link sausages, browned and placed ina baking dish. Yorkshier pudding batter is poured oven the sausages and baked until risen and golden brown. Makes a nice supper dish.

                                    2. re: Hunicsz

                                      I learned to call them "toad in the hole".

                                    3. re: folprivate

                                      Birds Nests for me. A favorite. I like thick Italian bread for me, buttered and cut a hole in the center and put the egg in. It frys but still soft. It is great!

                                      1. re: kchurchill5

                                        Yep, Birds Nests. I introduced my husband to them 27 years ago and he quickly became an addict. I have always used plain white sandwich bread or Pepperidge Farm toasting bread but I think your suggestion of thickly-sliced Italian is really appealing. That's what's for breakfast this Sunday. Thanks!

                                        1. re: Deenso

                                          I think either Pepperidge Farm's Corn Toasting Bread or English Muffin Toasting Bread would be great for this - thanks for mentioning it.

                                          1. re: greygarious

                                            corn toasting bread? i've not seen that! i'll bet it gets nice and crispy.

                                              1. re: greygarious

                                                i found a "thomas" brand corn toasting bread http://thomas.gwbakeries.com/product....
                                                is that it?

                                                these corn toaster cakes look intriguing as well ;-). http://thomas.gwbakeries.com/product....

                                                i didn't realize thomas' is under the same corporate umbrella (george weston bakeries) as arnold, brownberry and stroehman's breads (and entenmann's, boboli, and freihofer's -- a northeast regional bread brand) .

                                                1. re: alkapal

                                                  My bad, alkapal. When I read "toasting bread" in deenso's post my mind went to the Thomas' English muffin and Corn Toasting Bread varieties and I didn't realize deenso'd meant Pepperidge Farm. Both these loaves have smallish, thicker slices than typical sandwich breads. They toast up crisper, too. I once tried the toaster cakes, which are corn-muffin-like, and wasn't crazy about them - it was long ago but I think I found them overly salty.

                                                  1. re: greygarious

                                                    no worries, mate. i did go to my local northern virginia harris teeter grocery and peered high and low for either of the corn bread-y things from thomas. they are not available in this market, according to the (very good) assistant store manager, who looked it up on their computer. dang, i want some of that toasting bread, for sure. (the manager thought it sounded good, too!).

                                                    i learned that the store, however, goes through tons of thomas' english muffins!

                                                    1. re: alkapal

                                                      If there is a Great Harvest Bread franchise near you, they might have English Muffin bread on their rotation. Like the Thomas', it toasts up very crispy. While their excellent whole wheat bread lasts for weeks at room temp, I ruefully learned that the GH EM bread gets very blue and fuzzy very fast unless refrigerated. That doesn't help you with the Thomas' corn stuff but maybe if you pester Harris Teeter enough...

                                                      1. re: greygarious

                                                        i like the thomas' english muffin toasting bread --even if it is wearing a nehru suit and love beads... as long as the suit is not blue and fuzzy. ;-).

                                                        1. re: alkapal

                                                          thomas' "breakfast bread" is the new name....

                                                      2. re: alkapal

                                                        I think bread runs in fashion cycles just like clothing. As far as I can tell, "toasting bread" is now the Nehru suits of the bread world. Haven't seen it in a couple of years, but ciabatta will jump up and bite you at every turn. <sigh>

                                        2. re: folprivate

                                          Egg on a raft per my darling husband

                                          1. re: folprivate

                                            My kids always called them Bullseyes. They look like a target.

                                          2. Prepare as per instructions by others here.

                                            I always have a problem with my wife's method: put the egg into an egg cup large end down; grasp it with the left hand; take the top off with a good swift hack of the butter knife; eat the white from the decap piece; salt and pepper the remainder and then eat with an "egg spoon" cunningly fashioned from stag horn so that it won't tarnish. my problem is that i usually whack my hand "with a good swift hack of the butter knife" or miss altogether.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: DockPotato

                                              Try putting it large-end up. That's where the air pocket, if any, is located. I bash the shell several times aorund the top, then peel off bits of shell until I can fit the spoon in. There are cheap, scissor-type egg cutters that take the top off, and a really expensive thing on amazon wherein a spring-loaded weight snaps down onto the shell to make a circular crack that is then lifted off.

                                            2. I got the craving yesterday and had then for breakfast that day and today along with toasted cornbread and tart plum jam. Incredibly satisfying. I do the 4 minutes off heat as well.

                                              1. Soft boiled eggs, toast and sardines is a common breakfast for us. My question is how do you crack the egg, on the top or bottom? No, the that's Gulliver's Travels. My wife uses a spoon or egg scissors and I use a butter knife w/ a swift side-wise "de-eggitation".

                                                1. Oooh! Ooooh! Ooooh! Soft boiled eggs. My favorite! It's the ONLY way you can cook an egg to perfectly coat a crust of heavily buttered pumpernickel toast and have it taste right. I don't eat them as often as I used to because my sixty year old automatic egg cooker I inherited from my paternal grandfather finally gave up the ghost and doesn't' shut off automatically when the eggs are perfect any more. So I have to use a saucepan to boil them, and I'm not as perfect at timing them as my grandfather's automatic egg cooker was. My egg cups are also ancient, but since they're plain white porcelain, no one knows I didn't buy them yesterday. And I've lost my egg topper, so I have to "decapitate" them with a swift stroke of a table knife just the way my maternal grandfather taught me when I was a little kid.

                                                  I loooooOooOOoOoooOOOoooove soft boiled eggs...!!!

                                                  1. If you're serving them to someone for the first time, better check to see what their done-ness preference is. As for me, being confronted by an egg white that is less than completely solid would ruin my composure.

                                                    1. As a University student I eat these for supper all the time. I call it Eggy dippy fingers. It was one of the only things my Dad would cook when I was little.

                                                      3 Replies
                                                      1. re: Bryn

                                                        I do it about 3 1/2 minutes, the old fashioned way in a pan and I crack them over toast in a bowl, cut it up and eat! NOTHING better and one of my childhood faves. We called them 'toasty eggs'. No fussy egg cup for me. They're so...eggy!

                                                        I also enjoy them mixed in a baked potato. Sounds weird, but it's yummy.

                                                        1. re: Whosyerkitty

                                                          not that weird I've been craving a soft boiled egg on a rare steak with french fries. I don't know what deficiency I have and I am not pregnant, so try and figure that craving out.

                                                          1. re: Bryn

                                                            Sounds like iron. If you start eating ice or other weird things, get your iron levels tested.

                                                      2. I love a poached egg, but if the white is runny ... I run!! I can't handle it. Can't even look at it.but a nice soft poached egg is great and love it many ways.

                                                        1. I not only eat 'em, I love 'em! And here's my guilty pleasure- as they are oozing in my bowl, I add a little pat of butter ( I know, I know...) for just that extra element of flavor...

                                                          ...Is that water boiling yet?...whimper....

                                                          3 Replies
                                                          1. re: NWKate

                                                            hmmmm... Two or three four-minute eggs cracked into a bowl along with a generous pat of butter, salt and pepper, then topped with torn pieces of your favorite toasted bread or English muffin. I thought this was a standard recipe?

                                                            Or maybe this is the kind of thing my cardiologist tells me to avoid? I wonder if there are grass fed chickens that lay eggs with the same good cholesterol benefits as grass fed cattle put into their beef? I need to do some research.... '-)

                                                            1. re: Caroline1

                                                              "recent studies have shown that" eggs do not have all that much effect on cholesterol levels or plaque formation. So go ahead and eat some when you feel like it; you are not putting yourself into an early grave after all.

                                                              1. re: toodie jane

                                                                Happy breakfasts, here I come...!!! '-)

                                                          2. THANKS DBINBEN! Thanks to your post, we had soft boiled eggs, sardines, brie, and gouda on sour dough bread, w/ butter & jam for dessert.

                                                            1. mmm, it's my favorite way to eat eggs! 2 every morning along with a big bowl of oatmeal. You're completely right, SB eggs do have a taste that you don't get with HB, fried or scrambled.

                                                              1. Ahhh!! Egg and dippers!! Love love it and eat them regularly on Sunday mornings. Often accompanies by S&P and a small knob of butter, PLUS hot buttered toast aka the dippers.

                                                                And sometimes a side of sardines mashed with a little vinegar.

                                                                Le SWOON!

                                                                1. There must be a way to attach photos --- but at this hour, it's way beyond me. Maybe in the morning, after I have a boiled egg-----

                                                                  5 Replies
                                                                      1. re: BerkshireTsarina

                                                                        Those are SOOooooOOoooOOoo cute!!! Finger puppets for eggs! '-)

                                                                        1. re: Caroline1

                                                                          In northern Europe they take boiled eggs seriously! A Danish friend found these for us (in Portland, ME, but never mind, it was a Danish store), and our German friend knits tiny cozies like infant caps out of angora for her eggs. Somehow, in laboring to attach the photo, my message about our Salton egg machine disappeared. Simple appliance that produces 6 soft, medium, or hard-boiled eggs, no problem, always reliable, just based on the amount of water you put into the plastic do-hickey measurer that comes with it. Revolutionized my egg-eating life.

                                                                          1. re: BerkshireTsarina

                                                                            we had an egg-cooker when i was growing up. it did poached eggs, too (steamed is more like it...) but it was handy and reliable. the egg's consistency was determined by how much water you put in the base. when the water was gone, your egg was done.

                                                                            and berkshire tsarina, those are clever little cozies. ;-0. look at this link for a smile: http://images.google.com/images?clien...

                                                                            this is one of my favorites: http://blog.craftzine.com/owlcosy10.jpg

                                                                    1. I am very fond of soft-boiled and poached eggs. As a child, I too enjoyed a bowl of torn up buttered toast with a soft (or hard, or however it happened to come out that day) boiled egg chopped up in it with a sprinkle of salt and black pepper! I have recently added another version I can be passionate about...the 65 degree egg! If you do a search, you'll find many articles describing it and how to make it....it's delicious! Esp if you're already a fan of soft-boiled eggs. If you don't like that texture, you won't like the 65 degree egg.

                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                      1. re: MsDiPesto

                                                                        hmmmm... I just Googled "65 degree egg" and got a whole bunch of hits that talk about it being the creation of some French molecular gastronomist (Herve This?), but I think that's wrong. The first I read about eggs cooked at that temperature said it was done by leaving the eggs in a natural hot spring at some ryokan or resort in Japan, and was a great favorite with guests. I suspect French molecular gastronomists may surf the same parts of the web I do.... '-).

                                                                      2. Serve the egg in the cup, and dip asparagus instead of bread, and you got yourself an elegant yet fun vegetable side dish for dinner!

                                                                        1. We still love soft boiled eggs at our house and I even have a nice collection of egg cups. When I was a child growing up in the UK, my mother would always make them with "soldiers". That's just a fancy name for toast cut into long strips in which to dip into the egg. Heaven!!

                                                                          1. It must be a rare indulgence for most Americans because I rarely see egg cups in stores. On the occasion that I do, they are priced like exotic curios. Either way, soft-boiled eggs with buttered soldiers (no crust) and a nice cup of tea remain the height of weekend indulgence for me.

                                                                            5 Replies
                                                                            1. re: JungMann

                                                                              There are literally thousands of them on eBay, and a term for the hobby of egg cup collection: Pocillovy, about which I previously posted. It looks like soft-boiled eggs are more popular in other countries....American nutritionists consigned eggs to the doghouse decades ago and only recently has their reputation improved. I suspect that since it takes a little know-how to soft-boil eggs to the same consistency reliably, it's now a lost art in most kitchens. Kids tend not to like runny eggs so parents may just not want the hassle.

                                                                              1. re: JungMann

                                                                                Ha! Egg cups I've found, but try finding egg spoons -- can't eat soft-boiled eggs with a metal spoon, ruins the flavor-flave. Gotta have plastic, or, if you wanna go fancy ; mother of pearl.

                                                                                Soft-boiled eggs are standard German breakfast fare. I eat an egg almost every day -- fried, with ham & cheddar on toasted bread; or hard-boiled and then sliced on bread, or soft-boiled out of the cup.

                                                                                The only way to crack that egg is to knock it agains your forehead. At least that's what my late father used to do, and that's how I do it.

                                                                                And runny whites..... ugh. That's just sick.

                                                                                1. re: linguafood

                                                                                  A silver spoon will definitely change the flavor of an egg and tarnish the spoon in the using. There are longer handled egg spoons on the market that are stainless and will not alter the flavor. There are also egg scissors made for neatly cutting the top of the egg open. They are also stainless steel and can be found in most any kitchen shop.

                                                                                  1. re: linguafood

                                                                                    If you can't find egg spoons per se, any mother of pearl caviar spoon will work just as well. If you can't find them in a local shop, they're all over the web.

                                                                                    1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                      I bought 8 of them in Thailand, but gave them all to my mom... bummer.

                                                                                      They are pretty easy to come by in Germany. I'll just have to remember to take them along next time '-)

                                                                                2. Ok so this post made me make a soft boiled egg! I have neither an egg bowl not a small spoon. So, I cracked it open like a raw egg on top of toast and got some excellent yolk out of it, but the white was impossible for me to get to. I cooked it for 4 minutes, was hoping for a stiff white, runny yolk. Any tips on how to eat these if you don't have a tiny spoon?

                                                                                  6 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: Rick

                                                                                    You could peel the whole egg carefully. I like to do this for salads.

                                                                                    But seriously, you don't have any small spoons? They don't need to be tiny to work, any tea or coffee spoon will do.

                                                                                    1. re: tmso

                                                                                      re-purpose espresso spoons! (i have some sterling ones i bought at a flea m arket and have never even used them. now i need to have some soft-boiled eggs on toast points. ;-).

                                                                                      1. re: tmso

                                                                                        No way. They gotta be plastic/mother-of-pearl. Metal ruins the egg flavor.

                                                                                        1. re: linguafood

                                                                                          hmm, does silver ruin a hard boiled egg's flavor when you make or eat an egg salad? maybe i'll save that plastic "spork" from kfc! ;-).

                                                                                          1. re: alkapal

                                                                                            i think they might. it's not just silver, but i find that every metal(lic) material screws with the lovely eggy flavor.

                                                                                      2. re: Rick

                                                                                        So Rick, you may get varying recommendations on how to cook a perfect egg. I think it has to do with altitude, among other things. The size of the egg, the thickness of the shell also affect cooking time. I live at nearly 7,000 feet, and I get a perfect soft boiled egg by placing the cold egg in cold tap water and placing the sauce pan (with lid on)over high heat. It takes about 5 minutes to come to a rolling boil, I turn off the heat and time it for 3 minutes. Then I run the egg under cold water to stop the cooking and crack it over toast immediately. The yolk is soft, and the whites, which stick to the shell and need to be coaxed out with a knife, are custardy. You can practice with the timing to get it just the way you like.

                                                                                      3. Has anyone used the egg-timing gadget that's shaped like an egg and goes into the water with the rest of the eggs, with markings to indicate how cooked the egg is? Just wondering how well they work, since I find it hard to get consistent results with SB eggs.

                                                                                        1. wow, i miss this...my molther used to make it in a small cup. Toast at the bottom, egg broken up on top and spinkled with salt andf pepper.

                                                                                          1. We don't with egg cups. The way my husband grew up with them was as a comfort food when he was ill (we NEVER had soft boiled eggs in my family, the joy of these I found when my husband introduced me to them). We soft boil the eggs, then scoop it out into a bowl and crumble up toast into it and smoosh it all up with some salt and pepper. It's lovely. :)

                                                                                            1. Perfect eggs every time! This gizmo weighs the egg and gives "the precise cooking time for a soft, medium or hard boiled egg."


                                                                                              1. I enjoy soft boiled eggs on toast regularly - it's my favorite breakfast. The toast has to be crunchy - a soft egg on Russian olive bread is to die for.

                                                                                                Otherwise, you can crack the egg into a cup, add salt and pepper and a little butter if you like, and dip toast points into it.

                                                                                                I have searched for decent egg cups in stores, but they are too small - more for display. You need to find cups that are large enough to crack the egg into, and dip your toast or spoon into. I have yet to find a new egg cup that works - mine are from earlier times.

                                                                                                6 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: tahoematta

                                                                                                  as children we loved our soft boiled eggs in egg cups! the egg cup was such a fun way to eat our eggs. dipping the bread into the egg was an added bonus. this was almost as fun as eating fried chicken with your fingers.

                                                                                                  1. re: tahoematta

                                                                                                    The egg cups you're looking at are for holding the egg in shell. you remove just the top of the egg and dip toast "soldiers" in through the hole and use a small spoon to dip out egg, as well.

                                                                                                    The first clip in this series of clips shows the method I'm talking about: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JnLyqB...

                                                                                                    There's a whole series done, but the first one shows Tony Hancock with a soft boiled egg and soldiers. :)

                                                                                                    1. re: Morganna

                                                                                                      If you can't find egg cups, a whiskey jigger aka shot glass works very well. Maybe even better, since shot glasses tend to be relatively heavy.

                                                                                                      Soft-boiled eggs served in egg cups seem to be uncommon in America. A lot of people regard them as European peculiarities, like Citroens, jodhpur boots and Bovril.

                                                                                                      1. re: emu48

                                                                                                        These are my favorite kind of egg cups because you can use them either way. They are difficult to find, however.

                                                                                                        1. re: tahoematta

                                                                                                          Pretty cool. Duck eggs are a bit bigger than chicken eggs, turkey eggs a lot bigger. Somebody actually made an egg cup that would work for them. (We ate duck and turkey eggs all the time at our house when I was going through my country hippie phase.)

                                                                                                      2. re: Morganna

                                                                                                        Commercial eggs are too soft-shelled to snip off the top -- they just can't hold up and shell bits get into the egg. If you keep your own chickens, however; or have a source for non-commercial eggs they will not only taste richer, but will have nice hard shells. Otherwise, a small bowl works perfectly well.

                                                                                                    2. I have always liked fried eggs because of the custardy yolk. I've never had soft-boiled, but they seem perfect for me because though I have zero problem eating butter, I don't actually like it with my eggs. I always "hard-boil" my eggs in a steamer basket over boiling water so as to avoid cracking. I looked it up and found you can steam them to the soft-boiled stage in 4 to 6 minutes. I did so, and they white came out just cooked enough and the yolk just runny enough. My problem now is that I will have to find egg cups. I'm going to Macy's this week with coupons in hand and see what Martha Stewart has in her line. I think these will be my go-to on busy mornings; I can steam while making my double latte. Yay!

                                                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                                                      1. re: spirals73

                                                                                                        I grew up eating soft boiled eggs, but we never had egg cups. My mother just cracked off half the shell, ran a teaspoon around the inside, and slid the egg out into a bowl. I haven't made them in years, though it was always my favorite breakfast. I think it's time to try them again.

                                                                                                        1. re: kitchengardengal

                                                                                                          That is how my Grandparents ate them as well. Every Morning but Saturday

                                                                                                        2. re: spirals73

                                                                                                          Recently, I bought two purple Le Creuset ones from Amazon. There were many more types available.

                                                                                                        3. I have to own up to it. This thread made me nostalgic for the soft boiled eggs of my long-ago youth shared early on Saturday mornings with my English grandfather while the rest of the family slept in. Egg cups! We always had egg cups with buttered "soldiers" to dip into the yolks, Dundee marmalade to spread on the "after toast" that followed the eggs along with breakfast tea with milk and sugar, and sometimes some crispy rashers of bacon. Such fond memories!

                                                                                                          So this morning I broke out an egg cup, dug deep into the kitchen gadget drawer and pulled out my egg topper, popped some bread in the toaster, then carefully timed three 4 minute eggs.

                                                                                                          Only one egg made it to the egg cup. The first time I dipped a toast soldier into it, the yolk seriously overflowed the shell, then dribbled down the side of the egg cup and oozed onto the plate. Yuck! That egg went into a nice white china chili bowl, along with its two pals, a dollop of butter, some sea salt and freshly ground tellicherry black pepper. And a side of buttered toast as the soldiers retired! It was delicious.

                                                                                                          So much for the nostalgia of egg cups! But they do add a nice touch to the china cupboard. I think mine are about 40 years old, Maybe in another 40 years they'll get another shot at holding an agg... '-)

                                                                                                          1. This thread is making me oh so hungry. I've seen several interviews with Michael Pollan where hosts will ask "How can you convince people to spend $5 on a dozen eggs at a farmers market, when you can get the eggs for far less as the supermarket." He always replies that he thinks two fresh, soft-boiled, local eggs make one of the most affordable and delicious meals one can enjoy. I'm so hungry now!

                                                                                                            5 Replies
                                                                                                            1. re: JeremyEG

                                                                                                              Great with fresh spinach & new potatoes.

                                                                                                              1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                That sounds delicious. :)

                                                                                                              2. re: JeremyEG

                                                                                                                That doesn't work for me. I get fresh, local eggs from a supermarket at $4 to $4.50 and the nearby farmers' market wants $7 or so.

                                                                                                                1. re: GH1618

                                                                                                                  Wow - that's insane. The most expensive eggs at our farmers market are $3.75.

                                                                                                                  1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                    There may be less expensive ones if I shopped around. But I rarely go to a farmers' market anyway. In recent decades supermarkets have gotten a lot better, so finding better eggs at my regular stores has not been a problem. There are many choices. Safeway, the largest supermarket in my region. Is an exception. Although they have large stores and generally a large selection in nearly every category, for some reason they have very little choice in eggs beyond their mass market house brand.