This recipe assumes the eggs have been refrigerated and have just been removed from the refrigerator before beginning.
You really need only about 1/2-in. (more than a cm) of water above the eggs for this to work well, but I find that some amount of water will escape as vapor while it is boiling and waiting for eggs to be deposited. Depending on how often you check on the pot, water loss can be substantial, so try to make sure you have at least an inch of water over the eggs before you start.
Remove the eggs from the water and place the pot (with its lid on) onto the burner on medium-high to bring to a boil. The water is ready once it reaches a rolling boil (large bubbles rising cause the surface of the water to tumble and roll).
In the original article I wrote, the eggs were placed into the water and boiled for 5 minutes before being shocked in ice water. After more testing with another couple dozen eggs, I'm now advocating the following method:
Once the water is boiling, place refrigerated large eggs into the boiling water, cover, and remove the pot from the heat. Allow the eggs to steep in the nearly boiling water for seven minutes.
As soon as seven minutes are up, remove the eggs and place into an ice water bath. This will chill the exterior of the egg serving two purposes. When rapidly cooked, eggs, like most dense foods, do not heat evenly. The outside portions of the egg (the egg whites) are much hotter than the interior (the egg yolk). By shocking the shell with ice water, we lower the temperature of the egg whites to a temperature below that of the egg yolk and this causes the egg yolk to stop cooking. Otherwise, the yolk would continue to draw heat from the whites and raise its temperature while the egg white temperature lowered resulting in overcooked egg yolks.
The other reason for shocking the eggs is that it causes a little bit of shrinkage in the egg, hopefully making it easier to peel.
After about 1 minute, peel the eggs. I find it easiest to do this by tapping the egg lightly (just enough to crack the shell) all over starting with the fat end (I start here because there's an air pocket and I feel more comfortable using a little more force to break the shell without damaging the egg). I then run a thin stream of cold water to help pull away the shell and membrane as I carefully peel the egg. Be careful, it's not as hardy as a hard boiled egg due to the liquid core.
If the soft boiled eggs are too cold after you're done peeling them, you can submerge then into the cooking liquid (which should be just around simmering at this point in time) to reheat. About two to three minutes will bring it back up to temperature.
Served with a light sprinkling of kosher salt, a soft boiled egg makes a great addition to breakfast or a pleasant surprise accompanying your dinner entree.?}?>
If this is your first time using this recipe, I suggest cooking one or two eggs with this method first. Breaking into the egg, you should find the whites almost fully cooked (solid) with the yellow yolk thickened and viscous.
Note: For individuals with a poor immune system, the young, or the elderly, it is not advisable to consume soft boiled eggs or undercooked yolks.}?>
Soft Boiled Eggs
|whole large eggs||steep in covered pot of just boiled water for 7 minutes||shock in ice water||peel|