How to make soft boiled eggs? Bring a pot of water to a gentle boil, then lower the eggs into the water and cook them for exactly 5 minutes. You'll be rewarded with perfectly cooked eggs - creamy whites and thick, luscious yolks.
I really like having eggs for breakfast. I enjoy baked goods of course, but I find that an egg-based breakfast is truly satiating. I can actually skip a midmorning snack when I have one.
I've always loved soft-boiled eggs, but I never really learned how to make them. The goal: delicate, fully cooked but still soft egg white, enveloping a warm, creamy, thick-yet-runny yolk. So good, yet so elusive! Because every minute counts when it comes to achieving perfection.
The secret to perfect soft-boiled eggs
That's why I'm so grateful to Margaret McArthur, who wrote about her own experiences reaching this elusive perfection. Yes, her piece is humorous, but it finally taught me how to do this correctly!
The secret? Lowering the uncooked egg into gently boiling water, rather than placing a room-temperature egg in cold water and bringing the water to a boil.
Once you place the egg in the boiling water, all it takes is 5 minutes of gentle boiling and the egg is ready. Thick yet gooey yolk, creamy white - perfection!
You'll only need three ingredients to make this recipe: Fresh eggs, kosher salt, and black pepper.
Once I've learned this method, making soft-boiled eggs became easy. The detailed instructions are listed in the recipe card below. Here's an overview of the steps:
You start by boiling water in a small saucepan. When the water reaches a boil, lower the heat to medium-low. You want to maintain a gentle boil.
Now, carefully lower your eggs into the pot. Leave it uncovered, and allow the eggs to cook for exactly five minutes.
As soon as your timer goes off, use a slotted spoon to remove the eggs from the water and place them in egg cups.
Allow them to slightly cool, then slice the top off with a sharp knife. See? Thick yet gooey yolk, creamy white - perfection!
In contrast to hard-boiled eggs, where you should use fairly old eggs (this makes them easier to peel), here I recommend using eggs that are as fresh as possible.
Frequently asked questions
There are a few methods for doing that. One method is to use a spoon. But I like to use a sharp knife, as you can see in the video below. I use the knife to tap on the top of the egg and crack the shell. Then I use the knife to slice through the top part of the egg and remove it.
I honestly can't imagine wanting to keep - or eat - the leftovers. But in case you do, you can keep them refrigerated, in their shell and in an airtight container, for up to 2 days. Reheat them by briefly placing them in simmering water for no longer than one minute.
It's best to use eggs that are not refrigerator-cold, especially since we're putting them into (gently) boiling water. But the truth is, some eggs seem to have thin shells and are prone to cracking.
Hard-boiled eggs are cooked until both the whites and the yolks are cooked through and solid. In soft-boiled eggs, the whites are cooked but still soft and creamy (they should have the texture of custard), and the yolks are liquid, but not completely raw - they should be warm, creamy, and fairly thick.
While salt and pepper are the classic choices and are usually enough - the egg itself, and especially the yolk - is very flavorful, you can certainly spice things up if you wish! Tasty options include a bit of hot pepper sauce or a sprinkle of dried spices and herbs such as smoked paprika or dried thyme.
In the past, I would have served these eggs with toast or with thick slices of crusty bread.
Of course, there's nothing wrong with simply eating them with a spoon!
👩🏻🍳 I typically publish a new or an updated recipe once a week. Want these recipes in your inbox? Subscribe! I won't spam you - I'll only send a weekly email with a recipe - and you can always unsubscribe.
Perfect Soft-Boiled Eggs
- 2 large eggs
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Remove the eggs from the fridge.
- In a small pot, bring water to a boil over high heat, then lower heat to medium-low, for a gentle boil. (How much water? Depends on your pot. Should be enough to fully cover the eggs).
- Using a slotted spoon, gently lower the eggs into the water.
- Gently boil the eggs, uncovered, for exactly 5 minutes.
- Use a slotted spoon to gently but quickly remove the eggs from the water. Place them in egg cups.
- When cool enough to handle, slice the top with a sharp knife.
- Perfection achieved! A cooked white, and a thick, runny yolk! Sprinkle the eggs with salt and pepper and dig in.