University of Birmingham graduate with a passion for food & cooking as part of a healthy lifestyle

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Monday, 12 March 2012

The perfect soft-boiled egg

As requested by my lovely friend Charlotte, here are some tips on how to cook an egg so that the white is cooked through, but the yolk is deliciously runny and creamy. I love soft-boiled eggs for breakfast, they are a great, nutritious way to start your day and as said before in a previous post, I love how the yolk tastes so creamy and rich even though they have been cooked in nothing but water. I way prefer them to any other way of cooking eggs, such as fried, although sometimes this is easier because you can tell exactly when the egg is cooked. Now I'm not saying that I'm an egg-boiling expert because it is quite rare that you get that perfect hard egg white and soft, oozing yolk - but here is how I cook my egg to try to achieve that... (it usually works!)

- First of all, make sure the egg is at room temperature - take it out of the fridge half an hour before cooking or run it under the hot tap for a bit. This is so that it reduces the chance of the shell cracking when you place it into the hot water.
- It would probably be wise to put the egg in luke-warm water and bring to the boil and cook that way, however, I never do this because who really has time to wait for some water to boil in the morning!? I nearly always just boil water from the kettle. I put a little bit of water in the pan, place the egg in and leave for a few seconds while it adjusts to the heat, then I add the rest of the boiling water to cover the egg. Now this is quite dangerous and every 1 in 4 times the egg cracks... but this depends on how fresh the egg is. So sorry if yours cracks!
- A large egg will need about 4 minutes to be soft-boiled once the water is at boiling point. I usually cook it for about 4 mins then take the pan off the heat and leave for another half a minute or so. It is a bit hit and miss but it's also quite fun peeling the egg and seeing the surprise of whether it is done to your liking or not haha
- Carefully tip away the hot water in the pan (you don't want the egg falling out in the sink!), then pour cold water over the egg. This cools the egg down to stop them continually cooking, and also makes it slightly easier for you to touch because it will not be scolding.
- At this stage you can either place the egg in an egg cup and slice off the top to dip your toast in, or, as I normally do - peel the egg (making sure the thin layer beneath the shell comes off too) and place on a piece of  generously buttered toast, or bagel or english muffin etcccc - cut open so the yolk oozes out, and enjoy :)

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