An excellent method for an egg-cellent egg.
A perfect egg is one of life’s great small pleasures. Here’s how to make soft-boiled eggs: how long to soft boil the egg to make it creamy on the inside with cooked whites, plus the right way to eat one.
Of all the ways to eat eggs for breakfast (or any time of day), there is something uniquely fun and even elegant about soft-boiled eggs. Whether peeled and placed atop dishes like ramen and avocado toast, or scooped from little cups with some toast soldiers, these sunny eggs deserve a spot in your kitchen.
Here’s how to time your eggs, cook them, and enjoy.
Should I boil the water first for soft-boiled eggs, or start the eggs in cold water?
Ah, the eternal question of boiling eggs everywhere: Whether it’s better to boil water first and then submerge the egg, or whether to start with the egg in cold water and bring it up to a boil.
Intelligent minds can differ, but my favorite method for cooking soft-boiled eggs is to boil the water first, and then add the egg to cook it. I find that this method does two things:
- Prevents the white from sticking to the shell (game-changer!), and
- Allows a very precise, accurate cooking time.
How long should you soft boil the egg for a runny yolk?
Now the method and the cook time. To cook a soft-boiled egg:
- Bring a pot of water to a gentle boil.
- Gently lower refrigerator-cold egg(s) into the water. I use a slotted spoon to do this.
- Cook at a gentle boil or high simmer for exactly 6 1/2 minutes for a cooked egg whites with runny yolks, and 7 minutes for cooked whites with a slightly jammy (but still runny) yolk.
- Stop the cooking by submerging the eggs in cold water for a minute.
- Serve with salt and pepper.
How do you eat soft-boiled eggs?
Now the fun part: eating your egg! There are a couple of ways to eat soft-boiled eggs. The first way would be to simply peel the egg (easy, since you boiled the water first), and slice it in half — perhaps topped over ramen or avocado toast, for example.
But if you want to enjoy a proper soft-boiled egg breakfast with the egg nestled in an egg cup, here’s what you do:
- Put the soft-boiled eggs in egg cups,
- Use a knife or side of a spoon to crack around the top part of the egg, then cut all the way through to remove the top of the egg. (Don’t forget to eat the bit of white stuck to the “lid” of the egg!)
- Salt and pepper the egg, then use a small spoon or toast soldiers to eat up.
Did you enjoy learning how to make a soft-boiled egg? You’ll also like these egg recipes and techniques.
How to Make Perfect Soft-Boiled Eggs
- 2 large eggs, straight from the refrigerator
- Salt and fresh-cracked pepper, to taste
- 2 slices well-buttered toast (optional)
- Bring a pot of water to a gentle boil. Gently lower the cold eggs into the water. TIP: I use a slotted spoon to lower the eggs into the water; a small strainer works well, too.
- Cook the eggs at a very gentle boil or high simmer for exactly 6 1/2 minutes for a cooked egg whites with runny yolks, and 7 minutes for cooked whites with a slightly jammy (but still runny) yolk.TIP: The last minute of cooking is the best time to start your toast, if using. Once toasted and buttered, cut your toast into several strips. These are your toast soldiers.
- Stop the cooking by submerging the eggs in cold water for a minute. Serve as desired. To eat a soft-boiled egg breakfast in egg cups, place the eggs in the cups. Use a knife or the side of a spoon to crack and remove the top part of the egg. Salt and pepper the egg, and eat with a little spoon or toast soldiers.