I love eggs. I love them as much as about the length of this song, put on a continuous loop for 10 hours:
To me, eggs are an example of perfect design: they are modular, portable, self-contained, cute, plentiful, cheap, and above all, delicious. Eggs also have this magic culinary quality of playing extremely well with others. You can put an egg on just about anything for an instant level-up: cheese sandwich = meh, egg + cheese sandwich = perfection; pizza = standard, pizza topped with egg = heavenly; ramen = good, ramen + perfect soft boiled egg = everything I ever wanted.
It is this last type of egg that I love the most. You know, perfectly coddled, soft boiled perfection that breaks easily with a spoon to reveal molten centers.
Unfortunately, boiling eggs is not as easy as it sounds. In fact, it’s an extremely delicate art: boil them for too long, and you’ll have revolting green-tinged yolks, dry as sawdust; undercook them and the eggs collapse when cracked. Worst of all, it’s almost always impossible to peel. You end up with either bits of shell sticking to the egg or pock-marked whites.
That’s why I avoid boiling altogether, saving the risk of headache and wasting a bucket of water (along with precious eggs). The trick to mastering the art of perfect boiled eggs is not to boil them at all. Steaming eggs is fool-proof: quick, consistent, and efficient. It’s also convenient: I just put a half dozen in the steamer basket of my rice cooker, for some delicious multi-tasking. Here’s how:
Perfect Soft (not) Boiled Eggs
makes 6 eggs, or half a dozen (large or extra large)
poached (hehe) from Serious Eats
This is it, folks. You never have to boil an egg again or pick away shell pieces. Soft boiled eggs are great to store in the fridge for busy weekdays. Add one or two to just about anything for an instant meal: toast, spinach, soup, sauteed greens, mashed potatoes, ramen: sky’s the limit!
Pour 1 inch of water into a pot with steamer insert; bring water to a boil.
When water is boiling, put eggs in steamer basket. Cover lid.
For soft centers steam exactly 6 minutes (remember: 6 minutes, 6 eggs!) or 10 minutes for hard boiled eggs.
Let eggs come to room temperature before peeling. Don’t run them under cold water or in ice or anything like that.
Enjoy warm eggs as a snack, in your ramen, salad, soup, or just about anything else. If not eating immediately, store in a sealed container in the fridge.
Update: Some Notes on Egg Specifics
I used extra large eggs, but the original cook times are for large eggs so both should be OK.
I made varying number of eggs 2 <= n <= 6 and used the same time regardless of egg number (unlike boiling, object increase does not lower temp., at least I don’t think as much).
** A moment of applause for the fact that I made zero egg puns in the above. **