Soft-boiled Eggs

Soft-boiled Eggs

Eggs and Oaths are easily broken.

~ Proverb ~


This is the problem with me and eggs: I love them – especially Soft-boiled Eggs, but I am not great at cooking them. I can eat more eggs in a week than any dietitian will allow you – even now that eggs are not classified as bad cholesterol. But cooking them in the same way all the time becomes boring. Obviously there are many ways to cook an egg – soft-boiled, hard-boiled, fried, poached, omelettes and baked in a sauce shakshuka style. However, my default egg cooking method is scrambled – because that’s what you get when you mess up frying them. Luckily for me, there is a name for this and renowned chefs like J. Kenji López-Alt makes them – calling them half-scrambled eggs or country eggs!


A boiled egg is hard to beat

Of course, my mother taught me how to boil eggs, but I love Soft-boiled Eggs and the method I learned from her just didn’t work. She believed in putting cold eggs in cold water and letting the water come to a boil without a lid. Then you start the cooking time from when the water boils. As we all know, a soft boiled egg needs 5 minutes to cook. I was not really getting edible eggs with this method. They were either too soft, or the shells came off with half the white still attached. So I Googled the problem and got some scientific input (aka common sense). I realised that the membrane just inside the shell needs to detach from the white to get a “clean peel”. And the way to do that is to put a cold egg in boiling water.


Why don’t eggs tell jokes? They’ll crack each other up!

Now my only problem was that 5-minute Soft-boiled Eggs were too soft. I can really just about eat raw egg – I’m not squeamish at all. But at 5 minutes the egg yolks were barely warmed up. So I added time to my cooking process by 30 seconds at a time, until I found that 7 minutes was the charm. That seems to be a medium-soft boiled egg, but I believe that’s the best way to eat them. My next project is to teach myself to make good omelettes, which as you can guess I also can’t do. So watch this space! Oh, if you like J. Kenji López-Alt’s channel, have a look at my post about Two-minute Mayonnaise!


Soft-boiled Eggs

Fool-proof step-by-step instructions to make perfect soft-boiled eggs
Prep Time2 minutes
Cook Time7 minutes
Course: Breakfast
Servings: 1 serving
Author: Melby


  • 2 eggs preferably cold
  • enough warm water to cover eggs
  • pinch of salt this seems to prevent the shells from cracking
  • ice water


  • Fill a small pot with enough warm water to cover the eggs. Add a pinch of salt and set to boil, covered with a lid.
  • Once the water is at a rolling boil, carefully lower the eggs into the water using a slotted spoon. Put the lid partially onto the pot and start a timer for 7 minutes once the water is boiling properly again.
  • When the 7 minutes are up, lift the eggs out of the water with the slotted spoon and place in a container with ice water. As soon as you can touch each egg, give it a crack on a hard surface and put back into the water. Leave for about a minute and then peel normally. Serve on hot buttered toast.


  • You can leave the eggs to cook for 9 to 10 minutes for hard-boiled eggs.

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