How To Make Perfect Soft-Boiled Eggs (Eggs & Soldiers)

by jenna on April 27, 2012

Soft-boiled eggs are one of my very favorite breakfasts, and one that I eat the most often! (don’t worry, the shells are only on the above eggs for photo purposes! When making this recipe, you should remove the shell before serving)

The other morning, I was enjoying my soft-boiled eggs with buttered toast and a cappuccino when I asked on Twitter if anyone would be interested in learning how it’s done—to my surprise, many of you said YES! Well fellow egg loving friends, this post is for you.

Soft-boiled eggs are the perfect combination between poached eggs and hard-boiled eggs. I love them because it gives me the opportunity to dunk my bread stick (the “soldier”) into the deliciously thick and runny yolk. I also feel so dignified eating them in cute little egg cups (the above cups are from Etsy!)—it may sound silly, but it really starts my day on a positive note!

I’m lucky enough to buy my eggs straight from a local farm. Well, straight from my hair stylist across the street who gets them delivered straight from the farm, that is.

I have to say, it’s pretty cool to have both your hair girl and your egg girl a stone’s throw away….what more do you need in life?

So, once you learn the timing on soft-boiled eggs, you’ll be making these for yourself almost daily! They are so easy! All you do is bring a pot of salted water to a boil on the stove, carefully drop in your eggs, then cover the pot tight and reduce heat to low.

Then, set your timer for five minutes:

The timer is going, make your coffee and stick your bread in the toaster! I like a five minute egg, but some people prefer their eggs to be a little less runny. If that’s you, set your timer for six minutes!

When the timer goes off, the eggs are done so quickly grab ‘em and run them under cold water. Then gently peel them (unlike my photo…haha) and either smash them with a fork in a bowl or eat them all dignified like out of an egg cup with your pinkie in the air. These are also great for dinner! Last night I had them over another (I know…I know…) kale salad and it was lovely.

As for your toast, butter it then cut it into sticks for dippin’. Or at least that’s what the Brits tell me. Apparently, the buttered bread sticks look like soldiers standing at attention. I like it!

And now, on a totally irrelevant and unrelated note, after watching way too many youtube videos on the subject, I finally tried out the “sock bun” yesterday.

It scared me.

And I think it would have scared my sweet little yoga students, too, if I would have showed up like this to teach yesterday afternoon.

Some people can pull the look out wonderfully, but as for me….I’ll stick with a ponytail. The sock bun is just….too much on me. Just too much.

How to Make Perfect Soft-Boiled Eggs (Eggs & Soldiers)

serves 1

Print this recipe!

Ingredients:

2  eggs

2 slices whole-grain bread

1 tbsp butter

Directions:

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil on the stove. Once boiling, carefully (!!) set the eggs in the water. Cover and turn heat to low. Set your timer for five minutes (six if you like thicker yolks).

Meanwhile, toast your bread then smear with butter. Cut into one-inch sticks (“soldiers”).

Gently remove the eggs from the water when the timer goes off. Immediately run under cold water. Peel carefully. Set eggs in a cute egg dish or smash in a shallow bowl. Dip toast in yolks and enjoy!

Time:

10 minutes

 

Related Posts with ThumbnailsPin It


{ 163 comments… read them below or add one }

Mo April 27, 2012 at 3:30 am

Yum! Thanks for the how-to. Can’t wait to try it.

I didn’t have much luck with the sock bun either. It took me a while to realize you have to actually cut the sock. My friend pulled it off perfectly, but she has thick, long brown hair. My grandma tried to get her to give her the sock because her feet were cold.

:) Fun post!

Reply

Jackie April 27, 2012 at 9:22 am

A lot of people put the sock in wrong (including me, at first). This video shows you how to do it so that it stays in your hair http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hfMlMhSACCE. Also, Conair makes a Bun Maker that does the same thing a sock bun does, but it stays in your hair a lot better and it only costs around $3.

Reply

Kristen @ notsodomesticated April 27, 2012 at 3:33 am

I definitely don’t think the sock bun would work on me … my hair is way too fine for most up-do’s. :/ But I’m impressed with your attempt!!

Reply

Heather @ Health, Happiness, and Hope April 27, 2012 at 3:58 am

I was literally just saying I wanted to know how to make soft-boiled eggs! I’ve never had them before! Definitely trying this out.

Reply

Jim January 26, 2014 at 2:33 pm

I just watched America Test Kitchens on PBS, and they said it took them 6 weeks and 1,000 eggs to test. They said to only add 1/2 inch of water into pan, bring to a boil and add eggs then cover pan. They explained that the steam that builds up is stronger than the water itself. Cook for exactly 6:30. It doesn’t matter how many eggs you use. I hope this helps you out. Enjoy.

Reply

tiaragardens March 23, 2014 at 4:16 pm

I really respect those hardworking guys at America’s test kitchen,but six and and half minutes sounded way too long and it was..they were soft but not very gooey.
I’d suggest making one at a time til u perfect it. And definitely don’t need much water..half inch in pot .

Reply

Katrina April 27, 2012 at 4:08 am

I haven’t tried a sock bun! I really need to see what it looks like on me. Also, I love a good soft boiled egg. Great tutorial!

Reply

Liz @ Blog is the New Black April 27, 2012 at 4:10 am

That’s it?! I’ve been missing out. Your little cups are adorbs! And yes, the sock bun didn’t even WORK on me. Bummer!

Reply

Molly @ RDexposed April 27, 2012 at 4:26 am

All I can think about is how difficult it was to get the egg yolk those tiny pours of the egg cups!
Also, I may need to try these. I’ve never been presented with one.

Reply

Caz April 29, 2012 at 6:49 pm

me too! That’s the first thing I thought… “Yuck those would be hard to wash!”

Reply

The Mrs @ Success Along the Weigh April 27, 2012 at 5:30 am

This is one of my hubby’s faves! :-)

Reply

katie @KatieDid April 27, 2012 at 5:41 am

I just posted a recipe for dippy eggs last week too but with sweet potato fries as the ‘soldiers’. I had them again this morning, but I like to leave the shell on and saw off the top, then scoop out the whites from the shell with a mini spoon :) sophisticated breakfast but so simple at the same time.

Reply

Carole Moore January 21, 2013 at 7:04 am

from Carole–I also like to leave the shell on the egg. That is how it was served to us in England. My Mother would serve it to my Dad that way also. The problem I have is sawing off the top. Any suggestions? Carole

Reply

Mike February 9, 2013 at 7:21 pm

Carole: when I lived in Germany we had eggs cooked this way…
Try this: tap a crack all the way around the top of the egg with a knife, while the egg is in it’s cup. Then poke the knife through the crack and gently saw the top off. Then, viola!! Your egg is open and ready to eat. Add salt and pepper, use your little egg spoon to stir up the white and yoke, and enjoy!

Reply

Sandi Jones March 26, 2013 at 12:20 pm

Mike, I do the same thing, just with a spoon. Tap my way all around to top 1/4, then poke the tip of the spoon in and pry it off. I’ve never peeled a soft-boiled egg in my life!

Reply

Jim January 26, 2014 at 2:41 pm

Carole, invest in a Rosie manual egg topper(America Test Kitchens-PBS).Check out BB&B, or Amazon. P.S. My kid sister was born in Burton wood England (military base) back in 1958

Reply

amy walters, aDESIGNdock April 27, 2012 at 5:45 am

LOVE this post Jenna!
I’m an egg girl through and through. Poached is my fav, but this sounds equally good and I’m totally going to give it a go. Thanks for the tutorial.
Happy weekend!

Reply

Margarita April 27, 2012 at 6:06 am

I love eggs and wish I had easier access to fresh farm eggs. Gotta try these soft boiled ones soon! Darn it, if I only had little cups like that, it would be so perfect, I will have to settle for a ramekin. For a long time, I stared at your sock bun pic and did not understand at all what I was looking at. Lol! I thought it was the back of your head or something.

Reply

Meg April 27, 2012 at 6:19 am

We have hens and so we appreciate eggs straight from the front yard (or back or side, depending on where the coop is located of a morning), and as people who don’t want to wash too many dishes first thing, soft boiled eggs are the perfect morning go-to for quick clean up and nutrition.

We keep eggs on the counter at room temperature. Store-bought eggs are washed and so have lost the outer coating that keeps them fresh. Those eggs MUST be kept refrigerated. But yard-fresh, unwashed eggs can be left unrefrigerated for at least a couple of weeks and probably longer.

Since more and more people have access to actual fresh eggs, thanks to family and friends and their new backyard pets — chickens — here’s how we prepare soft boiled eggs: In the morning, we rinse room temperature eggs, put them into a small pot and add water until they’re just covered. We bring the water up to a boil, set the timer for 2:00 (minutes) and start the countdown, adjusting the heat to maintain a medium boil. Saves time, saves fuel, the eggs come out perfect! Now I have to go do the dishes. — Your photos are inspiring. Thanks!

Reply

Sharon April 27, 2012 at 10:05 am

That’s exactly how I do my soft boiled eggs!

Reply

Mims May 8, 2012 at 2:17 am

Thats oddly enough how I make hard boiled eggs (more or less; bring to boil, turn off, jump into the shower while leaving the pot on the hot plate), but I have been longing for soft boiled eggs for a while (lovely with fresh asparagus) and have just not managed to get the timing right. Thanks!

Reply

Brittany @ Brittany Cooks April 27, 2012 at 6:24 am

I adore soft boiled eggs, but never think to make them! Hello to my next breakfast! Thanks for reminding me! :)

Reply

Daisy April 27, 2012 at 6:29 am

I *like* the sock bun on you and I like even more and this soft boiled egg lesson.

speaking of soft boiled eggs for breakfast AND dinner, have you ever had a scotch egg?! you need to. (see one in my post today here: http://indulgeinspireimbibe.blogspot.com/2012/04/gallows-does-it-again.html)

Reply

Urban Wife April 27, 2012 at 6:30 am

Perfect for my hubby since he loves runny eggs. I think sock buns are precious but not for me, either. I think my head is too big. :)

Reply

Halle April 27, 2012 at 6:39 am

Jenna, your sock bun looks great! I don’t know what you’re talking about. :)

Reply

Lisa April 27, 2012 at 1:47 pm

I agree! I love it!

Reply

Cath April 27, 2012 at 6:41 am

So, I just went down the basement and dug out Great Grandma’s egg cups. Now I’m off to find organic eggs.

Reply

Becky April 27, 2012 at 6:48 am

Jenna do you have advice on peeling the eggs? I’m a horrible egg peeler. I end up with a third of the egg whites gone with the shell LOL. And that is on an “easy to peel” hard boiled egg.

Reply

Jess December 14, 2012 at 10:47 pm

The best egg peeling tip I was ever given is to use a tablespoon (a tablespoon you eat with, not the kind you measure stuff with). I think it works because a tablespoon has a similar-ish curve to the egg so it gets under the shell pretty smoothly.

Tap the egg (gently) on the counter to crack the shell all over, and then lever off the shell using a tablespoon. Try it – it is so much easier than using your fingers.

Reply

Cindy February 7, 2013 at 3:24 pm

I saw one from Sur La Table that clipped the top!
I also actually had these eggs in bed and breakfast in England. Im hooked! She just took a spoon and clipped it off

Reply

Alison (Fueling for Fitness) April 27, 2012 at 6:53 am

Interesting method! My mom always taught me to put the cold egg in the water, allow it to come to a boil, turn it off and then let it sit for 5 minutes. I love how that turns out too, but the egg isn’t quite as runny as yours is — which means no dipping. :(

Will have to try this…and maybe the sock bun. Maybe.

Reply

M July 31, 2013 at 8:30 am

I like my eggs soft but not runny, for safety sake (Salmonella). So I cook it the way Alison (Fueling for Fitness) does, but I add some butter or Smart Balance spread, tastes great with toast!

Reply

Angie April 27, 2012 at 7:05 am

I saw these in a magazine this week and thought it would be so yummy. Glad to see your recipe here. Definitely going to make them. Yum!

Reply

Emily J April 27, 2012 at 7:08 am

Thanks Jenna! I used to eat soft boiled eggs with my great grandfather, but haven’t had them since I was a little kid. I will make them this weekend!

Reply

Cait's Plate April 27, 2012 at 7:10 am

Haha I think the sock bun looks pretty cute on you!

And the soft boiled egg is one thing that I have not yet perfected…maybe it’s been the cooking time that’s my problem all along. Definitely going to try this!

Reply

Laurie {Simply Scratch} April 27, 2012 at 7:13 am

I’m a five minute egg girl too! These look totally fabulous!

Reply

jenna April 27, 2012 at 7:33 am

LOL you crack me up! your sock bun looks fab.

Reply

SB April 27, 2012 at 7:42 am

No, no , no! Here in the UK (home of eggs and soldiers) we always leave the shell on……

Reply

Becky April 27, 2012 at 10:28 am

Agreed. The shell stays on in the UK!

Reply

Liz April 27, 2012 at 7:50 pm

I was recently in Amsterdam and my hardboiled egg also came in the shell, in an egg cup… must be a European thing. I almost didn’t know how to approach it!

Reply

Liza April 28, 2012 at 4:57 am

Yes that’s how my husband always does it because his mother always left the shell on (she’s Irish).

Reply

Dominique April 30, 2012 at 8:55 pm

Ditto, from Canada! Must be the French and English background!

Reply

steve July 3, 2013 at 11:35 am

im from ontario canada. ive allways left the shell on :) thanks for the tips !

Della December 27, 2013 at 7:55 am

must be a European thing, I am Italian and my grandparents always left the shell on so did my other grandparents of polish decent…Besides, it stays in the egg cup better and here in the US if you don’t have an egg cup, use a whiskey shot glass or jigger… works great!

Reply

Theresa Marie Dancy May 26, 2014 at 6:38 am

Born and raised in the US and I’ve never once peeled the shell off of a soft-boiled egg. I’ve never even heard of the notion. Our family (again, born and raised in the US) has always eaten them shell-on. I’m not sure it’s necessarily a European thing. In our family, I think, it was a question of cleanliness. It kept us from having to spend too much time cleaning the egg cups. :-P

Averie @ Averie Cooks April 27, 2012 at 8:00 am

Thanks for the detailed egg tutorial. Honestly, I am not good with making the perfect soft egg..it’s either a fully firm yolk that’s way too overdone for my liking or it’s so runny it’s raw. I need to try your method; thanks!

These look awesomely perfect. And the soldiers, too cute.

Reply

Amanda L. April 27, 2012 at 8:05 am

I find myself surprised at the number of people posting that have never tried soft boiled eggs! I grew up with that as our breakfast staple, so I just assumed everyone else did, too :) eggs and soldiers were one of my kids’ faves when they were growing up, too. They each had their own little egg cup. Thanks for the memories and for bringing this yummy breakfast to the masses :)

Reply

Emilie @ Emilie's Enjoyables April 27, 2012 at 8:22 am

I can honestly say I’ve never hard a soft boiled egg but I was planning on eating a hard boiled one with dinner tonight so I think I’ll give this a shot! And I think you def can pull of the sock bun :)

Reply

Stephie @ Eat Your Heart Out April 27, 2012 at 9:20 am

The first time I had soft boiled eggs was when I was living in Spain – my host mom used to make them for us all the time. Mmmm.

Also, thank you for the sock bun reference. I have thick enough hair that I have never really had the need to bump up the volume with a sock, but everyone has seemed to into this whole sock bun thing that I was beginnign to wonder if there was anyone else who thought it was perhaps a little strange!

Reply

Caitlin Murphy April 27, 2012 at 9:37 am

how do you make your cappuccino? I’m determined to make good coffee and/or espresso and just have a regular 12-cup pot. I saw on a previous post you have a Bodrum french press. I’m thinking about investing, although do you have an espresso maker too?

Reply

jenna April 27, 2012 at 10:04 am

I do! I have a Nespresso machine and love it…I love my little French press for regular coffee, but when it comes to espresso, the Nespresso cant be beat :)

Reply

Liz April 27, 2012 at 7:49 pm

I thought you used the Moka Bialetti?

Reply

Laura @ She Eats Well April 27, 2012 at 10:05 am

That first picture is serious food porn! So lovely. I haven’t attempted to make soft-boiled eggs but this post inspires me too. I believe in fried egg sandwiches for any meal and I love the simplicity of adding egg as a protein to any dish…kale included :).

Reply

Marisa April 27, 2012 at 10:05 am

Mmn – LOVE soft boiled eggs! But I learned to eat them the European way – shells on! I actually really love eating them this way. In an egg cup with a sweet little egg sized spoon. There is just something about scraping out the last bit of egg from its shell with your little spoon – love it! AND it is so much easier than fussing about peeling the egg.

Reply

Sharon April 27, 2012 at 10:12 am

Your photos are lovely-and now I am regretting not having had a soft-boiled egg for breakfast this morning. I never thought of doing the little toast strips-so cute! I personally tend to scoop out my soft boiled egg into a small dish, mash it up a bit with my spoon, salt and pepper it, then scoop a bit of it onto my toast for a perfect eggy-crusty-buttered-toast bite each time. Mmmm….

Reply

Tara@Sugar Spice and Bacon April 27, 2012 at 10:55 am

I don’t think it is silly at all to think that the right breakfast (or cute egg cup, coffee mug, cereal bowl, etc.) can totally start your day off on the right foot! It happens to me all the time!

Reply

Andrea Drugay April 27, 2012 at 10:56 am

Those look great! I’ve tried to make soft-boiled eggs before but they haven’t turned out this good. I’ll have to try your tips :-) LOVE the idea of eating them with kale!

Reply

Moni Meals April 27, 2012 at 11:09 am

Thanks Jenna, I look forward to trying this. Not for me, but for my husband. I like my eggs rubber…I know, so wrong but it is true. :)

Reply

elizabeth @ chronic venture April 27, 2012 at 11:17 am

looove soft boiled eggs so much. definitely my favorite way to have an egg.
and those eggs cups are cutiessss!

Reply

Liz @ IHeartVegetables April 27, 2012 at 12:32 pm

Haha my bff pulls off the sock bun so well, it’s crazy!

Now I want a soft boiled egg!!

Reply

Niki April 27, 2012 at 12:47 pm

This is my absolute favorite breakfast! I keep my shells on and use a small spoon to scoop out, in addition to dipping with the soldiers. Yum, now I want this for breakfast tomorrow. (and I’m very jealous of your pretty eggs… will have to go to Ferry Building asap, even though they don’t always have the different colored ones!)

Reply

Alison April 27, 2012 at 1:11 pm

I used to eat eggs and soldiers a lot as a child! Delicious. :)

Reply

Jenn April 27, 2012 at 1:46 pm

Great post – and the photos are incredible! Do you buy bakery or store-bought bread?

Reply

polly April 27, 2012 at 2:57 pm

yummers!!!!!!!!!!
i eat 2 soft boiled eggs every day, too! Well… usually i forget about them and they turn into hard boiled. boooo. I need a kitchen timer, huh?

love you! XO

Reply

mom April 27, 2012 at 3:00 pm

Your “sock bun” scares me :)

Reply

sally kate April 27, 2012 at 3:06 pm

My dad used to make these for me when I was a little girl and we had a special little egg shell cutter that cut off the top and we would eat out of the gg like it was a bowl- so I don’t judge you for keeping the shell on!

Reply

Angela @ Happy Fit Mama April 27, 2012 at 4:04 pm

I’ve never had a soft boiled egg (gasp)! I think I might have to give it a try because I want to have little soldiers.

Reply

Grace April 27, 2012 at 7:17 pm

I’m pro “shell on” and “saw off the top” too.. must be a UK thing that us Aussie’s have adapted!

Also, I like to put the egg into room temperature water, and then bring to the boil. Less cracking, and over cooking that way!

Great post Jenna!

Reply

Liz April 27, 2012 at 7:47 pm

Apparently I don’t spend enough (or any) time on Pinterest and the like, because I had no idea what this “sock bun” was all about. I had to do a google image search. Well, I agree with some other people… my hair would be way too think for this look. But, I also imagine that (if this is even possible… not sure how it’s constructed) it would look a lot better if the hair was not pulled back so tightly at the hairline, and it was made a little more messily. Otherwise… it looks like some weird 60s ‘do or prom look, or something. Loose and messy is better.

Also I must admit that my fear of all raw animal products (except oysters) makes me find anything but hard-boiled eggs revolting! I wish I could get over the creeped-outedness, because the FLAVOR itself would probably be good.

Reply

Liz April 27, 2012 at 7:47 pm

*way too THIN, that is.

Reply

Jill April 27, 2012 at 9:28 pm

I always enjoy your website. Thank you for all your interesting and delicious posts. When I was in Germany, they served soft boiled eggs at every hotel and bed and breakfast we stayed at. The shells were always left on. When I got home to the states, I always serve them with the shells on.

Reply

Danielle April 27, 2012 at 11:13 pm

I didn’t even know people cooked soft boiled eggs!! I’m so excited now! I love runny yolks and I love boiled whites. Typically I use runny fried eggs for dipping or with hard boiled I eat only the whites. Now I can have both!! I dunno I guess when I was growing up my mom had convinced me that a runny boiled egg was a bad thing, a failed attempt at boiling an egg.

Reply

Gretchen April 28, 2012 at 7:25 am

Nothing wrong with leaving the shells on while you eat them- that’s what they do in Europe! Fun fact: In France, they call soft-boiled eggs “oeufs à coq,” which means “rooster’s eggs.”

Reply

jenna k April 28, 2012 at 8:07 am

ahh this sounds perfect for me. i had been making fried eggs every morning because i love the runny yolk. but i leave them cooking while i get ready for work, so i almost always over-cook the whites. i loooove the textures of boiled whites, so this will be amazing!

Reply

jenna k April 29, 2012 at 6:52 am

made it shortly after posting the previous comment. i let it go for 6 minutes, and it was perfect! such a great post-workout meal :)

Reply

Sara April 28, 2012 at 4:16 pm

You can also do a sock bun with a thin trouser sock or something if you’re going for a more subtle look. Maybe this is pointless for some, but it improves the look of a simple bun for my layered shoulder length hair.

Reply

Tally April 29, 2012 at 5:35 am

When serving in an egg cup, the usual procedure in Europe is to chop off the top of the egg in the shell but leave the bottom shell on and scoop the inside of the egg with the toast or a tiny spoon designed for that purpose. The spoons are either ivory or stainless steel as egg yolk tarnishes sterling silver :) I was never very adept at getting a clean chop on the top, which amused the family I lived with.

Reply

Laura April 29, 2012 at 5:53 am

Thanks for the tutorial…it looks so easy and delicious!! Is there a reason why the water is salted? Would it be the same without putting salt into the boiling water?

Reply

Mims May 8, 2012 at 2:28 am

The salt keeps the egg from running out into the water if the shell should crack.

Reply

Alyssa May 10, 2012 at 2:32 pm

Thank you! I was wondering the same thing!

Reply

Deborah April 29, 2012 at 11:29 am

I have actually never had a soft boiled egg, even though runny yolks are my favorite thing ever. Definitely going to try this!! (And I think your sock bun looks adorable!)

Reply

Lea @ iCooklea May 1, 2012 at 3:51 am

You peel the eggs after soft boiling them? But how do you manage to dip your bread? We have them all the time, but I make them REEALLYdifferently :)

Reply

Jill May 1, 2012 at 9:52 am

Thanks for posted this recipe. I tried it and it turn out great. So much easier than a poached egg. I will be having this for breakfast quite often.

Reply

Sharon Sirvent May 1, 2012 at 2:52 pm

Great tips! I love soft boiled eggs….or in my house “huevos tivios”. Been eating it since I was a kid!

Sock bun…I like all my socks too much to cut them up :/ Trip to Wal-Mart soon?

Reply

fatts May 3, 2012 at 6:56 pm

Just chiming in on the other folks re: the shell on/shell off. The shell stays on!!! Why waste time peeling? The whole point of the egg cup is that it’s sitting up straight so you can tap the side of the egg with your spoon, crack it open and scoop out the yummy inside. If you’re feeling particularly indulgent, drop a pat of butter inside with some salt and pepper. Ohhh yes. That’s how the Irish do it.

Reply

nicole @ I am a Honey Bee May 7, 2012 at 7:29 pm

I love soft boiled eggs! They are my favorite egg breakfast at home.

Reply

tudai4 June 18, 2012 at 9:22 am

Just love those fossilized egg cups. Where did you find them?

Reply

jenna June 18, 2012 at 4:53 pm

Etsy!

Reply

Jill July 1, 2012 at 2:09 pm

I saw this exact same thing in Food Network Magazine April 2010 – 50 egg dishes. They even called it Eggs with Soldiers. I think you should at least give them credit.

Reply

Cait February 9, 2013 at 8:48 am

If you read the thread you’ll see that “eggs and soldiers” is a popular european dish. She’s not claiming to have invented it so she doesn’t need to credit :) It’s like Eggs Benedict- a popular dish typically made the same way but many people post how to make it. She’s just sharing her knowledge!

Reply

Matt August 14, 2012 at 10:42 am

Thanks a million for posting this. I will try this in the morning. “I have to say, it’s pretty cool to have both your hair girl and your egg girl a stone’s throw away….what more do you need in life?” At least this will be convenient if you ever want to throw a stone at them. ;)

Reply

barbara August 30, 2012 at 7:47 am

I have been craving a soft boiled egg for a looooong time now! I thought I knew how to make one and I kept screwing it up. Thank you for your tutorial my soft boiled eggs are perfect this morning! Now if you can just come up with an easier way to peel those suckers!!!!!

Reply

Rick Kiesau September 1, 2012 at 10:28 pm

Thanks! Nice touch with the little egg holders and toast.

Reply

Bonnie September 7, 2012 at 6:48 am

Re: Soft-boiled eggs. You mentioned smashing them with a fork. After doing so, crumble crackers (saltines or snack) into the eggs. Looks rather nasty….but tastes yummy! My mother always served them in a miniature “chicken dish” [hen on a nest], and in our family, they were known as “cracker eggs”.

Reply

Laura NYC October 20, 2012 at 5:41 am

I have a vague memory of eating soft-boiled eggs with crumbled crackers….probably from sometime in childhood when I was sick. I have always loved soft-boiled eggs and always have them with toast. Unfortunately, success at achieving the perfect balance between solid white and runny yolk has always been hit-and-miss…until now! I have achieved perfection in my quest. A drop of butter in the egg (yes, I know…but, hey, it’s a guilty once-in-awhile pleasure) and a sprinkle of salt and pepper and I am once again transported to Mom’s kitchen on a Sunday morning, Dad at the table reading the paper, he and I savoring those eggs (funny…they always turned out perfectly when Mom made them). Next time I am going to try them with the crackers. Thanks to Jenna for the hints, and thanks Bonnie for the saltine memory…

Reply

Muah September 7, 2012 at 7:39 am

Omigosh!!! These are great!! Thank you!!!

Reply

Naveen October 12, 2012 at 5:45 pm

This recipe worked perfectly. Question – does the same timing apply to more than 2 eggs?

Reply

o October 13, 2012 at 10:09 am

5 min is too short was runny

Reply

Barry G October 15, 2012 at 3:23 pm

Ok, I’ve been eating my soft boiled eggs this way since I was about 6 yrs. old (I’m 66). My wife has to leave the room for fear of upchucking. So, my soft boiled eggs are about 5 min. When I brake them into a boll, I add a hand full of dry Cheerios (it sops up some of the yoke but I love the combo). Try it (if you dare) and enjoy.

Reply

Leslie October 20, 2012 at 12:04 pm

I just tried this and it’s perfect. Thanks so much!

Reply

Hermann October 23, 2012 at 7:41 am

Nonsense! The simplest way to make soft-boiled eggs is to start with cold water in a small pot, put your eggs in, and wait till the water starts boiling. When it does, let the eggs boil for one minute, and they are done! Perfectly done! If you want them softer, boil them for 50 secs. If harder, for 70. This is the easiest and faster way! You don’t have to wait for the water to boil to put your eggs in and wait for 5 minutes more for them to be done! The eggs start cooking as the water temperature raises! This approach works for 2 to 4 large eggs and saves energy too! :) :) :)

Reply

Chris October 31, 2012 at 12:05 pm

Eggs came out still runny after following instructions.

Worthless instructions. Thanks for wasting my eggs.

Reply

Jess December 14, 2012 at 10:41 pm

It’s a soft boiled egg – they are meant to be runny. If you look closely at her pictures you can see that the white is not completely set. The outside is set but the white next to the yolk is still a bit runny.

Jenna even says “I like a five minute egg, but some people prefer their eggs to be a little less runny. If that’s you, set your timer for six minutes!”

Also it will make a difference to the cooking time required if the eggs are at room temperature (as opposed to fridge temperature) when you start. Jenna hasn’t specified this unfortunately – Jenna, perhaps you could include that?

Reply

Kathryn November 2, 2012 at 6:48 am

LOVE the how-to on the eggs – your method works perfectly! I found your blog yesterday because I lucked up at World Market and found the most adorable five minute egg holders and little spoons – and I said, “That’s it – I’ve wanted to learn the trick to making these eggs and I’m going to ACCOMPLISH it!” I lived in Germany for several years and one thing I always loved about a good German breakfast spread was the five minute eggs in their little egg cup with the precious little spoon (and they are never peeled, by the way). There’s just something that feels special and pampered about starting one’s day with this little ritual! I also treated myself to a tiny little white pitcher for my cream for my coffee, so this morning I made the eggs your way – PERFECT – and put the egg in the little cup, got my little spoon, sliced off the tip of the egg and sprinkled in a little fancy schmancy gourmet salt, and then poured my cream into my coffee from my little creamer, and totally felt like a European countess! Thank you – and great blog by the way.

Reply

Lindsay November 4, 2012 at 8:50 am

I can’t believe I looked up how to make soft boiled eggs and the article finished off talking about sock buns…my latest obsession! Haha. That’s too ironic. Love it!

Reply

Lita December 23, 2012 at 8:44 pm

I’ve made soft-boiled eggs before – but on a gas stove, with a special timer that told me exactly how long to leave them in for! So with an electric stove, no timer and a craving for soft-boiled eggs, things were a bit scary…

But this made perfect eggs! I did overcook them just a little (no good for dipping, sadly, but perfectly good spooned onto toast!) but that’s because I was keeping an eye on the toast, haha. My toaster thinks it’s a thing of the devil, I swear it does.

Thank you for this!

Reply

Matt January 10, 2013 at 6:09 am

On behalf of the planet and my stomach – thanks Jenna
this totally works!!!

Reply

Deni January 24, 2013 at 5:22 pm

Do you have to cover it?

Reply

Chris January 28, 2013 at 1:59 pm

I now know why the shells are still in the eggs in the pictures…because it is impossible to peel them without destroying the eggs. Could not peel them without the whites sticking to the shell. Horrible!! Complete waste of time and eggs.

Reply

Cait February 9, 2013 at 8:39 am

I didn’t have any trouble with this! Did you get them nice and cold to the touch under the faucet?

Reply

Phil February 3, 2013 at 6:38 am

Thank you for this. Are your eggs kept In the fridge? Because mine split when i put them in boiling water. :(

Reply

Tony in Miami February 9, 2013 at 5:48 am

The one question/answer/ditty I was looking for is … what is the preferred temperature of the egg before cooking? Room temp or straight from the fridge? Both affect the cooking time greatly. Would removing the egg from the fridge at the time you put the water on to boil sufficient warm up time? Thanks

Reply

Maria March 4, 2013 at 6:20 am

I wonder that as well. My cooking method has been a different one over the years, so I want to try this, but we have farm fresh eggs on the counter and also some in the fridge. So which will this recipe work for? I love a perfect soft boiled egg. :)

Reply

Cait February 9, 2013 at 8:38 am

Thanks for this! The eggs came out PERFECT. I have a question for anyone who can answer. I tend to eat breakfast at the office – if I made these and kept them in the shell for my 45 minute commute, would they be ok when I crack the shell open at work? My guess is the yolk would continue to cook and not be as funny but maybe the cold water shock was enough to stop cooking? Any thoughts would be helpful!

Reply

Lainey February 24, 2013 at 5:12 am

I just used this recipe and made some tasty soft boiled eggs! Such a nice breakfast!

Reply

liz March 5, 2013 at 5:22 am

You were right! Perfect soft boiled eggs! With a cup of coffee, bellissima!

Reply

Matthew March 15, 2013 at 12:01 am

Worked to perfection! Though, I would say that the 6-minute results were “medium-boiled” eggs, as opposed to “hard-boiled”. For full hard-boiled, 7-10 minutes is great!

Reply

Tay-Tay May 1, 2013 at 1:29 pm

Lol

Reply

Nicole March 16, 2013 at 10:32 am

Where did you find these fantastic looking dishes/egg holders?

Reply

Tay-Tay May 1, 2013 at 1:27 pm

I’m ten and I LOVE making soldiers and eggs. And I also LOVE the sock bun. It works fine on me. Trust me. Both the soldiers n eggs and the sock bun are awesome. Teach ur kids to make them. I can and I’m ten.

Reply

emmy May 30, 2013 at 10:16 am

delicous, for the toast i find it best with warburtons bread and country life butter best for beakfast :)

Reply

emmy May 30, 2013 at 10:16 am

delicous, for the toast i find it best with warburtons bread and country life butter best for beakfast :)

Reply

Richelle June 19, 2013 at 3:40 pm

This is the first time I’ve ever been able to make perfect soft boiled eggs – and I’ve been trying for years! Thanks so much for the instructions. Can’t wait to have them for breakfast again tomorrow!

Reply

Rachel June 26, 2013 at 10:12 am

Thanks for the post. I love soldiers and eggs and just fell in love with your egg cups. You said you found them on Etsy. I recently tried to find them, but can’t. Is there any other information you can give me to search for?

Thanks!

Reply

John August 3, 2013 at 8:30 pm

Hello,
I am 78 years old and Canadian (born and raised in England). I too always have the shells on, but I cut the soldiers a different way. Instead of the straight soldiers, which I find always bend too much, I cut them tapered with a blunt end.
The blunted thin end fits into the egg without causing the yolk to spill over the edge. When I eat nearly all the way to the wide end I turn it sideways and it fits inside perfectly too.
Just cut the slice in half vertically, then a diagonal cut on each half, with a half inch flat end on each soldier ( no points)

I also like my fried eggs slowly cooked so that the bottom is light brown and crispy with a soft yolk. ( English too? as I remember)

Reply

Al Rivera August 13, 2013 at 9:53 am

The eggs came out perfect… Marry me lol. Thanks a bunch

Reply

April Elizabeth August 30, 2013 at 5:19 am

Lies!

3 minutes was far too long and the whole thing was hard, so 5 minutes is way too long.

Reply

Carol October 16, 2013 at 9:16 am

Thank you for the way u make them. My Aunt is going to be 99 years old Friday and she loves soft boil eggs,and I like to cook but I always seem to make them hard boil eggs. I’m going to give it a try.

Thank You,

Reply

Kato Yoshi October 17, 2013 at 12:48 am

Thanks for the how to I am learning how to make Narutomaki miso-ramen soup with soft boiled egg now it is complete.

Reply

valerie October 26, 2013 at 5:51 am

Hi there, I actually lived in england as a child and this all the time. I couldn’t remember how long to cook the egg so this is how I found your recipe. But wanted to tell you that they make egg top cutters perhaps at bed bath beyond which you cut the top off leaving the shell on. Which another great part I liked eating was being able to take your spoon and scooping the rest of ths egg out.

Reply

shar November 3, 2013 at 8:43 am

Thank you so much for this soft boiled egg recipe, and your BUN looks great!

Reply

Chanda November 3, 2013 at 6:21 pm

After 6 Minutes, The Whites Were Still RuNny – Revolting.

Reply

Barby November 4, 2013 at 9:02 am

I did exactly what you said, waited until my water was at a roiling boil, then added the eggs and lid and turned it down. This was odd to me because I had always been taught to start the eggs in cool water or cold eggs’ shells would crack. I was amazed that they were cold from the fridge but didn’t crack at all. (I wonder if those whose eggs were overdone put the eggs in cool water and let them gradually cook until it boiled and then started timing…?)
Five minutes later, the eggs were perfect. I used extra large eggs and the whites were firm and the yolk was warm, liquid buttery richness. I made the little “soldiers” you suggested and it was a delicious meal. the timing was excellent. I put in the toast in the toaster oven as soon as I put the eggs in the pot. At 4 minutes, the toast was done. I buttered and cut it and then my timer went off for the eggs. I didn’t have egg cups but sawed the end two cups off of my paper egg carton and used the little egg seats from the carton. It wasn’t terribly sophisticated, I guess, but worked wonderfully. Thanks for teaching me a new cooking technique! They were delicious!

Reply

Miller November 5, 2013 at 10:54 am

I just attempted my first ever soft boiled egg after reading your recipe and much to my surprise, it was absolutely perfect! I only boiled for 4 and a half minutes because I like a runny egg but it was gorgeous. Thank you!!!

Reply

Rob November 5, 2013 at 12:44 pm

I usually had my soft boiled eggs ON toast. I’d peel the egg, put it on the toast and then mash it with the fork. I think I probably haven’t had soft boiled eggs in 50 years, but am having some right now. Bye.

P.S. Thanks for the tutorial. I didn’t remember how to do it.

Reply

Johnross1968 November 19, 2013 at 6:35 am

Try cooking them for less time. True soft boiled eggs are also called 3 minute eggs. The whites are a tad runny but delicious served in a bowl over broken up, buttered toast.

Reply

Susie November 25, 2013 at 2:02 am

If you keep the shells on, then shot glasses work for the egg cups!

Reply

DoriLeigh December 4, 2013 at 9:44 am

I’ve been eating these since I was a toddler. Love them!!! My Mom use to put the finished egg in a Whiskey glass and we called them “Egg in a Whiskey glass”. Guess that was the “poor mans” dish back then, lol. Thanks for the tip on timing. Was wondering how long to boil for. That’s how I came across your site. ;-)

Reply

Joe December 21, 2013 at 8:37 am

Where are those egg cups from? I need them!

Reply

Jim December 29, 2013 at 11:04 am

I cook soft-boiled eggs 2 to 3 times per week for breakfast. My wife and I eat them from the shell in egg cups, European style, along with coffee, whole grain toast and fresh fruit.

For consistent results, best to put eggs into boiling water. This eliminates vagaries of pot size, speed of boiling, knowing when it has begun to boil, and water temperature at start. Trick to avoid cracking is to poke a small hole in the wide end with a push pin or hat pin before inserting in the water.

My wife and I like the white firm and the yolk thick but still runny. At 500 feet above sea level we like eggs cooked 4 minutes if egg is large. (Jumbo eggs require another half minute to minute. ) At 4000 feet altitude (we have a mountain home) another minute must be added due to lower boiling point of water.

Best way to open for me is a sharp stroke with a table knife (you want more mass in the knife and not too much force) at the upper part of the shell (small end facing up). I just want to break the shell fairly cleanly, not to whack or saw the top off. Then you can just take the top cap off with your fingers. Takes a little practice but is quick and easy once you get the hang of it.

Reply

Camille December 29, 2013 at 10:42 pm

Thank you for sharing, they were perfect!!!

Reply

Beth S January 11, 2014 at 11:44 am

This cooking method was perfection for me at 5 minutes. Thanks
The problem I have is getting the egg out of the shell. I prefer to eat it in a bowl over the sliced up soldiers. Holding the hot egg proves difficult and today the precious yolk dribbled out over the counter and the potholder I was using to hold the hot egg.
Oh and there was one mouthful that contained shell. Yuck
If anyone has tips on de-shelling gracefully, I would love to know.

Reply

Platypus January 11, 2014 at 6:04 pm

Why should you remove the egg from the shell before serving? They’ve been eating them in the shell (putting them in a little cup, serving them in the shell with just the tops cut off) for centuries.

Reply

lisa January 20, 2014 at 11:17 am

Thank you for these tips-I used them this morning and my eggs came out perfect! :)

Reply

Ger January 23, 2014 at 11:21 am

I just want to say thank u, thank u, thank u! I don’t know how to cook at all and was craving this, this morning. I can’t believe how easy it was! I buttered my toast with cream cheese and it was amazing with the egg!

Reply

Yas February 4, 2014 at 6:54 pm

The recipe is fine, and works great for my perfect soft-boiled egg, but I’m bemused by the instruction to remove the shell. How on earth could you possibly eat the egg in an egg-cup, with toast soldiers, unless you had the shell to hold the egg? It would fall apart! Is that meant to be for someone who doesn’t know how to eat this, and instead wants to smear it all over a plate?

Reply

Angelina February 5, 2014 at 6:10 am

I’ve never had a soft boiled egg. I came across your instructions and decided to give it a try. They came out perfect! They were so good! Although mine weren’t as neatly cracked open as yours. :-) I plan on making these more often. Thanks!

Reply

Jonah February 5, 2014 at 8:49 am

I tried your method to a T, and ended up with undercooked soft-boiled eggs. When you say runny, you’re supposed to be talking about the yolk, not the whites…

Reply

Atley March 20, 2014 at 10:38 am

Seriously, mine came out waay undercooked, thanks for wasting my last 2 eggs :(

Reply

Retta February 7, 2014 at 1:48 pm

Perfect, thanks!

I like the white just set, and the yolk runny, so I did 5 min 30 seconds.

Reply

Sliv February 25, 2014 at 3:18 am

Perfect!!

Reply

Sarisha March 2, 2014 at 2:10 pm

Brilliant recipe! :) I used to just guess the timing and end up with too runny or too boiled eggs. But ur receipe= perfect runny eggs every time! Thanks so much :)

Reply

Sam Rader March 14, 2014 at 2:00 pm

I have been making these almost every day since I read this post–I am obsessed!

Now I am finally ready to invest in some egg cups…and REALLY want the ones you got on Etsy. The link seems to be dead and I tried searching for white egg cups, modern egg cups, all egg cups…with no success.

Any ideas? Thanks!

Reply

Marilyn April 7, 2014 at 7:22 pm

Love the egg cups! You mentioned you purchased them on etsy. Do you know who made them?

Reply

Shane Rakow April 21, 2014 at 4:35 am

Try this one for another method of soft-boiled eggs.

Any amount of large eggs right out of the refrigerator.

Bring 1/2″ of water to rolling boil in the bottom of your saucepan, or similar pan.

Add cold eggs to boiling water and cover. Immediately begin timer for 6 -1/2 minutes.
When timer goes off, immediately immerse in cold water for 30 seconds.

Crack or peel and eat.

Super simple and easy with consistent results. You can add many eggs to this recipe as you lose very little heat in the saucepan.

Credit to: Americas Test Kitchen.

Reply

Tom Bruno April 27, 2014 at 3:08 pm

Since I was a little kid, we ate the soft boiled, completely peeled, placed in a shot glass, and toast cut into strips

Reply

Sami May 5, 2014 at 10:09 am

My daughter just asked me if I would make solders and eggies. I went online just to confirm the time for soft eggs, as I make hard boiled regularly. I was so surprised to find your recipe as most people have no idea what Soilders and Eggies are. So, thank you, thank you very much!

Reply

Christopher May 6, 2014 at 8:13 am

I tried your method and it worked perfectly. I used a cold large egg, straight from the refrigerator. I waited for the water to reach a full, rolling boil. Holding the egg in a spoon, I lowered it into the boiling water. Lower the heat, wait exactly 5 minutes, then hold it under cold water for 30 seconds. Perfect. I took the advice of other readers and cut the “soldiers” diagonally and added a dab of butter to the egg once the yolk was gone. Many thanks for adding this simple recipe to my kitchen repertoire.

(Readers who complain that their eggs were undercooked probably didn’t wait for the water to reach a full, rolling boil. The water is not “boiling” just because you see small bubbles in the pan.)

Reply

Whoever May 18, 2014 at 7:00 am

Agreed on not shelling them. My English grandmother never shelled them. Grew up with the crack and lift the top off method. Less mess to clean up ’cause you are spooning the egg out of it’s own container. Egg cups are properly smooth and china inside and out unless you accept the thought of all those pores artfully hiding egg bacteria.

Reply

Susan May 27, 2014 at 1:59 pm

Love eggs cooked in many ways. But I can’t do ‘coddling” an egg. I have beautiful
English coddling cups with the metal screw on top. They stick to the side of the cup and I don’t know how to time them. Help! Hope someone informs me soon. Susan

Reply

Sapphire May 27, 2014 at 5:24 pm

I have a little machine called the Egg Genie – my godsend for eggs. It comes with a measuring cup, a “holder” for the eggs, a little pin to prick the eggs with (it’s ON the egg holder), and a top. I measure the water, pour it into the machine, prick the eggs, place them in the holder (pricked side UP), plug it in. While the eggs are cooking, I put cold water into a pan or whatever I have handy, get out my butter and put it in the dish I will use for eating the eggs. When the buzzer goes off, I wait for the steam to stop coming out of the big hole in the top. I grab the eggs with a pot holder and put them in the cold water and count to 10 slowly. By that time, the eggs are cool enuf to handle but still hot on the inside. I chop off the top of the egg, scoop it out into my buttered bowl, mash and enjoy. There is enuf room in the Genie for 7 eggs. I usually have two. AND THEY COME OUT PERFECT EVERY TIME!

Reply

Jodi June 19, 2014 at 3:57 pm

For those who complained about not being able to peel the eggs well, make sure the eggs aren’t fresh. The older the eggs, the easier they peel!

Reply

Jay June 28, 2014 at 7:04 pm

Yep…Shell on. Soft boiled eggs were also considered the perfect “sick food” by my grandparents and some of my very old cookbooks talk about soft boiled eggs as perfect for an ill child.

Reply

Leave a Comment

{ 11 trackbacks }

Previous post:

Next post: