Perfect Soft Boiled Eggs Every Time ~ Macheesmo


How to Make Soft Boiled Eggs

My method for how to make soft boiled eggs couldn’t be simpler! Here’s how it goes:

First, heat the water. Bring a medium pot of water to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium, so the water maintains a gentle boil.

Then, add the eggs. Using a slotted spoon, carefully lower the eggs into the simmering water. Set a timer for 7 minutes.

While the eggs cook, prepare the ice bath. Fill a large bowl with cold water, and add a handful of ice. When the timer goes off, remove the eggs from the hot water, and immediately add them to the ice bath. Allow them to chill for at least 3 minutes.

Finally, peel the eggs! Tap the bottom of a soft boiled egg to remove a little of the shell. Carefully slide a small spoon between the egg and its shell, and slide it around the egg to loosen the shell and remove it. I love this easy method for peeling a soft boiled egg, but it can take a little practice to get just right. If you prefer, you can also peel the eggs with your hands, like I do in my hard boiled egg recipe.

Repeat the peeling process with the remaining eggs, and enjoy!


How Long Will Soft-Boiled Eggs Last In the Fridge?

Store unpeeled, soft-boiled eggs in the refrigerator, where they will keep for two days. You can reheat them with a quick trip into simmering water on the stove—just cook in a single layer if you have multiple eggs. Just under a minute should heat the egg through without overcooking it.

Choosing Eggs for Soft-boiled Eggs

For this method to work, the only things you need to remember when picking out the eggs are:

1) Get large or extra-large eggs.

2) Move the eggs straight from the fridge to the hot water. You don’t want them to come to room temperature before cooking.

3) For peeling, it helps to have slightly older eggs. That said, I’ve used new eggs from the store before and it works okay if you follow the peeling instructions below, but it’s always easier to peel slightly older eggs because the shell separates some from the whites.

Okay, let’s get to the fun part!


It’s really just another way to have toast with your eggs, but people love it: Cut a hole in bread, toast each side in a lightly oiled skillet, break eggs into each hole, cover the pan to let it sit for roughly five minutes so the eggs set. Salt and pepper to taste afterward.

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Salmonella is a bacteria that can cause food poisoning, and it’s present in poultry and eggs among other things. While it’s easily killed through normal cooking, a soft-boiled egg is considered “undercooked,” which means there’s a risk, albeit a very small one, of developing a foodborne illness from eating it.

How small? Per-capita, egg consumption in the United States is around 290 eggs per year, with about 1 in 20,000 eggs infected with salmonella. Thus, the average person can be expected to encounter a contaminated egg once every 69 years.

With that said, avoid uncooked and partially cooked eggs to be extremely safe. This goes particularly for children under 5, the elderly, pregnant women, and anyone with a compromised immune system.

To be 100 percent safe, use pasteurized eggs for your soft-boiled eggs (or any other egg preparations that produce a liquid yolk, like poached, over-easy, or sunny-side up eggs).

Can you make these in advance?

Of course you can! Once they are soft-boiled, store them in the fridge for up to a few days. When you are ready to serve, reheat them in a pot of simmering water for about a minute and that will reheat the eggs. Then peel and serve them as you would if they were fresh out of the pot!

Did you make this recipe?

I’d love to know how it turned out! Please let me know by leaving a review below. Or snap a photo and share it on Instagram; be sure to tag me @onceuponachef.

Hard-Boiled Eggs Recipe

Hard-boiled eggs are portable and convenient for eating on their own and serve as the chief ingredient in other tasty breakfast, lunch, or dinner recipes, including salads and sandwiches. They also take little time, and are easy and simple to make. For easy-to-peel shells, boil eggs that have been sitting in the refrigerator for a few days. Place the raw eggs at the bottom of a pot just big enough to accommodate them (with too much room to move around, the shells may crack before the whites have solidified). Add cool water to a level 1 or 2 inches above the eggs. Put the pot on a cold burner, then turn on the stove and bring the water to a full, rolling boil. Turn off the heat and let the eggs sit in the water for 15 minutes. Remove the hard-boiled eggs from the water and submerge in a bowl of ice water. Hard-boiled eggs can keep in the refrigerator for several days and still be good to eat when you need a protein boost, or decide to make egg salad. Related: Where to Find a Good, Cheap Breakfast in Every State

Marinating Your Eggs

Once you've got your eggs boiled and peeled, the rest is a simple bath in a sweet soy- and mirin-based marinade. The easiest recipes are just that: a mix of soy sauce and mirin (sweet Japanese wine). I prefer to cut my marinade with a good amount of sake with some added sugar to compensate for the dilution of the mirin.

If you happen to have made a batch of tender, sweet Japanese-style pork belly chashu, you can use that leftover porky broth for an extra-tasty egg.

J. Kenji López-Alt

Now, you could just pour your marinade into a bowl and add your eggs. That'll work. Sort of. The problem is that soft-boiled eggs are more buoyant than the sweet-salty marinade and thus float to the top and poke their heads out, resulting in uneven marination. Restaurants usually have meshed devices intended to hold the eggs under the liquid while they marinate. Home cooks solve this problem through other methods.

One common technique is to put the eggs and the marinade into a plastic zipper-lock bag and carefully remove all the air from it, forcing the liquid to spread around the eggs. It works, but it's a little messy to do. Here's a much easier technique:

J. Kenji López-Alt

Just cover the tops of the eggs with a paper towel. The towel wicks liquid up and around the eggs, making sure that all sides get even exposure to marinade. It's a technique I use all the time for all kinds of preparations—keeping vegetables submerged in their pickling liquid, for example, or keeping peeled artichokes submerged in lemon water to prevent discoloration.

How to Store Hard-Boiled Eggs

Hard-boiled eggs can be stored in the shell in the refrigerator and last up to four days. The whites of hard-boiled eggs get rubbery when frozen, but you can freeze the yolks for later if you’d like.

How to Peel a Boiled Egg

So you eventually want to eat this egg, huh? We’ve outlined the best way to remove the shell without scratches, dents or eggsplosions.

Tap + Roll Method

1. Pull the egg out of the ice bath.

2. Gently tap one end of the egg on a hard surface, cracking the shell slightly.

3. Gently roll the egg on the hard surface to sh

3. Gently roll the egg on the hard surface to shatter more of the shell.

4. Hold the egg under running water (or submerge

4. Hold the egg under running water (or submerge back in the ice bath, if you can handle the cold) and peel starting from the cracked end. The trick to a clean peel is to carefully get under the thin membrane between the shell and the white so the water can help separate the two as you go.

 Eggs are easiest to peel right out of

Notes: Eggs are easiest to peel right out of the ice bath. Soft-boiled eggs require a much gentler touch when peeling. For a very soft egg, you can also place it in an egg cup (or hold it in your hand) and tap the top with a spoon until the shell is easy to remove.

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