Monthly Archives: March 2012

Ode To Springtime…and the Soft Boiled Egg!

“I have met a lot of harboiled eggs in my time, but you’re twenty minutes.”
~Oscar Wilde

Happy Spring! Ever notice that the egg is a symbol of Spring in several cultures? Naturally, we have Easter eggs, which were originally thought of as a symbol of new life. A similar tradition of dying eggs has been practiced for more than 2,500 years for Nowruz, the Persian celebration of the Spring Equinox, and New Year, in which the egg is also the symbol of new life. A hard boiled egg is one of the items on the Seder plate on Passover, and it symbolizes the roundness of Earth and life which is always moving in circles, and is also in Judaism, a symbol of Springtime.

When I was a little girl, I loved, but was very finicky about my soft boiled eggs. As I grew into a teenager, I really let my Mom have it when my egg wasn’t cooked right (hormones raging and all). And since I’ve been on my own for awhile, I have finally developed a level of comfort making my soft boiled eggs just right. A perfectly cooked soft boiled egg is all about the timing. While there is also a science to it, varying by cooking time, size of egg, temperature, etc, I have found that the best soft boiled eggs I’ve ever made were when I felt they were ready. It’s hoakey, I know. Eggs are an excellent source of protein and vitamins, and soft boiled eggs are one of the healthiest ways of preparing them, since they don’t require oil or butter to make them. Here’s how I make mine:

Place your egg(s) into a pot of water, enough to cover the surface of the egg(s). When the water starts to boil, set your timer to 3 minutes for a perfect soft boiled egg. If you don’t trust yourself, heres’s a lovely little gadget you can get that tells you the state that your egg is in as it’s cooking (soft, medium or hard). After the water has boiled 3 minutes, turn off burner, and run cold water over the egg, or place it into a bowl of cold water, to make it stop cooking.

After the egg has cooled to touch, place it into an egg cup. If you don’t have one, get creative! Try a small vase, the wide neck of a bottle, a napkin ring. I’ve used these lovely little glass jars from a French yogurt company. (They’re great for candle votives too!) This time I used my favorite little chicken cup.

My favorite way to get into the egg is to crack the top of the shell with a spoon, and gently peel off the shell, placing the peeled shells in the egg cup (for easy clean up!). Some people like to be more precise, and they cut the top of the egg straight across with a knife. Peeling the top has been a lifelong ritual, and I delight in it every time.

Dig into the egg with your spoon, and unearth that ray of yolk.

My Grandmother used to put a tiny sliver of butter and a tiny pinch of salt on each spoonful before scooping out the meat of the egg. I have strayed from that ritual, and now vary with a small sprinkle of herb salt, or a spritz of Bragg’s Liquid Aminos. Below you can see I had my soft boiled egg today with a fresh arugula salad, and lavash bread, one half with avocado and cucumber, and the other half with my favorite salty Irish butter. Hungry yet? Feel free to send me your favorite ways that you enjoy your soft boiled egg!