The healthiest way to eat an egg is when the yolk, just barely set as in poaching or softboiling, becomes creamy or runny when gently nudged. This preserves all nutrients in perfect, highly digestible harmony. The definitive method for poaching is to use an egg poacher, but mastery of soft-boiling has proven far more illusive.
In fact, it’s a subject of considerable controversy. Some say start the egg in cold water and boil, others boil water first, then add. How much water? Cold eggs straight out of the ‘fridge or warm to room temperature? Lid on or off? Rapid boil or medium? Turn down to a simmer or remove from heat and for how long? What about large vs. small eggs, high vs. low elevations? It’s a dizzying array of issues!
In short, cooks down through the ages and around the world will never agree, though each will claim to have found the “perfect” soft-boiling technique. So here’s ours, declared “easy” by several FACT friends who claim absolutely no particular culinary expertise:
- Remove egg(s) from ‘fridge. Place in a small saucepan and cover the egg(s) about halfway with cold tap water.
- Cover the pot and place on the stove. Bring to a rapid boil. Turn off the heat.
- Wait 2 1/2 minutes (a digital timer is helpful). Pour out the water and run cold water for a few seconds over the egg(s), so just warm to the touch.
- To open, tap in the middle with a knife and scoop out with a spoon. Voila! a warm, syrupy yolk enrobed in a tender, but not rubbery, white.
Note: Egg size should make no difference if all eggs in the pot are the same size and covered halfway with water. For those who like their yolk really runny and the white only slightly thickened, 2 minutes wait time will probably suffice.