Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Half-Boiled Eggs

These are also called soft-boiled eggs in some Singapore coffeeshops and is a must-have accompaniment to kaya toast, but I don't think that's an accurate translation, because they're completely different. Instead of a solid white and a runny yolk, you have runny whites and a fake-solid yolk (it looks like a cooked yolk but gives way to delicious gooey mess once poked). I believe the Japanese have a similar thing called onsen tamago, "hot spring eggs", cooked in a very similar but more rigorous way using hot spring water.

This is much easier to make, but as with soft-boiled eggs, timing is important.

Half-Boiled Eggs
Room temperature large free range eggs
Boiling hot water

To serve
dark soy sauce, traditionally brewed and fermented
white pepper

1. Arrange eggs in one layer in a heatproof bowl or pot.
2. Pour boiling water over to cover the eggs, then cover the bowl or pot with a tight lid.
3. After 6 min (5 min for medium eggs), drain and rinse with cold water.

And now, the fun part:
4. Crack egg open and slip the egg out.

As you can see, I clumsily broke one yolk while cracking it.

5. Add a dash of soy sauce and pepper, to taste.

I know it looks like an artistic experiment, but it's delicious. The white is so so soft and slippery, and the yolk, a perfectly-formed orange bubble that bursts into a warm sticky egg-river that runs into the soy sauce river. Dip your kaya toast in it if you like, and/or just slurp the rest down, with a nice cup of coffee or tea, Singapore-style.

I'm flying tonight, back to London ): I'm going to miss all the people and food here.


  1. It looks heavenly! However, I have always disliked the runny egg whites... In Europe many people love omelets with runny white, but I could never get used to those. I adore the runny yolk!
    (On the other hand I love raw egg in my steak tartare ;-) )
    Have a great flight! I am sure there are also many London sides you miss!

  2. I never before heard the term "half" boiled eggs, but I sure like the concept. Thanks.

  3. Eek - you do a great job of making it look delicious, but I'm not sure if I could stomach the egg whites like this... they always seem so ... "goopy" :/

  4. This is such a great technique! I bet it's delicious with kaya toast.

  5. I love this with a sliced of buttered spread bread dip into the eggs..yum yum!
    Have a safe flight!

  6. Oh... this isn't found elsewhere except in our region? I never knew and thanks for sharing.

  7. This looks so bizarre! But I bet I'd love it! Safe flight. I'm driving down to London today too!

  8. I love soft boiled eggs with a passion but I would use light soy sauce rather than the dark sauce though..

  9. This is something I really miss from Japan. We eat raw egg or runny egg but here in the US we are recommended not to eat it raw or not too runny. This looks so good!!! I miss eating them...

  10. This is like my all-time fav breakfast food!! I loved waking up in the morning to eat this before going to school... And using the most organic, "kampung" eggs we could find. Yum Yum... Thanks for this blast from the past, Shu Han! Haha..

  11. sissi: i love runny egg whites, but yes, i guess it's a personal preference thing!

    stephen: it's a direct translation from the chinese way of saying it.

    charles: hmm, it's not gloopy! it's soft and smooth! haha ok yah personal preference thing i guess.

    katherine: yes, some pple dip it in, i like them separate though!

    yummylittlecooks: yyup, it's nice plain even!

    wendy: yea, the western equivalent is usually soft boiled eggs but it's quite different I feel!

    dom: i can imagine it looks alien to people who've never seen it before! i'm safely back home now as you can tell, foaming tired though.

    chopin: the dark soy sauce gives a more intense colour, but light is good too!

    nami: i think the key is getting free range eggs from a source that you trust, maybe from the farmers' markets in US? it's a shame to have to give it up ):

    winston: yes, haha as "kampung" as you can get!

  12. i have said it many many times, i adore the Noble Egg, it's a nourishing food, easy & versatile. i enjoy my eggs with soy sauce, it is a source comfort me and i have no qualms about asking for it when i dine out.

    i think i attempted this once before but the heat of the water cracked the shell. regardless, it was still good.

  13. yum i LOVE eggs. i think you have to make sure you use rtp eggs, before pouring the boiling water over! but glad to hear it was good nevertheless(:

  14. I love a great runny egg yolk. And I love a very soft egg white, but I'm not sure about this one. I would be willing to try it, although only with farm eggs.

    Soft boiled eggs really are different, the white is much more solid.