Perfect Soft Boiled Eggs

Here we are with our second post to our Back to the Basics, Egg Series.  We talked about scrambling a couple weeks ago.  Today we are talking about a favorite of ours, the “perfectly soft-boiled egg”.

I love soft boiled eggs, cooked just right, with a sprinkle of sea salt and fresh cracked pepper, served along side  a chunk of warm crusty baguette.  It is a simple breakfast that is so satisfying.  I overdosed as a kid on soft boiled eggs, when I got sick once and the doctor instructed me to eat them along with chicken soup, everyday and it would cure me.  It did work, but I never looked at a soft boiled egg, until my first trip to Germany.   Each inn I stayed at offered perfect soft boiled eggs, bread, cheese, yogurt and ultra creamy coffee – very fond memories.

The key to the perfectly soft boiled egg, you ask?  Is the time it is bubbling away in a saucepan.  As well a tablespoon of white vinegar added to the water, seems to make the egg hold up better.  We tried this recipe with and without vinegar.  As well we tried it at 2, 3, 4 and 5 minutes.  At all times without vinegar, the egg white and yolk, would break easier when removing from the shell.  With vinegar, at ll the times, the egg held up nicely.  Two minutes produced a watery egg, the white was the consistency of, well, how do you say this, snot.  Four minutes, the white of the egg was a bit firmer but the yolk was getting a bit to dense for our liking.  Five minutes, the white was pretty firm, and the yolk was getting very firm.  Three minutes was perfect.  The white was still soft but not snotty.  The yolk was warmed throughout and still runny.  The perfect soft boiled egg.  In our opinion.

Recipe: Soft Boiled Egg

  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • water

Take the egg out of the refrigerator 5 minutes before beginning to cook.  Bring water to boil in a saucepan.  Lower heat to a simmer, slowly and carefully add the egg;  I use a ladle.  Let the egg gently simmer for 3 – 5 minutes, depending on how soft you like your soft cooked egg.  I like it on the runny side for dipping the bread, so I cook it for 3 minutes.  Remove from the water, and run it under cold water, just long enough so you can hold it.  Crack the egg in half.  Serve in a shallow bowl.  Sprinkle with salt and cracked pepper.   Serve.  Eat.


As a regular reader you know Lenny loves EGGS – any old way.  When I saw this particular recipe, in an issue of Donna Hay, I knew that he would love this soft boiled egg pasta dish.  The roasted garlic, cheese and sweet, spring peas made the dish perfect.  As Donna would say, this dish was “Simple Made Simple” and ever so delicious!

**  Don’t forget to check out our other delicious perfectly cooked egg dishes:

Recipe: Roasted Garlic Pasta with Peas and Egg

*serves 4

  • 1/2 head garlic
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 pound angel hair pasta
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan
  • 1/2 cup fresh english peas
  • sea salt
  • cracked black pepper

Preheat oven to 425.  Wrap garlic in foil and roast for 15 – 30 minutes or until soft, tender and slightly golden.  Squeeze garlic from skins and mash with a fork.  Cover to keep warm and set aside.

Cook the eggs following the above directions.  Drain and set aside to cool slightly before peeling.

Cook the pasta in a pan of salted boiling water for 3 minutes.  Drain well and return to the pan.  Add the olive oil and toss.  Then add the cream, 1/2 of the Parmesan, garlic, salt and peas and toss to coat.  Divide between serving plates, halve the eggs and place on top to serve.  Sprinkle with remaining cheese.  Serve.  Eat.


  1. The first time I discovered soft boiled eggs was in Brugge, Belgium where the hotel I stayed at asked if I wanted my egg boiled soft, medium or hard. I didn’t know such variations existed and decided to try my first soft boiled egg.

  2. I love soft boiled eggs. Funny, I just blogged about making soft boiled eggs for my husband. I cheat and I have a gadget that soft boils mine perfectly. It’s all about the egg cup, for me. LOVE the one in your photo. Love all the photos, actually.


  3. i always love soft boiled egg (i hate hate HATE hard boiled eggs)…thanks for the tips, let me get sous chef to try this method and feed me hehe :)

  4. stephanie says:

    i am at this very moment using your recipe for soft boiled eggs…will let you know how they turn out…soft boiling 4 for my honey and me!!!!

  5. That pasta dish looks delicious. I will treat my self to it this week end.

    Many thanks!!

  6. Janice B says:

    Good tips on this web site. I love poached eggs, but they never turn out. Just started to surf the web for egg cups. I too will try this recipe, it looks delicious.

    Thank You!

  7. Steve Moore says:

    I a the owner of a large restaurant and had a customer order a soft boiled egg. I have never had an order for one so once I went to your website, PROBLEM SOLVED


  8. am looking forward to trying the soft boiled egg and noodles….looks delicious and I love the simple-ness of it.

  9. Karen says:

    Are you using room temperature eggs or right out of the fridge?

  10. Very good question and I am going to add that to the recipe. I take the eggs out before I start boiling the water. So they are at medium room temp.


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