How to cook a soft-boiled egg

This is one of those simple things that we should all probably know how to do, but unfortunately for too many years I didn’t. When I was a Nanny eggs & soldiers {we call them dippy eggs} were a treat for breakfast, but too many times I disappointed the kids by making the eggs too hard. Never fear… I now have the process down pat, and you can too.

♥ Place room temperature eggs into a saucepan {the smaller the better so the eggs don’t rattle about} and fill saucepan with cold water until the eggs are covered {don’t overfill – just 1cm over the eggs is perfect}. Place on medium heat.

♥ Put your toast in the toaster while your eggs come to the boil. Once water is boiling turn to a simmer.

♥ Simmer for 3 minutes {use a timer, even if it’s a freebie like mine}. Drain water from saucepan and remove eggs. Place in eggs cups and chop the top off, revealing a oozy egg yolk perfect for dipping. Serve with warm buttered toast.

For really runny eggs simmer for just 2 minutes & for a set yolk simmer for 4 minutes.

Hubby hates the idea of dippy eggs. Do you like them? How do you prefer yours, runny or hard?

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20 thoughts on “How to cook a soft-boiled egg”

  1. This is the ultimate reminder of my childhood. My mum and both my grandmothers used to make this for me regularly. We called them “goozey eggs” (no idea where that name came from – gooey eggs, perhaps?). Might have to eat it again soon, just so I can feel like a kid again 🙂 xx

  2. so simply and you'd think i'd know this by now too!! i just guess everytime. thanks chantelle…i love egg in a cup. soft boiled egg with a bunch of torn up buttery toast…add a good shake of salt and maybe even a bit more butter too. i grew up eating it and now it is one of my girls' favs…

  3. Yum, I adore eggs. Soft boiled eggs are one of my favourite meals – BUT I don't like dipping the toast. I prefer to get the yolk/white somewhat combined, so that each bite contains both. With the dipping, the whites are last, however the yolk is my favourite, so I don't like that!

    So I just soft boil them (2.5 minutes, using the same method as you do) and then I peel them and smush them onto buttered toast. Plus a good sprinkle of salt. Yum!

    Interestingly, a cafe I go to (a fancy one) serves something called 63 degree eggs (or something like that – maybe 73?). They are cooked at a low temperature for 90 minutes. They are divine!

    X TM

  4. I simply cannot boil an egg. It is one of my biggest failings as a mother. Sigh…

    I now poach eggs and my girls get super excited when they get all that runny goodness all over their plates (and faces, and hair, and dressing gowns etc).

    But, for you, I will try your method (I have an app for my phone that takes into account altitude, temp of eggs, diameter of eggs etc)… My husband has a little panic attack when I suggest boiled eggs for breakfast!

  5. Dippy eggs are where it is AT! I love them and my little boy loves them too! We also call them dippy eggs and enjoy them for lunch sometimes when we are feeling so inclined!

    Thanks for the guide as I do tend to overcook mine for fear that it won't be cooked. For poached eggs I cheat and use a Scanpan poacher (you just set it in the pan and put the lid on and perfect poached eggs!)

    Lazy, I know…

  6. Oh, I wish my wee ones liked runny eggs and soldiers, but they insist on very hard boiled ones. Still, glad they eat eggs, fantastic for breakfast at any age.

  7. Mmmm such a wonderful childhood memory that I now hope my son will cherish too. We call them goggie soldiers.

    Like a precious poster I use the iPhone app called egg timer otherwise my son gets disappointed when they aren't gooey enough.

  8. Sorry typed in small print on my iPad. Should read “googie soldiers” and “previous poster” although B I'm sure you are a precious 🙂

  9. I really appreciate this post, I've been avoiding soft boiled eggs for ages because I always overcook them too, now I'm going to give them a go on the weekend, thanks!

  10. Thanks for the tips. It is really hard to make them just right. My mom used to make them for me when I was really young. It makes me smile. I looked forward to trying this out this weekend.
    Question – how do you lop of the top without the shell getting into the egg? What knife do you use?

  11. Oh yum! We love eggs in our house – and yes, they have to be runny! If I overcook the yolk, the kids won't eat them! Might be time for some eggs and soldiers for us tomorrow morning!

  12. boiled eggs and soldiers are my soul food, whenever I am sad, sick or just in need of some comfort this is what I crave. With a nice hot cup of sweet tea.

    This actually reminds me of my brother who I have grown up really close to. He was my best friend and knew how to make me smile – whenever I had the blues this is what he would make me. I live in Perth and he lives in Tassie and I miss him!


  13. Just this morning I dragged out an old very cheap electric egg boiler and had perfect dippy eggs for breakfast – straight from my chooks!! heaven

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