Soft-boiled eggs and soldiers (buttered toast cut into strips; in our house they were called Eggies and Soldiers) are my number-one go-to comfort food. I always have bread in the freezer. I always have eggs. Protein and carbs is a pretty satisfying meal (and if you have some kind of fruit or vegetable laying around to eat, it’s a complete one too). My mum made this for me every time I was sick and now I make it every time I’m sick. Mums really know their shit. There’s just one thing about soft-boiled eggs: they are difficult to get perfect. And once you’ve opened them after cooking, you can’t just put them back in the pot to cook a little longer if they’re not done. You also can’t add more water if they’re over-cooked. You have to start entirely over. And that’s a pain.
I have only recently discovered the secret to a perfect soft-boiled egg. And it’s not what you think. I’ve had people say “put the eggs in cold water, bring to a boil, yadda yadda…” No. This soft-boiled egg trick actually works. For real. This is the soft-boiled egg trick to END all soft-boiled egg tricks. And it’s so easy. I am going to share it with you because nobody should be avoiding soft-boiled eggs because they’re difficult. They should be enjoying them with reckless abandon. So without furder ado, here it is.
The Definitive Soft-Boiled Egg Trick
- Boil an inch of water in a pot.
- Put a steaming thing over the pot (what are these called anyway? This is what I mean; you can also use a metal strainer if you don’t have a steaming basket or whatever the hell they’re called.)
- Put your bread in the toaster, but don’t turn it on yet.
- Take two eggs straight from the fridge and place them in the basket, then place the lid on top.
- Turn on a timer for 6 minutes.
- Turn on the toaster.
- Wait anxiously, and prepare the butter, a knife, and a plate with your egg cup. When the timer goes off, set it for another 30 seconds, take the toast out and butter it, and cut it into strips (about 3/4 of an inch or so each; small enough to dip into the egg yolk).
- When the timer goes off the second time, take the eggs out and run them under cold water for another 30 seconds to halt cooking, then carefully crack the circumference of the top of the egg with a teaspoon. Lift the “lid” you’ve created off the egg and scoop out the white inside (and eat it). Some people like sprinkling on salt and pepper before they dip into the yolk. As a soft-boiled egg purist, I choose to refrain.
- Dip your soldiers in your egg yolk and enjoy! Once you’ve eaten the yolk, use your tiny teaspoon to scrape out the white and eat it.
- Repeat with the second egg. Yummmm.
If you’re in need of comfort food, you probably don’t really care what kind of toast your soldiers are made from. If you do want the authentic experience, though, I highly recommend sourdough. You really can’t beat a good sourdough soldier dipped in creamy yolk. Please, do yourself or your family a huge favour and try the soft-boiled egg trick with soldiers. You won’t regret it!