Over-easy, sunny-side up, 62 degrees, scrambled…how do you like your eggs?

As a kid in Singapore, I enjoyed sitting in a neighbourhood kopi-tiam (coffee shop) where I dipped thick slices of bread into the gooeyiest, most slurpable half-boiled eggs seasoned with soy sauce and white pepper. Most of you would most likely be going “what?” – why would anyone eat undercooked eggs with soy sauce for breakfast?! Weird!

However the Southeast Asian version is very much (well, almost) like the soft boiled eggs of the western world with the egg cups, ‘soldiers’ and a sprinkle of salt. A perfectly cooked ‘half-boiled’ egg kopitiam style has a runny yolk encased in a thin film of ‘just-cooked’ whites. A little over, the whites will start to solidify, a little under and the whites will be undercooked and slimy. Tricky business!

The coffee shop man has an egg cooker that makes perfect half boiled eggs every single time and recently I tried replicating it using various methods at home. I tried bringing the eggs and water to boil at the same time, pouring boiling water onto eggs in a bowl and covering it to cook, even attempting the American Test Kitchen’s ‘steam’ method. Nothing gave me the perfect half boiled egg until this method which I’m about to share…

I’ve tried it several times now and each time I got perfectly cooked half-boiled eggs. Hurray! My search is finally over and my Singapore breakfast has finally arrived in Melbourne. Give it a try if you’re big on runny eggs, don’t diss it till you try it!




1. Bring a small pot of water to a rolling boil. Add a large pinch of salt. Turn off the heat.

2. Lower the eggs gently into the water. Leave it uncovered.

3. For 4 eggs, cook for 12 minutes. For 2 eggs, cook for 10 minutes. (I don’t have timings for anything more than 4 eggs – sorry!)

4. Once done, drain the water and run the eggs under cold running water for about 8-10 seconds.

5. Crack the eggs into a bowl. There should be very little to no whites stuck on the inner shell. The egg should come out with the whites opaque, runny and encasing the yolk.

5. Season with a dash of soy sauce (i like dark soy) and a sprinkle of white pepper.

6. Mix it up, dunk your toast in and enjoy…slurp it all up!



Join the conversation! 9 Comments

  1. When I first came to Singapore, I couldn’t eat those half boiled eggs… too runny! After a few months, I started eating them with salt, not soy sauce… But now I’m a big fan! Half boiled eggs with soy sauce and pepper, a few slices of toast with butter and kaya, a cup of kopi… perfect! Will try your method to cook half boiled eggs at home :)

  2. We still have these for breakfast every other day, even thot we don’t live in SG now. i bought a half-boiled egg maker while in SG quite a number of years ago. Make them perfect except when the little dip hole gets blocked, which happens if the egg is over the hole or if it cakes up with kalk (minerals in the water here). :)


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About droolfactor

It's all about my gastronomical journeys, and sometimes an inedible thought or two. One of the very nicest things about life is the way we must regularly stop whatever it is we are doing and devote our attention to eating. ~Luciano Pavarotti and William Wright, Pavarotti, My Own Story This is my personal journey where I devote my attention to eating, cooking, experimenting and taking chances. Anything I come across with a droolfactor worth sharing, it's here. I hope you'll enjoy this journey with me.


Comfort Food, Home attempts, Other, Recipes


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