5 (Thu) January 2011
Perfectly Boiled Eggs
-Oksu, Seongdong, Seoul, Korea-
For the final meal of Cycle 2, I struggled to come up with something appropriate. Last year, for the final meal of the inaugural cycle, I went to Bon-Ga (본가) and had pork galbi, the very first restaurant and dish featured on the blog, thereby closing the loop. This time, however, I decided that it would be better to save that meal for the actual anniversary tomorrow. I could’ve gone out with a bang – a grand meal at a grand restaurant, or one of my “signature” dishes at home – but, long story short, current circumstances prevented any such lofty ambitions. On my way home from work, I even detoured to Itaewon, thinking perhaps of getting something to go, like a donner kebab sandwich, but that just seemed weird on second thought, so I went home empty-handed. At home, standing in front of an open fridge, I settled on the simplest solution of boiled eggs. It seemed a quietly dignified conclusion to the culinary madcap journey that was Cycle 2.
- 4 medium eggs (about 60 grams each)
- 4 cups water
- 1 tsp vinegar
- 1 dash table salt
1. If refrigerated, let the eggs sit on the counter and come to room temperature.
Colder eggs will take longer to cook. For this recipe, timing is critical.
2. In a pot, fill with sufficient water to immerse the eggs completely and bring to the boil.
If the eggs are not fully immersed, they will cook slower and rattle around more, possibly resulting in cracking. Also, insufficient water will allow the temperature to dip upon introduction of the eggs, requiring additional to bring it back to boiling point.
3. Add the vinegar.
This supposedly helps to loosen the shells for peeling. I don’t know. But it’s easy enough, so why not?
4. Add the eggs – gently.
I use a ladle or slotted spoon or skimmer to lower the eggs into the water and place them on the bottom of the pot, rather than dropping them into the water, which risks cracking the shell if they fall too hard to the bottom or on each other.
5. Boil the eggs for 7 minutes.
Eggs of different size would require less or more time, so adjust accordingly.
6. Drain the hot water, rinse the eggs under running cold water for 30 seconds, leave the eggs covered in cold water to cool until ready to eat.
The eggs must be cooled to slow the residual heat from continuing to cook and thus overcook from within.
Up top, the featured photo of this post shows eggs that were peeled almost immediately – I was hungry and impatient – a bit too runny for me.
Even when cooled, the eggs will cook a bit more. At the 10-minute mark, the yolks are still a tad warm and gorgeously gooey. This is the preferred texture when eaten on the spot.
After 1 hour, the eggs will cool down completely and stop cooking at a point of perfect creaminess. This texture holds better when the eggs are stored in the fridge for eating later.
7. Peel, sprinkle with salt, enjoy!