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.
NOTE: 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.
NOTE: 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.
NOTE: 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.
TIP: 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.
TIP: 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.
NOTE: 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!
* * * *
CYCLE 2 by the NUMBERS
By Rating. For the most part, I was satisfied with 190 items (52%); 119 items (32%) rated mediocre; and 58 items (16%) were disappointing.
By Origin. Korean topped the list with 113 items (31%), American and Italian each represented 52 items (14%), and Chinese came in 4th with 40 items (11%). I was happy to add 8 new countries to the list, including Brazil, Bulgaria, Egypt, Hungary, Paraguay, Philippines, Spain, and Vietnam.
By Ingredient. Pork was tops with 81 appearances, followed by beef with 65, tomatoes 59, fish 52, shrimp and rice 51 each, and chicken 45. I finally got to eat lobster.
By Source. 170 meals were home-cooked (139 by me), compared to 173 meals prepared by a restaurant of some sort. 18 meals in a camping situation.
By Location. 169 meals were eaten at home. While the entirety of Cycle 1 took place in Korea, Cycle 2 featured 15 meals eaten somewhere overseas, including Japan, Philippines, Hong Kong, and quite literally “over sea” in one case.
By Companion. Perhaps the most significant stat of all, my son DJ dominated the list with 199 shared meals. W came close with 174. I ate 79 meals solo. MtG had the most of other companions with 46 (a number that might’ve been higher had he not met his current girlfriend during the summer). And LJY, GMTD’s Number 1 Fan, joined me on 5 occasions.
By Audience. The blog scored 8,042 page views from the US and 4,469 from Korea. The other 8 countries in the top ten included Canada (543), Philippines (454), Malaysia (398), Russia (393), Australia (387), UK (344), Germany (251), and Singapore (237). Overall, the blog had 16,156 hits during Cycle 2 (compared to 2,015 in Cycle 1!). Thank you all! But I wish that you’d leave comments so I know who you are!
FAVORITE BY-ME DISHES
(2.226 Gold Mountain Pork Belly)
FAVORITE RESTAURANT DISHES
FAVORITE BY-ME PRESENTATIONS
(2.176 Spaghetti Dominico with Cherry Tomatoes)
(2.154 Pan-Seared Scallops and Chicory Leaves in a Butter-Gin Reduction)
WORST RESTAURANT DISHES
MOST MEMORABLE MEALS
(2.045 Pork Bellies: Seared, Dipped, Topped, Wrapped)
(2.292 Beef & Bell Pepper Stir-Fry)
MOST BIZARRE DISH
(See also FOODS)
(See also PLACES)