In an effort to bring efficiency, functionality and a more appealing texture (we both like a slightly firmer white with a soft yolk) to the hot spring egg we took a step back and started with a poached egg. While poaching eggs in boiling, vinegared water produces good results I have been inspired by the aesthetic of the Arzak egg. This egg is wrapped in plastic wrap which is seasoned with goose fat and truffle oil. The egg is steamed and when it is unwrapped the white is ridged like a beggars purse, the tender runny yolk inside. I wondered if we could borrow this aesthetic and integrate the consistency of onsen eggs? I brushed plastic wrap with truffle oil and seasoned them with salt. I placed a raw egg on the plastic and wrapped it into a tight bundle. My plan was to cook the parcels for three minutes in simmering water to set the whites and then finish cooking the eggs in a water bath set at 63.9 degrees C for an hour. I set about preparing the eggs, cooking them and finally cooling them in an ice bath. This is where the functionality comes into play. I wanted to be able to heat the eggs in a water bath at any time and in any amount necessary. From outside the plastic my eggs looked to be correct: a wonderfully set white with a tender and soft yolk. Unfortunately, upon heating the eggs and unwrapping them, we discovered that the white was not completely set. Close is just a polite word for failure.
Sometimes not so polite, I mentioned that we seemed to be going to a lot of trouble to reproduce a 3-minute soft boiled egg. Admittedly there is no way to incorporate truffles and goose fat into a sealed egg shell, although they can be added later. On the other hand I have no solution to serving them whole and perfectly peeled or to the easy reheat so our experiments continue in spite of my occasional curmudgeonly grumbles.
Two changes need to be made as we refine this approach: weigh the eggs for the sake of consistency and cook the same sized eggs for four minutes in simmering water and then forty five minutes in the water bath set at 62 degrees Celsius.