A beautiful soft boiled egg is not that easy to come by. A soft boiled egg served out of the shell, an even rarer experience. A soft boiled egg, out of the shell, served warm with crisp fingers of buttered toast, ahhhh the heavens sing. I have been lucky enough to experience versions of this egg respectively at: per se, elements, and momofuku ko. Each preparation and presentation inspired me and raised the question of how to consistently serve this elusive culinary delight. We have worked with eggs cooked without their shells in our twice cooked eggs, though there is something mysteriously exciting about cooking an ingredient precisely in its natural form. Nothing beats a Sunday morning to work on egg cookery, even mistakes will find an open and a receptive mouth. Something we should have done since the begining is to weigh our eggs in the shell. Why? In order to get consistent results we need to start with a constant. If eggs are of different sizes they will cook at different rates. It's a pretty simple idea that we have not utilized to our advantage. After my first round of cooking eggs this morning and the subsequent failure of inconsistent results, Aki asked if I realized that all my eggs were different sizes. How different? It turns out I grabbed and cooked a combination of large and extra large eggs. Two different sizes with two different results. For the next set of eggs Aki drove the bus. She picked only large eggs and started the cooking process. Unfortunately, Amaya was not that into egg cookery and the soft boiled eggs turned into perfect hard boiled snacks.
Back to me. This time I weighed the eggs, really just to see if all large eggs were the same size. They were close, about a two gram differential in our sample. I put the pot of water on to boil and added the eggs. We cooked the eggs for five minutes and fifteen seconds in getnly boiling water and then placed them into an ice bath. The eggs were cooked the way we wanted them and were relatively easy to peel. Paying attention to the details in cooking is easy to talk about and much more difficult to consistently execute. Deciding which details are important and paying attention to them is essential to consistent cookery.