What is a Soft Boiled Egg?

What is a Soft Boiled Egg? The History of This Asian Breakfast Phenomenon

In a world where there’s no shortage of decadent, elaborate, fancy foods, there’s something about the simplicity of a soft boiled egg that makes it so special. A staple of breakfast tables around the world, this unassuming creation has garnered a special place in the hearts of many. 

If you’re new to the world of soft boiled eggs, you might be wondering where this tasty invention came from in the first place. While we don’t know which came first out of the chicken or the egg, we do know a thing or two about the history of soft boiled eggs. 

So, what is a soft boiled egg, and how did it become one of the most universally beloved breakfast stapes across the world? In this article, we’ll crack open the history of soft boiled eggs and take you on a culinary journey that’s been centuries in the making. 

Plus, we’ll show you a simple hack to make soft boiled eggs so perfect that even a Michelin Star chef would be jealous! 

What is a Soft Boiled Egg? 

So, what is a soft boiled egg, exactly, and how does it differ from other cooking methods? Let’s explore what it is that makes a soft boiled egg so unique. 

Breaking Down the Anatomy of a Soft-Boiled Egg

When you crack open a perfectly cooked soft boiled egg, you notice two things. The first is that the egg white is perfectly cooked, allowing the egg to keep its solid form when cracked. 

When you dig a little bit deeper and find the yolk, it’s a different story. The yolk of a soft boiled egg should be lusciously runny and creamy, which means the egg has to be cooked very precisely to manage the solid egg white balanced with the runny yolk.

What Are Soft Boiled Eggs vs Hard-Boiled Eggs and Other Styles?

What are soft boiled eggs vs hard boiled eggs? The difference lies in the egg yolk. While both soft and hard boiled eggs have solid egg whites, hard boiled eggs also have a solid yolk. 

Hard boiled eggs are cooked for longer, solidifying the whole egg. While the liquidy yolk of a soft boiled egg can’t be cut into slices, a hard boiled egg can be sliced, making it ideal for adding to salads or slicing over a piece of toast. 

Of course, there are many other ways to cook eggs besides soft and hard boiling. These other methods involve cracking the egg first, so you don’t end up with an “egg-shaped” final product.

From poached eggs, which offer a silky exterior and runny interior without the protective shell, to scrambled eggs that combine the yolk and white into a creamy mixture, each preparation method presents its own flavor profile and uses.

The History of Soft-Boiled Eggs Explained

So, we’ve explained what is a soft boiled egg, and discussed what are soft boiled eggs vs hard boiled eggs, but where did the soft boiled egg actually come from? 

Let’s dive into the history of soft boiled eggs, and explore how this simple delicacy has risen to become a global delight in the culinary world.

Origins: Where Did Soft-Boiled Eggs Come From?

The origins of the soft boiled egg date back centuries, as early human civilizations started using fire for cooking. The concept of cooking eggs in their shell, and reaching the perfect soft boiled consistency, likely emerged from many years of trial and error. 

While it’s possible that many different cultures were discovering soft boiled eggs independently, the first documented evidence of soft boiled eggs comes from Ancient Rome, a civilization that had some of the most advanced cooking techniques in the world at that time. 

The Ancient Romans poked a hole in the egg first, then boiled it briefly before cutting the egg in half. It was usually seasoned with pine nuts, honey, pepper, and vinegar. 

Asian Influence: How Soft-Boiled Eggs Became a Phenomenon in Asia

Although the history of soft boiled eggs begins in Ancient Rome, we must travel to Asia for the next chapter. Asian cuisines, known for their emphasis on balance and harmony, were quick to embrace the delicate interplay of textures offered by the soft boiled egg.

In many Asian countries like Japan, China, and South Korea, the consumption of rice as a staple formed the cornerstone of meals. Soft-boiled eggs, with their creamy yolks, presented an ideal companion to rice dishes, enhancing both flavor and nutrition. 

These countries elevated the art of cooking soft-boiled eggs to a form of culinary mastery, often incorporating them into traditional breakfasts and bento boxes.

Spreading Globally: The Adoption of Soft-Boiled Eggs Worldwide

As global exploration and trade expanded horizons, culinary traditions began to transcend borders. The allure of the soft boiled egg, with its refined textures and culinary versatility, captured the imagination of chefs and food enthusiasts beyond Asia's shores.

In Europe, soft boiled eggs became a cherished component of the traditional English breakfast, adding a touch of sophistication to a hearty meal. Although the history of soft boiled eggs is not as rich in America, these tasty delights are still a staple on the breakfast table of many homes.

What Are Soft-Boiled Eggs Good For?

Now that we’ve covered the history of soft boiled eggs, let’s move on to an important question: What is a soft boiled egg good for? Here are some of the reasons why soft boiled eggs are such a popular choice around the world today.

Nutritional Benefits: Why Soft-Boiled Eggs Are a Health-Conscious Choice

Soft boiled eggs are more than just a flavorful indulgence; they are a nutritional powerhouse. Soft boiled egg nutrition provides a perfectly balanced mix of protein, healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals. 

The whites deliver a complete protein profile, while the yolk contains crucial nutrients like vitamin D, vitamin B12, and choline. These elements are vital for maintaining bone health, cognitive function, and a healthy nervous system.

Believe it or not, soft boiling eggs is actually one of the healthiest ways to eat eggs. Unlike frying or hard-boiling, which can cause nutrients to break down as the egg cooks, the gentle heat of soft boiling ensures that the egg's nutritional value remains largely intact. 

What are soft boiled eggs vs hard boiled eggs good for? Soft boiled eggs are a smarter choice for health-conscious people looking for a nutrient-rich source of sustenance.

The Versatility: How Soft-Boiled Eggs Can Be Incorporated in Various Dishes

Soft boiled eggs possess a unique culinary versatility that transforms them from a standalone breakfast item to a sought-after ingredient in a lot of different dishes. Their dual texture, with tender whites and velvety yolks, lends itself to a wide range of culinary applications.

Whether you’re adding a soft boiled egg to a bowl, a bed of greens, or mixing it into a rice bowl, soft boiled eggs can elevate any meal, in terms of both taste and nutritional value. 

Speed and Ease of Preparation: How Soft-Boiled Eggs Offer a Quick and Convenient Snack

In our fast-paced lives, convenience is often our top priority, and sometimes it comes at the expense of nutrition. With soft boiled eggs, that doesn’t have to be the case! Once you learn how to cook soft boiled eggs, it takes just a few minutes to whip up a quick, protein-packed bite. 

Whether enjoyed on their own with a sprinkle of salt and pepper or as a dip for toast soldiers, soft boiled eggs provide a satisfying, filling option that requires minimal effort. 

Want to Get in on the Delicious, Nutritious Fun?

If soft boiled eggs are starting to sound like they’d be a great addition to your diet, that’s because they would be! Although these delicacies have a reputation for being difficult to cook, that couldn’t be further from the truth - you just need to know a few tricks…

So, what is a soft boiled egg cooking method that won’t ever let you down? Read on - we’ve got the simplest, fastest, most consistent way of cooking the perfect soft boiled egg, every time. 

Get Your Soft Boiled Egg Cooker at Egg Bath For Quick & Easy Soft Boiled Eggs!

The traditional method involves boiling eggs in water, but how long does it take for soft boiled eggs to cook? Sometimes you end up with eggs that are almost still raw, and other times they’re hard boiled. The worst part is that you don’t know until you crack them open - by then it’s too late!

You could also try other cooking methods - some people air fry soft boiled eggs. This is tricky though, because many air fryers can’t be set to a low enough temperature, and air fryers don’t perfectly distribute their heat, so your eggs might cook unevenly. 

Luckily, we have the perfect solution! The EggBath soft-boiled egg cooker is the easiest, fastest way to make soft boiled eggs with perfectly runny yolks, every time! With an in-built timer, all you need to do is add boiling water and wait as your eggs cook to perfection.

The best part is, once you add the water you don’t need to check on your eggs - just trust the EggBath! You can get ready for work, take a shower, or fire off some morning emails and come back to perfect soft boiled eggs, just waiting to be enjoyed. 

Tips for Making the Perfect Soft-Boiled Eggs Every Single Time

The EggBath couldn’t be easier to use. Simply place your eggs inside the EggBath and cover with boiling water. Add the lid, and wait for the water to drain into the lower chamber. Once the water has drained through, your eggs are done! 

Final Thoughts on the History of Soft-Boiled Eggs

We hope you’ve enjoyed this soft boiled eggs history lesson! As much as soft boiled eggs history is important, let’s not forget about the future of soft boiled eggs as well - the EggBath!

With the EggBath, you can cook the perfect soft boiled eggs, every time. It’s a fast, mess-free, stress-free way to enjoy the incredible nutritional benefits of a soft boiled egg, and effortlessly gives you restaurant-quality soft boiled eggs in a matter of minutes. 

Elevate your meal prep and enjoy the nutritional boost of a daily soft boiled egg. Get your EggBath today! 

Back to blog