An Ode To The Soft-Boiled Egg

There is no food greater than the egg.

Whether it be boiled or poached, fried or scrambled, it represents the pinnacle of culinary glory. Made into an omlette, it can be simply divine. Even simply poached, and eaten on fine bread slathered with good butter, it truly is the food of the gods. Simple, delicious, and signifying all that is great in the culinary world.

Which is why it saddens me that the humble egg is so insulted by pretty much anyone who attempts to cook it these days. I do not even speak of failure to attain elaborate egg constructions; complex French omelets, or poached eggs with caviar on rye. Rather, the fact that the simplest tasks seem beyond most people. How few people can poach truly is a national tragedy.

However, the real issue in abusing the egg is how they are no longer appreciated for their inner glory, but rather used only as mere supplements for “greater” things. For in trying to create complex creations, they destroy the delicate beauty of the egg.

And so I call for a revival of basics. For tradition. For going back to our roots. We need to recapture the truly good things in life, the simple pleasures that we so often neglect. And it begins with the soft-boiled egg. The simplest of all egg dishes, yet one which is consistently neglected. And, when tried, done abysmally. By neglecting the soft-boiled egg, we are neglecting not only our history, but our culinary soul.

Just think about what a soft boiled egg is for a moment. How it is a self-contained unit if pure flavour. Of pure goodness. Like you are eating the raw essence of life (quite literally!). It needs to garnishes, it needs no preparation. Just boil it well, and voila! Glory incarnate. It embodies good food at its core.

So. The next time you are making breakfast, the next time you need something to eat, consider the humble soft-boiled egg. Cook it properly, relish it in its beauty and simplicity, and hearken back to a simpler era of pure, and unadulterated, goodness.

(By the way, in case you are wondering, there really is no deep symbolism to this post. I am not writing about how the egg represents the nascent state of pure potentiality or anything like that. I just really like eggs).


7 Responses to “An Ode To The Soft-Boiled Egg”

  1. B. P. M. Says:

    Actually, I had a really good egg for lunch today.

    My favourite kind of egg is scrambled, with a little diced tomato and a spoon of wholegrain mustard mixed in for flavour. You can’t get better than that! (No need for milk, cheese, etc. in scrambled eggs if you do them right… mine are fluffy without it.)

  2. Rationalist Says:


    Hard boiled, fried, poached. No yellow runny kthx.

  3. Iain Hall Says:

    Actually I had a soft boiled eggs for breakfast this morning! and it was lovely.
    The one thing that you neglected in this post was the pleasure of toasty fingers to dip in that lovely runny goodness of the yoke.
    I think that there is a great deal of merit in cooking simple meals that let you enjoy the flavours of the actual ingredients, rather than having everything spiced and “flavour enhanced” beyond all recognition.
    As a foodie mate of mine was very fond of saying “less is more”

  4. Tim Andrews Says:

    @B.P.M – I always found scrambled eggs overrated, but perhaps I haven’t had the chance to eat good ones yet. I much prefer omlettes (particularly which have feta, tomato and oregano). Haven’t tried mustard with eggs – must give it a go

    @Iain – you are absolutely right, toasty fingers are great (although I always referred to them as soldiers…)

  5. B. P. M. Says:

    Tim, that’s cause scrambled eggs done badly are disgusting. Seriously, throwing in milk and cheese makes them gross, not fluffy.

  6. Jacques Chester Says:

    I agree. Eggs are great. I prefer hardboiled, but let’s be pastel on this topic.

    I’m less a fan of the gaseous side-effect, but that’s just an opportunity to save money on paint stripper.

  7. My Blog: One Year On « The musings of an Australian classical liberal in Washington DC Says:

    […] Morning Music: A Tribute To Communism An Ode To The Soft-Boiled Egg Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)Chess-kids250000!Happy Blogoversary to Me! Art […]

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