Awhile back I posted a recipe for pumpkin congee (rice porridge) and included our recipe for marinated soft boiled eggs. The eggs are so incredible they deserve their own recipe page. Is that bragging? Fine!
What makes these eggs special is the rich consistency of the yolk after the eggs have marinated (brined?). Even when the yolks are left soft or "runny" they eventually take on a silky smooth thickened viscosity that is stunningly rich in flavor. We love eggs prepared all ways but nothing comes close to these.
Our recipe is inspired/tweaked from the soft boiled eggs served atop ramen in good Japanese restaurants. The brine has a balance of saltiness and sweetness that penetrates the cooked egg whites as the eggs bathe. The more days they marinade, the deeper the flavor.
Ingredients (for 6 eggs):
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/8 cup seasoned rice vinegar (sushi vinegar)
1/4 cup white wine
1/4 cup water
3 T Sugar
1 tsp Sesame oil
white vinegar (optional)
Adjust the ratios of the brine ingredients to your preference. Some people like sweeter eggs while others prefer more of the pickled/vinegar flavor. Ideally the eggs will be marinated overnight or even several days in advance. However, they are still delicious if they only marinate as long as it takes to make your congee (e.g. 2 hours).
Step 1. Prepare brine by combining all ingredients (except white vinegar) and stirring until sugar is dissolved.
Step 2. Choose a pot large enough to easily accommodate the number of eggs in your batch. Whenever making hard-boiled or soft-boiled eggs, use enough water so that the eggs can roll around freely. Bring the water to a rolling boil. To make peeling shells easier, add 1 T of white vinegar for every 4 cups of water.**
Step 3. Use a slotted spoon to gently place the eggs into the boiling water. Work quickly but carefully so that all eggs are boiling for nearly the same length of time. Start a timer for 5 minutes and 45 seconds (see note below). Hold the water temperature at a light simmer. Use the spoon to roll the eggs in the water a few times during the first couple minutes so the whites are evenly distributed in the shell without flat spots.
Important note about cooking times: 5:45 will generally yield a yolk that is slightly thickened and has a gooey center. If you like a thicker yolk boil for 6 minutes or 6:15. If you prefer a runny yolk, boil for 5:00 or 5:30. Keep in mind that your perfect cooking time will vary depending on how vigorous your boil, the size of the eggs, and whether or not they were refrigerated. I'd suggest testing a few eggs cooked at various times before making a large batch. We don't refrigerate the eggs from our hens so we only boil the eggs for 5:30, preferring a runny yolk. However, the less time they are cooked the more difficult they are to peel.**
Step 4. While eggs are boiling, prepare an ice bath (ice cubes and water) in a bowl large enough to accommodate all eggs.
Step 5. When the time is up, immediately remove the pot from the flame and spoon the eggs into ice bath. Peel them as soon as they've cooled. Crack the shell gently as the eggs will be fragile because the yolks are soft. **Eggs will peel easier if you peel them while they're submerged in the cold water.
Step 6. Place the peeled eggs in the brine. If marinating overnight, place eggs in refrigerator. For even coloring of egg whites, turn eggs occasionally in the brine. The longer they stay in the brine the darker and more flavorful they will become. I prefer to let eggs sit at room temperature for an hour before serving. They can also be bathed in warm water for 5-10 minutes.