A tiny perfection – a boiled egg in bento –

No.131

There are so many egg dishes that you can put in your bento, but somehow I like boiled eggs. To boil an egg seems to be a so simple thing, you may not even call it a cooking. You put eggs in a pan, fill it with water, heat and bring to a boil and cook. Isn’t that it? It’s so simple and easy, why do you need to write a blog post?

Actually if you google on this subject, you will be able to find MANY blog posts about making perfect boiled eggs and the comments from the readers are many and they all express their interest in this very simple yet very profound project in boiling eggs. I may not call this blog post a cooking post either, probably it is more suitable to call it an experiment as I was acting in my sometime-chemistry-lab called my kitchen researching the temperature and and its time line as well as understanding the difference of 2 kinds of protein characters in an egg, namely egg white and egg yolk.

A hard boiled egg is a handy ingredient in our bento. To get the best look in your bento , it should be cleanly peeled and cut by a sharp and thin bladed knife which you wet with a wet paper towel each time you slice. You can of course use an unflavored dental floss or an egg slicer. I have a great kitchen gadget called “Egg Divider” that cut an egg vertically into 6 small boat-shaped pieces and I really like the looks of them in my bento.

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You can do this only with a hard boiled egg that has fully set egg yolk in order to have nice clean edges that are giving bright, yellow and sharp looks in our bento. But a nice soft boiled egg tastes good and is also a good alternative. It should have a certain firmness as a runny egg yolk is not so ideal to have in bento. My ideal soft egg for bento should have the fully set egg white but the yolk has a little runny part in the center. I started to look for a perfect recipe for such perfection in my boiled egg for bento, both hard-boiled and soft-boiled and here they are.

There are so many different ways available, some cook eggs in boiling water, some prefer to heat eggs in cold water… I tried 3 different methods and found one that worked best for my taste of boiled eggs.

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An egg in this experiment weights about 60g each.

1. Bring the eggs to room temperature.
    If you are in hurry, you can give them a “bath” in tap water bath.

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2. Fill a pan with water and bring it to a boil.

3. Take the pan off the heat and put the eggs in carefully.
    (It has a specimen number on)

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4. Put it back on the heat and cook over the medium-high heat (give a good boil) for 6 minutes for my kind of soft boiled egg, 8 minutes for a harder version.

5. Take it out and cool in cold water for 10 minutes.
If you are serving warm for your breakfast, please disregard. 

Final Outcome: Soft boiled egg cooked for 6 minutes. It is perfect for me!! 

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If you like it more runny than that, you can cook less. I tried to cook for 4 minutes 30 seconds :

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A bit too runny in bento but maybe a perfect breakfast egg 🙂

A hard boiled egg cooked for 8 minutes :

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It was hard but still had a nice tender texture and it tasted better. Please compare with my old-type hard boiled egg in bento. Hard boiled egg cooked for 10 minutes:

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Do you see the egg yolk is more set? It is ok like this and of course it is perfectly an individual preference, but now I am happy as I know how to cook a hard boiled egg that is perfect to my taste!

xx Rie

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