These popular super soft-boiled eggs are breakfast best-friends of many in Asia. Served with soy sauce and white pepper powder!
What the heck is Kopitiam ? It’s what we know as coffee shop in English, but stripped away the air conditioner, nice tables and chairs, wifi access, and add some heat factor and sweat! Are you seeing it now?
I grew up with this type of kopitiam back in the 80s. Dad frequented this one kopitiam EVERY.SINGLE.DAY for probably 2 decades or so. Like the idea of the modern day coffe shop, kopitiam was also a place my dad mingled with his friends and made new ones.
Kopitiam usually opens up super early in the morning. As early as 5 am I remembered. I love the atmosphere at 5 am at my little hometown where I grew up. The streets were still not jam-packed with traffic and unruly drivers. The air was so much cooler. You saw people started unloading things off the trucks, setting up tents, getting ready to sell their things at the open wet market. My parents often told me that the best time to get ingredients was this time of the day! I can see why!
Walked into a kopitiam and I saw hot water was boiling and the beautiful smoke (that I’m currently obsessed with capturing in photos) vaporing into the air. The scene of coffee/tea pulling has always fascinated me since then. It’s usually about 6 am when I went to kopitiam with my dad when I didn’t have school. Sleepy head I was but I love going to kopitiam with him. He would order me soft-boiled eggs, kaya toast, and hot tea with condensed milk. The soft-boiled eggs always accompanied by white pepper powder and few drops of soy sauce. I can tell you, it’s one of my most favorite memories with him. One that makes me smile and tear up at the same time. I miss you dad! This post is definitely for you 🙂 A childish thought “Do they have Kopitiam in heaven?”
Breaking that yolk with a spoon and scooping it into my mouth was the highlight of the whole experience for me! I don’t eat it with any other peppers! only white pepper powder!! It’s never the same without it.
Timing is everything when it comes to cooking eggs. They are so sensitive to heat. Please read through the detail on the recipe as different types of eggs (white vs brown, small vs large) will affect the cooking time too. How many eggs you cook at one go might affect the cooking time too.
Kopitiam soft-boiled eggs
- 2 large chicken eggs (about 58 gr each)-see notes below room temperature
- 2 cups rolling-boiled hot water
- White pepper powder
- Soy sauce
Get the eggs out from refrigerator 5 minutes before getting ready to cook. This is important because if it's cold from the fridge, the eggs might crack when coming into contact with the hot water AND the 5-minute cooking time may not be accurate anymore. I use a stainless steel mug with tight fitting lid. Pour 2 cups of rolling boil water into the mug and gently add the eggs in and secure the lid and set the timer to 5 minutes. TIMING IS EVERYTHING here! So, set a the timer on your phone or other devices that gives you accurate timing
After 5 minutes, use a spoon to get the eggs out and rinse with cold water. Use the back of the spoon to crack the shell and let the egg slip out into a bowl. The egg white should be white in color (doh!) runny, soft custard like, while the yolk appears to be whole but it's very soft and very runny when you break it with a spoon. If you see this, then you have yourself kopitiam style soft-boiled eggs
Season with white pepper powder and a little bit of soy sauce and if you have a toast, I like to mop the yolk with the toast! HEAVEN!
The eggs that I used were large grade A white shells and about 58 grams each. Brown eggs might have "thicker" shells compare to white shells, so you might have to add another minute or so, in other words, you will have to experiment, but 5 minutes are the minimum I would imagine.
If you cook 4 eggs at one go, you may need 6-7 minutes. I would suggest limit 4 eggs in one batch though. I tried cooking more than 4 before and they were a mess. Some were perfect soft boiled eggs and some were still pretty raw!!!
If it is your first time making this kopitiam soft-boiled eggs, then after 5 minutes, remove one egg and crack open to see if the egg white has turned white and no longer translucent. This way, you only "sacrifice" one egg if they haven't cooked through and you can continue to let the other cook in the hot water for another minute
Mom made kopitiam soft-boiled eggs at home every morning for us too before we headed to school. This often accompanied by cream crackers sprinkled with sugar and soaked in hot milk. So the cream crackers were soft when we ate them! It sounded so strange and probably gross you think, but it’s like THE thing back in those days! ohhh…the good old days!
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