Learn how to make super soft half-boiled eggs just like the ones served in kopitiam like Ya Kun with this easy method.
WHAT IS HALF-BOILED EGGS?
Half-boiled eggs are different with soft-boiled eggs. Half-boiled eggs do not maintain their shapes after you crack the shells. The white and the yolks are literally only half-cooked. You need a spoon to eat half-boiled eggs. Soft-boiled eggs usually refer to the softness and creaminess of the yolks but the whites are usually fully-cooked. Though to be honest, the two terms are used interchangeably when one talks about kopitiam style half-boiled eggs. Some will still refer to them as soft-boiled eggs. too.
HOW HALF-BOILED EGGS ARE MADE
Half-boiled eggs are made by cooking the eggs in water that has been boiled vigorously, heat turned-off and then eggs are submerged in the boiled water and covered with a tight-fitting lid to let the residual heat cooks the eggs until they are half-cooked
WHAT IS KOPITIAM?
What is Kopitiam? It’s what we know as a coffee shop in Southeast Asia countries like Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore. Back in the olden days, the kopitiam did not have an air conditioner, nice tables and chairs, wifi access, and all the fancy stuff we are seeing these days.
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 coffee 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!
HALF-BOILED EGGS, KAYA TOAST, AND MILK TEA SET
It’s usually about 6 am when I went to kopitiam with my dad when I didn’t have school. Sleepyhead I was but I love going to kopitiam with him. He would order me half-boiled eggs, kaya toast, and hot tea with condensed milk. The half-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.
COOK’S TIPS YOU NEED TO KNOW
Timing is everything when it comes to cooking eggs, especially half-boiled eggs like this. The cooking time can vary between 1-2 minutes
1. WHITE EGGS VS BROWN EGGS
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 5-6 minutes are the minimum I would imagine
2. SIZE OF EGGS
The eggs that I used were large grade A white shells and about 58 grams each. Large eggs will need longer time
3. TEMPERATURE OF EGGS
IF YOU LET THE EGGS OUT FOR 5 MINUTES : You need 7 minutes for white eggs, about 8 minutes for brown eggs
IF YOU LET THE EGGS REALLY COME DOWN TO ROOM TEMPERATURE (30 MINUTES ON THE COUNTER): You need 5 minutes for white eggs, about 6 minutes for brown eggs
4. FOR FIRST-TIMER MAKING HALF-BOILED EGGS
I suggest starting with 2 eggs to get the hang of it.
Mom made half-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!
How To Make Half-boiled Eggs (Kopitiam Style)
- 4 eggs large chicken eggs (about 58 gr each)
- 2 cups rolling-boiled hot water
- White pepper powder
- Soy sauce
Get the eggs out from the fridge first:
- 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 boiled water
Cook the eggs with residual heat:
- Bring 4 cups of water to a rolling boil in a saucepan. Turn off the heat and remove the pan from the stove. Use a slotted spoon to gently lower the eggs into the water and cover with a lid and set a timer for 7 minutes
Test one egg for doneness:
- After 7 minutes, use a spoon to get the eggs out and use the back of the spoon to crack the shell and let the egg slip out into a bowl. Use the spoon to scrap the remaining egg whites clinging to the inner shell. The egg white should be white in color and 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, If the white is still transparent, it needs another minute
- 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!
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