How to coddle an egg
Many a times when reading through salad recipes you might have come across the term “coddled eggs” and wondered what it is; well coddled egg is a slightly underdone almost runny egg that is cooked by immersing the egg in boiling water for a very short span. Coddling an egg is an art, which many take years to master; however I am going to share some very useful tips and techniques on how to coddle an egg, so that you are able to make perfectly coddled eggs in no time.
There are many ways to coddle an egg. I will share a few of them here:
1. The traditional way: According to the Royal Worchester’s guide authentic coddled eggs are made using a pipkin also known as an egg coddler. To coddle an egg using this method break an egg in a lightly buttered egg coddler and season it with salt and pepper. In a large pan bring water to boil and allow it to simmer on low flame. Close the coddler lid and place it in the simmering water making sure that the water reaches only half way up the coddler. Allow the coddler to stand in simmering (not boiling) water for 4 to 5 mins (if using more than 1 egg increase the time accordingly). Remove the coddler from the water and open lid. If properly done the egg will easily slide out of the coddler. A well coddled egg will have an almost runny yolk supported by a soft but not firm egg white.
2. The soft boil-coddle method: This method is very similar to soft boiling the eggs and extensively used when the egg is coddled for preparing Caesar Salad. In this method you immerse the egg in boiling water and allow it to stand for exactly 1 min, use a timer if you need. Remove and immerse in cold water to stop further cooking. This is essential for even a few seconds more and your egg will get over cooked. Crack the egg and whisk it over your salad. This might seem slightly tricky in the beginning, but you will get a hang of it with some practice.
3. The microwave method: I find this to be the easiest method to coddle eggs. For this you break an egg in a microwave safe bowl, cover it with a plastic cling film, and pierce the film with a fork. Now cook the egg for not more than 15secs to max 20secs. Remember to set the microwave at medium/500watts/80%. Once done transfer the egg onto a plate immediately to stop further cooking.
Older eggs have thin egg whites, which don’t support the yolk properly. Hence, to successfully coddle an egg it is crucial that you choose really fresh egg.
An egg coddler is a porcelain cup with a tightly fitting lid. If you don’t have an egg coddler you can use a ceramic bowl and cover it with a cling foil.
It is a good idea to allow the egg to reach room temperature before coddling rather than using it right out of the refrigerator.
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