• The simple act of cooking with eggs proved to be powerful. (Camellia Aebischer)Source: Camellia Aebischer
Silky, custardy egg whites and a just-set jammy yolk might just be the key to happiness served over rice.
Camellia Ling Aebischer

7 Oct 2020 - 10:13 PM  UPDATED 7 Oct 2020 - 10:13 PM

I remember a good decade ago the 60/60 egg swept the food world by storm. They went by many names, like sous vide eggs, or 63° eggs, but for a hot second, nay a cooking competition went by that a contestant didn’t make one.

The soft, just-cooked eggs are a mainstay of Japanese cuisine. If you’ve ever been to a soba/udon noodle bar or even picked up a packet of cold noodles in a convenience store you’ll likely have been greeted with one of these impressive eggs. Crack it like a raw egg but what comes out is a jammy delight.

The yolk will set at a lower temp than the white, but still remains soft and sticky.

Egg yolks set at a lower temperature than eggwhites so the yolk will become firm just slightly before the white does. The key here is to maintain a temperature of around 60-65°C for an hour. Not as impossible as you think! There’s a window of about 10°C you can teeter between.

I usually do at least half a dozen when making these to maximise my return on investment. They keep great in the fridge and can be re-warmed by covering in almost boiling water and sitting for about 5-10 minutes.

Best cracked over a bowl of rice with soy, mixed through cold soba noodles or garnishing a small mountain of spaghetti.

You'll need a thermometer to get these just right. Buy one and use it for frying/caramel/brewing tea.

How to make onsen eggs

Take as many eggs as you like and cover them with cold water in a pot. Use a thermometer and bring the water temperature to 60°C.

Turn the stove down to the lowest it’ll go on the smallest burner. You may be able to maintain temp by leaving it here with the lid off, but it will depend on the stove so just keep an eye on the thermometer.

If you have an electric stove you can turn it off and let the residual heat do its job for most of the hour. You might need to click the stove on for a few minutes halfway.

I had to turn my regular gas stove off, put a lid on and check on it every 20 minutes, heating as needed to keep the temp between 60-65°C (warmer if you like a firmer yolk). If it dips under or goes over here and there that’s ok just try not to let it go too long.

A rice cooker set on warm would theoretically work perfectly (sadly couldn’t test this as mine is one of those pressure sealed Japanese ones). A slow cooker set on warm would also work.

Once the hour is up you can crack your egg like normal. If they come up a bit runny the temp probably dropped too much so leave them in for another 10 minutes or til desired firmness.

If you'll excuse me, it's time for a snack.

They’re always going to be at least a little bit (for lack of a better word) ‘snotty’, so if that’s an ick from you then maybe onsen eggs for breakfast are not the right fit.

Love the story? Follow the author here: Instagram @cammienoodle

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