Simple! Or not?

In my Soviet childhood, Radionyanya — very popular, funny, and informative radio show for teens — was helping children to learn practical things, including home chores and cooking simple meals. I still remember Radionyanya’s “How to Fry a Sunny-Side Egg” (38:30) episode by heart! For me, cooking eggs was something basic, what any kid could do. Decades later, at culinary school, I was somewhat shocked to find out that in a professional culinary world the real test of a good cook is proper egg cookery and there is still so much for me to learn.

“The real test of a chef doesn’t come from elaborate dishes with luxury ingredients such as foie gras and caviar but from how well he uses the most humble foods in the pantry. Consider the egg. I’m fascinated by seemingly simple dishes like an omelet or a crème caramel because they not only showcase the quality of their ingredients but, more important, they also demonstrate the skill of the cook who prepared them.” – Thomas Keller

Simple or not, but how many times you boiled an egg and couldn’t cook it to the yolk doneness you wanted, getting either a green ring around an overcooked yolk or undercooking the egg white? How many times couldn’t you peel boiled eggs clean and easy? How many times the egg yolk ended up being off center? More importantly, how many times something went wrong with boiled eggs and you didn’t know why?

Magic! Or not?

I didn’t invent this method of cooking eggs. I discovered it a long time ago and unfortunately do not remember the source. If you follow the recipe step-by-step never skipping a single instruction, it’ll work for you like magic! You will get perfectly steamed eggs with runny egg yolk and easy to peel shell every time. If you want to understand why, how every action affects the final result — come to my cooking class Mastering Eggs Recipes.

6-Minute Soft-Steamed Eggs

Prep Time1 min
Cook Time6 mins
Total Time7 mins
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American, Eastern Asian, European
Keyword: breakfast, eggs
Servings: 2 eggs


for eggs

  • 2 each eggs

for breakfast

  • 2 slices bread
  • 2 oz smoked salmon
  • 1 oz butter or mild melted cheese (optional)
  • 1 pinch black pepper freshly ground
  • 1 pinch smoked salt (optional)


  • You can start cooking eggs right from the refrigerator. It doesn't matter how many eggs you cook in a pot for as long as they fit it in one layer and free to roll. The volume of water in a cooking pan does matter. Place cold eggs in the pan and fill it with cold water 2/3-3/4" deep. Most of the eggs should be exposed. Place the pan over the medium high heat and bring to boiling. Gently roll the eggs from time to time to ensure centered yolk.
  • Do not leave the eggs unattended. It is important to start counting 6 minutes the moment water starts boiling. When it does, lower the heat to medium, cover with lid, and set your timer for 6 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, prepare an ice bath (ice and water 1:1). Make sure the volume of your ice bath is large enough for the number of eggs you are cooking. You need about 1 quart of ice bath per 2 eggs to stop the cooking process quickly. When the timer beeps, immediately remove the eggs from the boiling water and gently transfer them to the ice bath. It takes 2-3 minutes to chill them properly.
  • If you are not serving them now and don't need them to be warm, remove them from the ice bath and refrigerate without peeling. Reheat in hot water before serving. Otherwise, they are ready to peel. Toast bread, spread some butter, arrange slices of smoked salmon and halves of an egg. Season with a pinch of smoked salt and pepper and serve with a cup of steaming hot black tea.