Sunday 8 September 2013

Singapore Half-Boiled Eggs - 100% Pure Egg Perfection!

Before the popularisation of sous vide eggs, we Singaporean has already declared our undying love for these 'Onsen eggs' for years. And instead of using modern trickery, cooking eggs at precisely 62ºC for a soft set white, we relied on simple passed down recipe from our parents - learning the tricks of the trade and the most important 'timing' to yield the quivering whites without the help of technology.

To every self-respecting Singaporean, the ubiquitous half-boiled egg is eggy perfection. This humble breakfast dish is widely available in all Kopitiams (coffeeshops) around the country and is often accompanied by a cup of Kopi-O (black coffee) and some kaya toast to dunk.

Similar to the soft boiled eggs but the Singaporean version has a much runnier, curd-like white. They are cooked in the residing heat from freshly boiled water and never simmered. This allows you to have complete control over the temperature to achieve that desirable just-set egg white with the coddled yolk waiting to ooze out.

For best results, the choice of eggs are crucial. Use the freshest eggs you can get your hands on. There is no place here for any old battery farmed eggs. Quality is everything. To serve, a dash of soy sauce and a pinch of freshly ground pepper (white is the preferred choice but black will do just fine) is all you need.

Break into the glorious golden yolk, give it a stir to mix and mop it all up with some toast. This is how the mighty lives. Now if only I have some kaya toast as well, that will be pure breakfast perfection.

Ingredients (Serve 1)

2 large free range eggs (I use burford browns but any good quality free range eggs will do)
about 1l of water
soy sauce, to serve
ground white pepper (or black pepper), to serve


Make sure the eggs are at room temperature before you start. Otherwise the shock from the sudden temperature change will make them crack open.  

Boil the water in a kettle and pour into a small pan. 

Using a slotted spoon, gently lower the eggs into the water. Place the lid on and let the eggs sit for 6 minutes.

After this time, remove the eggs with a slotted spoon and allow it rest for 30 seconds until cool enough to handle. 

Using a teaspoon, give a gentle tap in the middle of the eggs and crack open over a small saucer. 

Add a dash of soy sauce and ground pepper to serve. 

Mix to combine. 

Dunk with toast and watch the velvety yolk dribble down a happy chin. 


  1. Chef and Sommelier8 September 2013 at 18:47

    Hi Jason, this is very SIngaporean indeed!

    Lately, I had created an Osen starter with a slight twist. Check it out:

  2. Love them! Looks amazing!

  3. Aaaah this is bringing back so many childhood memories - even though I was born in Oz, my Malaysian born Dad was a champion at whipping these up...and sourcing kaya!

  4. Holy god they look delicious!

  5. I occasionally have that for breakfast... yummy!

  6. Thanks for giving me the idea to have breakfast that way. Having been away from Singapore for so long, I almost forgot I can actually make my own Kopitiam breakfast set!

  7. Ooh....Kaya, love the sound of that right now!

  8. It's good isn't it? And so easy :)

  9. I know, it is precisely the lack of Kopitiam here in London that make me craves for these eggs.

  10. Ana @ maninas.wordpress.com5 February 2014 at 23:05

    Hey, do you know how to make kopi? I'm equipped with an appropriate sock and some ground coffee, thanks to a kind Singaporean friend.

  11. It's pretty straight forward.

    To make one cup - In a jug, add 2 heaped tbsp of ground coffee and 200ml freshly boiled water. Let sit for a minute before straining this through the sock into another clean jug. Once the sock is emptied, pass the strained coffee through the sock again over a warmed mug to rid of any remaining coffee grains for a smooth coffee. Add more water to dilute if too bitter and dark for your taste at this point. Sweeten with condensed milk to taste.

    Hope that helps.

  12. Ana @ maninas.wordpress.com7 April 2014 at 21:56

    Thank you! I'll try it!

  13. one word - solid! :)

  14. Who the f eats it with toasts. We just drink it straight. Effing casuls.

  15. Jean Monique Sanchez2 May 2015 at 07:36

    This is how I like my eggs. 😊



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