Think you know how to boil an egg…… think again!

Published November 25, 2015

Eggknowledge!

We have very often heard the phrase “He doesn’t even know how to boil an egg”! Well, this may hold true for many of us.  Read on to find out why…..

There is a certain technique to making perfectly boiled eggs. All these years I just placed the eggs in a pan of water and boiled them away for 20 minutes or sometimes conveniently forgot about the boiling eggs thinking nothing could ruin a boiled egg.  But I was so wrong, I realised that eggs tearing through their shells, yolks tasting rubber-like and dry and the colour changing to a grey-green and giving off a sulphuric smell were all characteristics of an imperfectly or over-boiled egg!

The correct technique for boiled but runny eggs is to place the eggs in a pan of cold water to cover the eggs and switch off the heat as soon as the water begins boiling.  Cover the pan with a lid and leave the eggs in hot water from 3 to 20 minutes depending on how runny you like them. Transfer the eggs to cold/room temperature water to arrest further cooking. Then, just remove a piece of shell at the top of the egg, season with salt and pepper (if you wish) and dig into the creamy white and yolk with your spoon and yumm…delicious and healthy too!  You can even dunk your bread or piece of toast into it and enjoy.

For the perfect soft boiled and hard boiled eggs, bring water to a full rolling boil and simmer for 3 to 5 minutes for soft boiled, 7 to 10 minutes for hard-boiled eggs. Again depending on your desired consistency. Transfer the eggs to cold water, peel and enjoy.

Eggs3 (28)

Peeling can be a chore for perfectly boiled eggs, more so if  the eggs are fresh.  Old eggs (say a week or two old) make better boiled eggs.  They are also easier to peel and peeling them under running water also makes it easier. To test for freshness of the eggs, simply place the egg in a bowl of water.  Generally, if the egg is stale it will float and if it sinks it is fresh.  This is because as the eggs get older, the size of the airsac increases making it float.

In spite of several marketing claims that brown eggs have far more nutrition than white, this is but just a claim. The difference in the color of the egg only seems to be in the price as brown eggs cost five times more than white eggs and for what, only because they are brown and laid by hens with red feathers!! Yes, the color of the eggs are determined by the breed of hen as brown eggs are laid by hens with red feathers and white by hens with white feathers. An interesting observation I made in the process of this project was that with brown eggs the yolk i.e. the inside seemed to cook faster than the white i.e. the outside, as seen in the picture below.  Hmm…shouldn’t it be the other way round!!??

Eggs3 (25)

The color of the egg yolk also has nothing to do with the nutritional value of the egg but is determined by the diet of the hen. A dark yellow yolk indicates the hen was possibly fed green vegetables and a light yellow a diet of barley and wheat and medium yellow, alfalfa and corn.

Blood-spot that you see in an egg is from the rupture of a blood vessel in the egg yolk and is completely safe to eat.

Egg blood spot

Eggs are an excellent source of nutrients and contain some healthy unsaturated fats and healthy proteins. They also contain zeaxanthin, lutein and choline.  Zeaxanthin and lutein may preserve against loss of vision and choline has been associated with preserving memory and also promotes normal cell activity, liver function and the transportation of nutrients throughtout the body.  Eggs contain zero carbs and no sugar.  Eggs have all 9 essential amino acids. Eggs are naturally gluten free and hence make an awesome gluten free breakfast option.  A medium egg contains less than 70 calories.

There is no need to restrict eggs.  Neither The Department of Health nor the British Heart Foundation recommends a limit on the number of eggs you can eat.  In the past there have been reservations due to their cholesterol content but it is now known that too much saturated fat is more likely to raise cholesterol levels than eating foods rich in dietary cholesterol.  So go ahead and enjoy a breakfast of eggs, a protein packed breakfast helps sustain mental and physical energy throughout the day!

However, beware of fake eggs which are becoming a concern in China.  They are made to look real from a mixture of starch, coagulant and resin complete with pigment for color and a counterfiet shell. The ones below are real!

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