SVS: Slow Cooked Eggs

If you’ve never had one before, slow cooking an egg creates something magical from a mundane egg. It’s cooked in its shell, much like a boiled egg but that’s about where the similarities end. When you crack it open, it slips out with a white that has the texture of a thin custard and a yolk that is thick, rich, and satiny smooth. Unlike a boiled egg that’s cooked at 100 degrees C, a slow cooked egg is cooked at a steady 63.5 degrees Celsius. A couple degrees hotter and you’ll end up with a soft boiled egg, a couple degrees cooler and you’ll have a runny mess.

The concept of slow cooking an egg is nothing new. The Japanese have been using hot springs to slow cook eggs for centuries. What’s new is that you can now make them easily at home, which puts it in the reach of everyone, not just the travelers and geeks who can either fly to Japan, or rig up their own “hot spring”.

Up until now, I’ve been using a heavy pot, my oven, and an instant read thermometer to make slow cooked eggs. It was a finicky setup, which I only got to work after a lot of trial and error. The problem is that every oven is different and so someone trying to reproduce what I did would have to go through their own process of trial and error before coming up with the right combination of oven temperature and time.

When Sous Vide Supreme sent me one of their units to try out, the first thing I did was plug it in and set it to 63.5 degrees C before dropping some eggs in. Forty five minutes later, I had a batch of perfect slow cooked eggs. I’ve since made several more batches and it hasn’t failed me once.

Slow Cooked Egg

The eggs are wonderful with some dashi and soy sauce, on a salad, in a bowl of soup, or on top of pasta. Best of all, since they’re still in their shell, they’ll keep for at least a week in the fridge, so I usually do a half dozen at a time. That way I have the eggs on hand whenever the urge arises.

Carbonara with Slow Cooked Egg

Equipment you'll need:


[svs]

  • Becca @ Amuse Your Bouche

    What a great idea! Does the timing need to be precise? Like, if you leave it in there for more like a couple of hours will it end up hard?

    • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

      Since you’re cooking it at exactly the temperature you want the egg to be at, it’s impossible to overcook it. That said, leaving it in the bath for more than 45 minutes is a waste of time and energy. Also after a very long time, I’ve noticed that water seeps through the semi-porous shell and waters down the egg.

  • http://twitter.com/babysumo Baby Sumo

    I had slow cooked eggs at Jaan restaurant in SG the other day, love the smooth texture and how easily it slips out of the shell. I believe theirs was cooked at 64 degrees for 55 minutes.

  • http://www.facebook.com/michael.houck Michael Houck

    there’s a blog article with detailed information about the time and temperature needed to make the yolk all sorts of various textures:

    http://blog.khymos.org/2011/04/18/perfect-egg-yolks/

    check out the graph, you basically pick a texture (condensed milk to marmite) and find the time/temperature combination that’ll net you that texture.

    It also talks about setting the white of the egg so it’s not as runny.

  • Ramenkia

    I have half boiled eggs for breakfast everyday, never get bored with it. I pour about 2 inches of boiled water from a kettle into a stainless steel jug, using a tea spoon, slide the eggs into the jug and cover with a small dish and leave it on the stove tha tis not turn on. After about 10 minutes, the water temperature in the jug drops. Using a thermometer I turn on the stove and bring the temperature up to 71C. Then switch odd the gas and I leave it on the stove for another 10 minutes or more, it does not matter. The egg white is smooth like tofu and the yolk is just about to get harden. I like the yolk like semi hard. Nice with some soya sauce and white pepper.
    Cheers.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mariama-Alizor/100001653576015 Mariama Alizor

    Wow that looks delicious!

    Your pictures are amazing too!
    Do you mind sharing what model camera you have? :)

    • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

      Thanks! It’s a Sony A77 with a Carl Zeiss 24-70mm lens

  • http://twitter.com/FoodStoriesBlog Food Stories

    Have to admit that I don’t enjoy eggs like this but I’m completely enamored with your cooking techniques :-)

    • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

      Thanks! I suppose these eggs are not for everyone, but the beauty of sous viding eggs is that you can cook them to exactly the temperature you like them, no guesswork or finicky stoves to deal with.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=796682258 Quyen Tran

    Interesting! I am curious… if you put them in the fridge, how do you reheat them without overcooking them?

    • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

      Good question, I didn’t even think of that. In Japan we eat them cold with dashi. It’s like a savory custard, so I don’t think I’ve ever eaten one warm before. If you’re putting them on pasta or in a soup, the heat from the food will warm the egg up a little, but it won’t be hot. I guess you can throw them back into a warm water bath, which should heat them up without overcooking if you want them warm.

  • http://www.facebook.com/stephen.shimmans Stephen Shimmans

    Really interested in this Sous Vide thing. Is it something worth investing in? Sell it to me :D I saw a video regarding cooking a steak. How often do you use this?

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  • http://www.facebook.com/neenajonson Christina Johnson

    Any recommendations for those of us without money for a sous vide. I’d love one but I’m a student. I’ve been trying to properly cook a slow cooked Japanese egg ever since I returned from Japan but they’re never quite right.

    • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto
    • Super_Wombat

      I started out in sous vide with a $2 polystyrene beer case, a hot water kettle, cooking thermometer and ice.

      1. Make a angled hole in the lid by poking through the pointy end of the thermometer. The end will need to sit in the water.

      2. Boil water to just above the required temperature, pour into the case, add your eggs. For meats, omelettes etc, Google “Archimedes principle” to learn about vacuum bagging on the cheap.

      3. Monitor the temperature every 10 minutes, using ice or boiling water to achieve your desired temperature.

      Note: As you get more into it, you can buy a better beer case, insulate it so you only check every 20 min, etc etc. All the while saving up to buy a REAL sous vide machine.

      Good luck.

  • Agentdhall Treadmaier

    I don’t have any fancy smancy stuff to cook eggs with…I just use this. http://vimeo.com/6672399 Put in your eggs, just pour hot boiling water, and it does the rest. Perfect every time.

  • kenyee

    if you make a batch and put them in the fridge, how do you warm them up when you’re ready to eat them w/o overcooking them?

    • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

      Hi Kenyee, in Japan slow cooked eggs are usually eaten cold or at room temperature (kind of like hard boiled eggs). That said you can reheat them by putting them back in a 140 degree F water bath. It won’t be hot enough to cook the egg any further, but it will warm it up.

  • KD

    Marc, do you still use a sous vide on a regular basis even in Japan?

    • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

      Yep, I use sous vide a lot at home, but for the blog, it wasn’t very well received so I’ve avoided anything sous vide lately.

    • KD

      Thanks, I’m considering taking the plunge for 1, bad pun intended. ;-)

      • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

        There are now 3 relatively inexpensive immersion circulators on the market (Nomiku, Sansaire, Anova) , so you might want to check those out too as immersion circulators have their upsides (and downsides).

  • M

    I have heard that you can cook an egg to a point that you could roll it out like pasta. How?

    • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

      Hi M I haven’t heard of this, I’d be curious to hear about it if you figure it out.

  • Courtney

    tried this yesterday. fail. (i’m a total noob.) egg shell mess in my carbonara and slighly burned fingers. how do you get the slow cooked egg out of the shell and on to the spagetti? crack it? with your hands? mine was hot!

    • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

      Hi Courtney, you can chill the slow cooked egg enough to handle by dunking it in cold water, just like a boiled egg. As for getting shell on your pasta, are you cracking the eggs on a flat surface? If not, that should fix your problem, cracking eggs on an edge or corner will almost certainly get you shells in your eggs as you’re basically forcing shells into the egg. If you are cracking them on a flat surface, try to give it a more gentle tap so your cracking the egg, but not breaking it. You should still have to tear through the membrane after you’ve tapped it on the counter. I hope that helps.— Sent from Mailbox

      • Courtney

        Thanks Marc!

Welcome!

I'm Marc, and I want to teach you some basic techniques and give you the confidence and inspiration so that you can cook without recipes too!

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