How to Make a Perfect Soft-Boiled Egg: A Step-by-Step Guide


Soft-boiled eggs, also known as “huevos pasados por agua” in Spanish, are a delicious and nutritious breakfast option that can be enjoyed in various ways. Whether you prefer them with toast, as a topping for salads, or simply on their own, mastering the art of making a perfectly soft-boiled egg is a skill worth acquiring. In this article, we will guide you through the process of making a soft-boiled egg step-by-step, providing valuable insights and tips along the way.

The Benefits of Soft-Boiled Eggs

Before we dive into the details of how to make a soft-boiled egg, let’s take a moment to explore the benefits of incorporating this nutritious food into your diet:

  • Rich in protein: Soft-boiled eggs are an excellent source of high-quality protein, which is essential for muscle growth and repair.
  • Packed with vitamins and minerals: Eggs are a natural source of various vitamins and minerals, including vitamin B12, vitamin D, and selenium.
  • Weight management: The protein and healthy fats in soft-boiled eggs can help you feel fuller for longer, reducing the likelihood of overeating throughout the day.
  • Brain health: Eggs contain choline, a nutrient that plays a crucial role in brain development and function.

Step-by-Step Guide: How to Make a Soft-Boiled Egg

Step 1: Choose the Right Eggs

When it comes to making a perfect soft-boiled egg, starting with high-quality eggs is essential. Look for eggs that are fresh and preferably organic. Fresh eggs have firmer whites, which will help prevent the egg from spreading too much during cooking.

Step 2: Prepare Your Equipment

Before you start cooking, make sure you have the following equipment ready:

  • A medium-sized saucepan
  • A slotted spoon
  • A timer or a smartphone with a timer function

Having these items prepared will ensure a smooth cooking process and help you achieve the desired consistency for your soft-boiled eggs.

Step 3: Boil the Water

Fill the saucepan with enough water to cover the eggs completely. Place the saucepan on the stove over medium-high heat and bring the water to a rolling boil. Adding a pinch of salt to the water can help prevent the eggs from cracking.

Step 4: Add the Eggs

Using a slotted spoon, gently lower the eggs into the boiling water one by one. Be careful not to drop them, as this can cause cracking. It’s best to add the eggs when the water is boiling to ensure even cooking.

Step 5: Set the Timer

Once all the eggs are in the boiling water, set the timer based on your desired level of doneness. For a soft-boiled egg with a runny yolk and a slightly set white, set the timer for 5-6 minutes. If you prefer a firmer yolk, you can increase the cooking time to 7-8 minutes.

Step 6: Prepare an Ice Bath

While the eggs are cooking, prepare a bowl filled with ice water. This ice bath will help stop the cooking process and make it easier to peel the eggs later on.

Step 7: Remove the Eggs and Transfer to the Ice Bath

Once the timer goes off, carefully remove the eggs from the boiling water using a slotted spoon and immediately transfer them to the ice bath. Let the eggs sit in the ice bath for at least 5 minutes to cool down and stop the cooking process.

Step 8: Peel and Enjoy

After the eggs have cooled down, gently tap them on a hard surface to crack the shell, then peel off the shell under running water. Soft-boiled eggs are best enjoyed immediately, so serve them on a plate and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Common Questions and Answers

Q: How can I tell if an egg is fresh?

A: Fresh eggs have firm whites and a rounded yolk that stands tall. To test the freshness of an egg, you can place it in a bowl of water. If it sinks to the bottom and lays flat on its side, it is fresh. If it stands upright or floats, it is not fresh and should be discarded.

Q: Can I use older eggs to make soft-boiled eggs?

A: While it is best to use fresh eggs for soft-boiled eggs, slightly older eggs can still be used. However, keep in mind that older eggs may have looser whites, which can result in a slightly different texture.

Q: How do I achieve a perfectly runny yolk?

A: To achieve a runny yolk, follow the cooking time mentioned in step 5 (5-6 minutes). However, keep in mind that the exact cooking time may vary depending on the size of the eggs and the heat of your stove. It may take a few tries to find the perfect timing for your desired consistency.

Q: Can I store soft-boiled eggs for later consumption?

A: Soft-boiled eggs are best enjoyed immediately after cooking. However, if you need to store them, you can place them in the refrigerator for up to two days. To reheat, simply place the eggs in a bowl of hot water for a few minutes until warmed through.

Q: Are soft-boiled eggs safe to eat?

A: Soft-boiled eggs are safe to eat as long as they are cooked properly. It is important to ensure that the eggs reach a safe internal temperature of 145°F (63°C) to eliminate the risk of salmonella contamination.


Soft-boiled eggs, or “huevos pasados por agua,” are a versatile and nutritious addition to any meal. By following the step-by-step guide outlined in this article, you can master the art of making a perfect soft-boiled egg. Remember to choose high-quality eggs, set the timer based on your desired level of doneness, and use an ice bath to stop the cooking process. With practice, you’ll be able to enjoy delicious soft-boiled eggs with a runny yolk and a slightly set white. So go ahead, give it a try, and elevate your breakfast game!



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