Eggs Benedict-related FOMO
May 15, 2016 5:21 PM   Subscribe

I've been a lifelong fan of eggs prepared basically any way so long as there's no runny yolk to contend with. I'd like to expand my culinary horizons a bit and break out of my brunch rut, though. How can I gain an appreciation for runny eggs?

I'm a pretty capable cook and I'm not generally a picky eater, except when it comes to dishes that feature soft egg yolks. I've modified recipes like shakshuka to use hard-poached eggs but crumbly egg yolks don't mesh well with the final product. What should I cook to slowly ease myself into enjoying runny yolks? Thanks for your suggestions!
posted by blerghamot to Food & Drink (27 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Eggs benedict is a great jumping off point, if you like Hollandaise sauce. The Hollandaise mixes with the yolk, and you don't know what's what.

Or get a great hash with a poached egg on top. Break it all up, mash it together, and the yolk will make a sauce, and it will even cook a little from the heat of the hash.
posted by hydra77 at 5:26 PM on May 15, 2016 [7 favorites]

Bibimbop with runny egg is great, because the yolk mixes up with the rice and adds a creamy richness. But because you can add other sauces, it's not just eating the yolk straight.
posted by Kutsuwamushi at 5:35 PM on May 15, 2016 [5 favorites]

I did this too! Various eggs Benetict-ish were my entree to enjoying runny eggs. Try with tomato or smoked salmon in place of ham for textures that play well with a runny yoke.
posted by goggie at 5:43 PM on May 15, 2016 [1 favorite]

A simple soft boiled egg with toast fingers? It might not count as easing in, but it's possibly the plainest way to experience a liquid yolk and I refuse to forgo an opportunity to champion dippy soldiers. You could start with fully cooked eggs and gradually decrease your boiling time to go from plain egg and toast through squidgy to full on yolk as sauce.

I should note, when you finish a soft boiled egg you must invert the shell in your egg cup and pretend you've magically discovered a new one.
posted by lucidium at 5:44 PM on May 15, 2016 [4 favorites]

A fresh, local egg. Sunny-side up with bacon grease. Cracked black pepper. Then warm sourdough to dip into the runny yolk.

Or, similar to bibimbop, but simpler-Japanese egg rice.

Or croque madame, yum.
posted by inevitability at 5:49 PM on May 15, 2016 [1 favorite]

Make really, really good toast. Like, take your favorite kind of bread (I pick sourdough or a great pumpernikel or black bread), toast it properly, and spread it with a good amount of good butter.

Next, depending on preference, lay some bacon and/or excellent sharp cheddar cheese slices and/or fresh summer tomatoes over the toast.

Then, you're going to poach an egg the easy way. Take 1 or 2 eggs (depending on preference) out of the fridge and let them come to room temperature. (I forget until it's too late, so I usually stick them in my pockets to get warmer faster.) Take a small saucepan, fill it halfway with water, add a dash of white vinegar to the water, and boil it. When the water is roiling, turn the heat down so the water's at a simmer. Crack an egg into a metal 1 cup measure (make sure the yolk doesn't break), and add a very brief dash of the white vinegar. Dunk the cup measure (with the egg) into the simmering water and quickly, gently tip it over till the egg slips out into the pan. Repeat those steps with a second egg if you want. Let the egg cook for a full 4 minutes, without intervention, and then use a utensil to scoop it out of the pan. Let the water run off the egg and perhaps pat dry gently if necessary.

Lay the poached egg on top of the toast + bacon or cheese or tomatoes, salt and pepper it, and then bite in (if you don't mind a mess) or use a fork and knife.
posted by sallybrown at 5:52 PM on May 15, 2016 [6 favorites]

You can do a medium boiled egg, which is just like a hard boiled egg but slightly creamy in the center. Make them by putting eggs into cold water in a pot, bringing it to a boil, and timing about eight minutes. Take the eggs out and run cold water over them or place them in an ice bath to stop cooking. (If upon opening you find the yolks to be too runny, repeat the procedure with additional cooking time.)

These are lovely sliced in half and served as part of a ploughman's lunch of cheese, pickles, bread, and some good mustard. Sprinkle them with a little salt and paprika. Also great as a garnish on many kinds of Japanese dishes, like in bowls of steaming ramen, or with curry rice and pork or chicken cutlets.

Once you're down with the softer texture of the medium boiled egg, you can reduce cooking time until you get a soft boiled egg and dip toast (and bacon!!) into the runny yolk. Go in as small increments as you like.

Also I have to second the bi bim bap suggestion above; truly Korea's gift to humanity and a wonderful example of how a runny yolk can elevate a dish.
posted by Mizu at 6:00 PM on May 15, 2016 [3 favorites]

I eased into enjoying runny yokes in dishes (I still don't like them by themselves) by making fried egg sandwiches (with deli turkey, cheese, and mayo) and breaking the yolk while frying so they ended up half fried, half scrambled. You can cook the yolks as much or as little as you want this way and just take the egg out of the pan when the yolk is where you want it.
posted by MadamM at 6:09 PM on May 15, 2016

If you're making burgers, add a fried egg on top (between the bun and the patty). You don't notice the runny yolk as much but it really adds to the dish. (Especially good if you're frying bacon for the burger and you can then fry the egg in the bacon grease.)
posted by sallybrown at 6:12 PM on May 15, 2016 [2 favorites]

You can also "framble" eggs by cracking eggs into a hot greased pan as if you're making fried eggs, but then swirling/mixing them around a bit right away with whatever utensil you have and letting them cook up that way. Some of the yolk stays a bit runny or at least kind of gel-like, then you have parts that get the scrambled egg texture, and some whites that have the fried egg taste. You can slowly lessen the extent to which you scramble them in the pan to get larger patches of the runny yolk.
posted by sallybrown at 6:15 PM on May 15, 2016

Mark Bittman's Spaghetti with Fried Eggs recipe is one of my favorite ways to eat runny-isa eggs.
posted by honeybee413 at 6:20 PM on May 15, 2016 [1 favorite]

Just plain hot rice with a raw egg stirred in, maybe some pepper flakes from the pizza place sprinkled on top. I guess that's not so much runny as just kind of sticky. It's tasty and filling for a quick meal, though.
posted by ctmf at 6:59 PM on May 15, 2016 [1 favorite]

A lot of cultures have a eggs poached in tomato as a dish. Huevos rancheros, eggs in purgatory, and shakshuka are three I have made many times. The ease of these dishes is really the selling point. You poach the eggs in the simmering tomato with the lid on, so, you can control how done the yolk gets. Simply getting a jar of salsa and poaching a couple of eggs on top of it as it lightly simmers is as easy as it gets. A really runny yolk isn't really noticeable as there is already a lot of liquid. I like to cook mine until the yolk just starts to thicken up and set, it gives the yolk this incredible creamy texture that is hard to match.

I also really love two eggs sunny side up with rice and these excellent Filipino sweet pork sausages. Maybe quickly saute some pineapple and whatever else looks good in the fridge. Drippy eggs, rice and Filipino sausage for breakfast is an amazing combo. The yolk enriches the rice in a delightful way.
posted by Foam Pants at 7:16 PM on May 15, 2016

One thing that will help with any of these delicious recipes is learning how to properly fry an egg. If you do it right, the yolk will be liquid but not runny. (Agree with the above that egg quality is also important - if you can get fresh, free-range eggs, the yolks will be that much more delicious)

Here's my egg-over-medium method, which is great on top of all sorts of savory dishes, modified from America's Test Kitchen:

1. Heat a non-stick skillet on medium, and start melting your fat of choice (I actually don't like butter for this since it burns so easily - I use earth balance or safflower oil)

2. Crack your egg on the counter or another flat surface, not the side of the pan (the yolk is less likely to break this way) and carefully tip the contents into the pan (ATK has you actually break the egg into a bowl and then slide it onto the pan to prevent yolk-breaking, but I think that's overkill).

3. Cover the pan! This is the key step. Ideally with a glass cover, so you can ...

4. Watch the yolk. When it starts to get white spots on top, take it off the heat. Let sit for 30-45 seconds, until it's covered with a thin layer of white.

And you're done!

One additional thing you can do is add a teaspoon of water to the pan before you cover it, which essentially steams the egg - another way of cooking it gently enough that the white doesn't burn before the yolk gets the consistency you want.

(I take eggs very seriously)
posted by lunasol at 8:09 PM on May 15, 2016 [2 favorites]

I suggest you start off with the soft yolked Ramen style egg. Ideally you end up with a custard-y yolk that is absolutely delicious. As you get used to it and feel "safe" with it you can just cook it a little less, so the custard-y yolk is just a bit softer and softer. Once you appreciate the very soft custard-y goodness you're practically there.
posted by bswinburn at 8:11 PM on May 15, 2016 [1 favorite]


Salt makes runny eggs palatable. And pepper.

Roasted portobello mushroom topped with a poached egg, maybe? Also basting a sunny side egg with butter - mmm.

There was a place near where I used to live that served a dish I can not find elsewhere "Crispy Singapore Noodles w/ Seafood" - seafood and broth PIPING HIT over crispy noodles w/ a raw egg cracked on top that cooked in the steam of the broth. I think the current ramen craze often does this, but not as deliciously. It was sublime.

Also see:

The BEST oyster I ever had - A fresh Kumamoto Oyster, topped w/ Ponzu Sauce, a bit of Sesame Seaweed Salad, Osetra Caviar, and a raw Quail's Egg.

Homemade Mayonaise is made with raw Egg Yolk.

Hollaindaise is made with raw Egg Yolk tempered by hot butter.

True Spaghetti Carbonara - raw Egg Yolk and Parmesan Cheese. Bonus points if you use spicey diced Cappicola. I think the classic version uses Pancetta? But I assure you that is wrong!

Anyway, I dislike raw egg/yolk. These are my OK applications.
posted by jbenben at 8:54 PM on May 15, 2016 [1 favorite]

Yes to toast.
posted by brennen at 9:00 PM on May 15, 2016

Hands-down best use of a runny egg yolk? Salade Lyonnaise
posted by Short Attention Sp at 5:29 AM on May 16, 2016

Thanks for all your suggestions so far! Absolutely keep them coming, especially if you've got good uses for runny eggs that aren't super carb-centric.
posted by blerghamot at 7:05 AM on May 16, 2016

Low(er)-carb? Try Eggs Sardou, a vaguely Eggs-Benedict-ish dish but with artichoke bottoms instead of English muffins. (I'll let you Google recipes; there's a number of variations, but I don't have enough experience making them to have a favorite.)
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 8:55 AM on May 16, 2016

Building on the 'fried egg on a burger' up thread, you can also get a BLT and ask for a fried egg on. SO GOOD! Sorry, not low carb.

You can also get or make a hash with sweet potatoes sometimes, so lower carb?
posted by hydra77 at 11:48 AM on May 16, 2016

The thing that makes eggs over easy palatable? The toast to dip in the yolk, of course! Any hole in the wall diner will do for this.

If you have a serious aversion to it, mangú is good. Boil some unripe plantains with plenty of salt, mash them up, top with (lightly) sauteèd onion and a fried runny egg, then mix it all up. The yolk mixes with the plantain and becomes quite delicious.
posted by wierdo at 12:53 PM on May 16, 2016

Put a corn tortilla in a buttered frying pan, sprinkle a little palisade of shredded cheese around the perimeter, crack an egg into the middle. Put some chunky salsa in the pan next to it. When the cheese is pretty well melted and the tortilla is looking crisp, flip it in a swift but gentle motion that does not break the yolk. Count to, I dunno, five? But slowly. Then remove and plate the tortilla, egg-side up, and put the heated salsa on top. Garnish with sour cream. Now you have made huevos rancheros and are enjoying the hell out of some runny yolks
posted by prize bull octorok at 1:08 PM on May 16, 2016

Has that craze for pizza with a runny egg on top hit where you are yet? Because at first I was grossed out by it, but it's actually pretty delicious.
posted by zoetrope at 1:28 PM on May 16, 2016 [2 favorites]

You can totally dip asparagus spears instead of toast for a low carb option, and a soft boiled egg just on its own broken up in a bowl with a dash of soy sauce is a delicious snack.
posted by lucidium at 3:52 PM on May 16, 2016

Ctl-F scotch. No mention of scotch eggs? They are v. yum with a runny yolk. Yum!
posted by low_horrible_immoral at 10:58 AM on May 17, 2016

Bacon and egg sandwich. Two slices of decent bread, 2-3 rashers of British-style back bacon or I guess twice as many rashers of streaky, and a fried egg. Cook the yolk as much as you like; you can start out by cooking it solid if you want, and over time you can gradually reduce the cooking time. Lay the bacon on one slice of bread, put the egg on top, spread the yolk (the runnier it is, the closer this comes to just piercing it with the knife), add salt and pepper to taste and top with the other slice of bread.

Fried egg donburi. Cook a portion of Japanese rice. Fry an egg - again, you can keep going till the yolk is solid (for now) if you want. Put the egg on the rice. Add soy sauce and black pepper, and optionally a slice of ham. Enjoy.
posted by ManyLeggedCreature at 3:50 PM on May 18, 2016

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