One of the perks of working from home is having a hot breakfast. This morning, AB was boiling some eggs so that he could have them later with rice noodles. I immediately thought of making half-boiled eggs. Ooh! Growing up in Singapore, one of my all-time favorite breakfast foods is half-boiled eggs with kaya toast. During the weekends, we’d have breakfast at a kopi-tiam (“coffee shop” in Hokkien) or hawker centre near home. Someone would bring my parents their kopi (“coffee” in Hokkien) and a Milo drink for me, as well as some toast with butter and kaya (“coconut jam” in Malay) and a few eggs immersed in hot water. We’d have to wait for some minutes before we could crack open the eggs. Those minutes always seemed like a long time to me. Once it’s time, we’d take out the hot eggs – sometimes tossing them gingerly between our hands – and crack them with a few raps on the side of a saucer. And out flows the much-anticipated eggy goodness. The perfect half-boiled egg should be runny with just-set, opaque white and a bright yolk that spills open with a tap of a spoon. Add a dash of soya sauce and some pepper, and then mix it all up. I prefer dark over light soya sauce and black instead of white pepper with my eggs. Some people slurp up the mixture. I rather dip toast into it and let the bread soak up the eggy mixture. Mmmm. Nanyang-Old-Coffee-@-268-South-Bridge-Road09tc4 Half-boiled eggs are typically eaten for breakfast in Singapore and you can order them at any kopi-tiam or hawker centre. Just order them from the stall that is selling coffee, tea and other drinks. While I don’t have a favourite place for half-boiled eggs in Singapore, there are a few kopi-tiams that I’d recommend to friends from out of town. For instance, Chin Mee Chin 真美珍茶室 @ 204 East Coast Road has been around since the 1902s and retains an old-school interior with Peranakan tiles. Nanyang Old Coffee 南洋老咖啡 @ 268 South Bridge Road is a reliable option if you’re in the Chinatown area. Nanyang Old Coffee @ 268 South Bridge Road05,14tc4 There are two family-run kopi and kaya toast “empires” in Singapore: Ya Kun Kaya Toast and Killiney Kopitiam. You can easily find them across the island. However, the quality can be a hit-and miss and many of these stalls are franchises. To be on the safe side, go to the original stalls – Killiney Kopitiam @ 67 Killiney Road and Ya Kun Kaya Toast 亚坤 @ 18 China Street. +++ What about you – what is one of your favourite breakfast foods? It could be from your childhood days or something that you enjoy today. P.S. You might have noticed that the eggs were a tad overcooked in the top-most picture. I have yet to find the perfect method for making soft-boiled eggs at home. If you have one that works for you, please share it with me.

May 2015 update: Just came across this article “Singapore’s Everyman Breakfast” on Roads & Kings. Guess what, it’s soft-boiled eggs + kaya toast!

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11 replies on “Soft-boiled eggs, Singapore-style

  1. mmmmm… Kaya toast, soft-boiled eggs and teh-C please! And also some chai tow kway (white with just a bit of chili). And if I’m still hungry roti prata telur!

    I really don’t know how to make soft-boiled eggs at home. The last time I did it was by accident. Haha!

    1. White carrot cake – that’s another favourite of mine too! This however is something that would be complicated to make at home, unlike half-boiled eggs. So will have to wait till I’m back in Singapore to ‘settle’ these cravings 🙂

  2. Use eggs at room temperature. Not from the fridge.
    Boil water and pour it into a bowl or container.
    Place eggs gently into container.immerse them fully.
    Wait for 5 to 6 min.
    Take out the eggs and wait for them to cool before cracking them.

  3. Oh! We’re so totally addicted to this. Only my youngest likes to order the French toast and then add the eggs, which the kopi shops always seem to find unusual (guess they figure they’ve already put the eggs on the bread for you). But this is what I miss most when not in Singapore. Pinning this!

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