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Here’s how to make soft boiled eggs! This cook time results in a golden runny yolk and firm whites every time. Perfect for breakfast or atop ramen.

Soft boiled eggs
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Ahh, soft boiled eggs. Smooth and glossy whites, golden and jammy on the inside. They’re perfect on toast for breakfast, or atop a steaming bowl of ramen. How to perfect this elusive state where the egg is cooked with a gooey center? We’ve got answers. (PS If you’re looking for how long to hard boil eggs, go to Perfect Hard Boiled Eggs.)

How to soft boil eggs? Cook time 6 to 7 minutes.

The cooking method for the eggs is easy: the only hard part is trusting that they’re done! Since you can’t open an egg to find out, you’ll have to rely on faith for this one. The cook time for soft boiled eggs is 6 to 7 minutes. Use the lower time if you like your eggs extremely runny, the higher time for yolks that are just barely starting to set. Here’s what to do:

  • Simmer a pan of water, to where the water is just quivering.
  • Add the eggs and cook 6 to 7 minutes.
  • Remove the eggs and place them in a bowl of ice water for 2 minutes. Then peel!
How to peel eggs

How to peel soft boiled eggs

After the hard-boiled eggs sit in the ice water, peel the ones you want to eat immediately. You can store leftover unpeeled eggs in the fridge for up to 2 days. Here are a few tips on how to peel eggs:

  • Use the correct cook time (or try in the Instant Pot). Using the right soft boiled eggs cook time should also make them easy to peel. An Instant Pot also makes easy to peel eggs. Go to Instant Pot Soft Boiled Eggs.
  • Gently tap the larger bottom end of the egg so that the shell crushes. Lightly tap the larger end of the egg so that the shell crushes. The bottom end of the egg has an air bubble, which makes it easier to crush the shell. Then start to peel off the shell. Continue peeling the shell until all the pieces are removed.
Soft boiled eggs

How long are soft boiled eggs good for?

Once you’ve made your eggs, can you store them for later? Good question. Soft boiled eggs last for about 2 days refrigerated with the shell on. They don’t save as long as hard boiled eggs, since the yolk is not fully cooked. We’d recommend making these “to order” since they’re best warm. But if desired, you can save leftovers in the fridge.

Egg nutrition

Sometimes they get a bad rap, but eggs are some of the most nutritious foods on the planet. What’s the nutritional break down? One egg has:

  • 75 calories
  • 7 grams of protein
  • Lots of nutrients

Recent research has found that instead of avoiding eggs for cholesterol reasons, they can increase the good cholesterol the body needs. Eggs are an affordable and easy-to-eat source of high quality protein. They’re also especially helpful for vegetarian diets as a natural source of B12.


Recipes with soft boiled eggs

Once you’ve cooked up some soft boiled eggs, there are many ways to use them! Here are a few of our favorite ways to serve them:

More ways to cook ’em? Try all the ways to cook eggs, like fried, sunny side up, over easy, over medium, and over hard.

Soft boiled egg on ramen
Try a soft boiled egg on Miso Ramen

This soft boiled eggs recipe is…

Vegetarian and gluten-free.

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Perfect Soft Boiled Eggs

Soft Boiled Eggs

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  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 4 minutes
  • Cook Time: 6 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 4 to 8 eggs 1x


Here’s how to make soft boiled eggs! This cook time results in a golden runny yolk and firm whites every time. Perfect for breakfast or atop ramen.


  • 4 to 8 eggs


  1. Bring water to a simmer: Fill a medium pot of water and bring it to a boil, then reduce to a simmer where the water is just vibrating.
  2. Simmer 6 to 7 minutes: Gently lower the eggs into the water with a spoon. Simmer for 6 to 7 minutes (6 for a very runny yolk and 7 for still runny and barely starting to set).
  3. Prepare ice water: Meanwhile, prepare a bowl filled with water and ice cubes. When the eggs are done, immediately place them in the ice bath and let them cool, about 2 minutes.
  4. Peel: Peel the eggs by lightly tapping the bottom end (larger end that has the air bubble). When the shell crushes, gently peel off the shell in pieces. Slice in half and serve.
  • Category: Essentials
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Eggs

More with eggs

Are you a fan of these protein-packed powerhouses? Here are a few more of our favorite egg resources:

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes and the joy of cooking! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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  1. Brianne says:

    Getting mixed information from this article. First it says soft boiled eggs can be stored in the fridge up to one week, then a little further down it says two days…which is it?!

    1. Sonja Overhiser says:

      Great catch! It should be 2 days: we’ve fixed the blog post accordingly. Thank you!

  2. Robert Salmon says:

    Christopher Walker May have been the King of New York, but I am the KING OF SOFT-BOILED EGGS! Thanks to you guys.
    They turned out PERFECTLY! The timing is spot on! I get my eggs from a small dairy farm where I buy my raw milk (IMO the way milk is intended to drank and used) and they only pick a couple of egg cartons when I ask. The real free-range kind :-). They are so delectably delicious!! I add a spot of butter (from the dairy) a little Salt n Peppa and a dash of Tabasco – because Tabasco makes everything except oatmeal better!!
    I have now bookmarked your site because I was wondering, “Did the cooking couple folks ever reply to me?” And you did!! So, thank you for explaining the quivering water. I’m going to use that in my own kitchen repertoire. Nothing like a country boy from Texas using big city words to keep people on their toes. ;-)

    Thank you again for the perfect soft-boiled egg recipe AND for answering my question!

    – Robert

  3. Robert Salmon says:

    I’m giving this recipe a spin. Quick question which probably won’t get answered but I’ll ask anyway. What the heck is “quivering water”? Is it a gentle boil? Just beneath a gentle boil? I’m watching my water hit it hasn’t quivered yet. Well it could be but I’m not sure what quivering water is – hence the question.


    1. Alex Overhiser says:


      We define quivering as that moment just at the point bubbles start rise to the surface as a simmer. It should be 190F if you have a thermometer. Hope it worked out for you!

    2. Stacey says:

      I got SO tickled at this!!!!

      Glad you asked the question! :)