Mr. Bear always says eggs are his all time favourite food. I love eggs too! Eggs are most versatile - you can have them for breakfast, lunch or dinner and there are so many ways to cook them. I am quite proud to say that I'm an expert in cooking eggs. A sunny side up egg was the first dish I ever learned to cook when I was a little kid. Over the years, I've mastered many other ways one can cook eggs. Soft boiled, hard boiled, scrambled, poached, sunny side up, over and easy, steamed or even the 荷包蛋 the way my mom likes it, i.e. a fried egg with crispy edges, served over rice with soy sauce; you name it, I can make them for you. My colleague roommate was always surprised how I could always make a perfectly fried egg. But unfortunately, my culinary spirit seemed to have stopped right there until I married Mr. Bear.
Recently I realized there's still one egg cooking technique I haven't conquered yet, and that's the Onsen Tamago 温泉卵. They are traditionally eggs slow-cooked in hot springs. Of course I don't have an onsen at home, but I've seen many recipes out there employing the sous vide method to make onsen tamago. However, unless you have one of those sous vide machines at home, making eggs using this method involves a cast iron pot, an oven, a themometer and constantly standing by the oven for 45 minutes to make sure the temperature stays at precisely 63.5 degrees Celcius, which is a ton of work and a bit too persnickety if all I want is an egg that I can put in my noodle soups or on top of my pastas.
I did a few experiments and finally figured out a quick and dirty way of making decent onsen tamago. I admit they are not the best, but given the amount of time and effort required I'd say they are definitely good enough. I've made my onsen tamago using this Lazy Man's way a few times since then and it has not failed me so far. The eggs are great on their own serve in a bit of dashi stock, soy sauce and mirin or simply a couple tablespoons of bottled soba tsuyu.
1. Bring 500ml of water to a boil in a small pot. Make sure the water level is high enough to cover the egg.
2. Remove the pot from heat and add the remaining 100ml of water to the boiling water. Add the egg immediately and cover with a lid for 12 minutes.
3. Put the egg in cold water to stop the cooking process. Crack the egg into a bowl and serve!