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The Tufts Daily
Where you read it first | Sunday, February 25, 2024

In Pursuit of Eggcellence: Trial One — The Microwave

I’ve gotten really into those ramen cups they have at Hodge lately. They're so simple — open the cup up halfway, pour in the dried vegetables and flavor packet, add water to the line, let it sit for four minutes. It’s salty and slightly spicy — the absolute perfect vehicle for a perfectly cooked soft-boiled egg.

There’s very little I love more than a good soft-boiled egg. Thick but runny yolk, slightly firm, white, easily peelable. Perfect for topping avocado toast, regular toast, fried rice, regular rice — you name it. In high school, I used up so many eggs trying to perfect my technique that my mother suggested we start raising chickens as a cost-reducing measure. I did finally manage to figure out my technique. But that was on my home burner. Dorm rooms, I’m discovering, are a whole new world.

I live on the third floor of Miller, which does have a nice ground-level kitchen. I refuse on principle, however, to descend to the first floor with my enormous saucepan every time I want an egg for my soup. Instead, this semester, I will dedicate myself to the quest of making a perfect soft-boiled egg in my dorm room. I will consume absurd amounts of ramen and buy those ridiculously-expensive-but-good-for-the-chickens eggs from bfresh until I find the ultimate combination of timing and technique. As MythBusters’ Adam Savage once said, “The only difference between screwing around and science is writing it down.” By that metric, I am  officially doing science — I should get a lab coat.

I am equipped for this challenge with a microwave, an electric kettle, a single spoon, two mugs, my roommate’s ice tray and a handful of salt packets from Dewick.

Attempt #1

Setting the scene: Friday night, 11:37 p.m. Midnight hunger is creeping in. What should I make? Only one option. Hodge ramen.

Methodology: I poured boiling water from the kettle into my mug and then added the egg and half a Dewick salt packet. According to something I read somewhere, adding salt to a microwaved egg will prevent it from exploding. I fully intend to test this at a later date. I microwaved it for 3 ½ minutes — that is, until the egg started making weird popping noises — poured water into the ramen and then let the egg sit in the boiling water for four more minutes until the ramen was ready. I scooped the egg out onto a paper towel and popped it in the freezer to cool while stirring the ramen.

Then, the moment of truth — peeling the egg.

First impression: Ouch, ouch, ouch, hot, hot, oh, I should have let this cool more, ouch, ow.

Second impression: This is overcooked.

Third impression: This is a perfectly serviceable hard-to-medium-boiled egg, but a tragic failure of a runny yolk.

Fourth impression: Ouch, ouch, hot, oh, I am so stupid.

Conclusion: Shorten post-cooking sitting time. Also, ow. I mixed the egg into my soup anyway. Honestly, not bad at all.

Plan for next time: Try cracking the egg directly into the ramen and sort of poaching it because why the hell not?