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

In Pursuit of Eggcellence: Trial Two — The Great Poaching


The soft-boiled egg is a master of suspense. You’ve boiled your water, you’ve followed the demanding beeps of your phone’s alarm to perfection and finally you simply hold the egg in your hands (not really, because 'ouch,' 'hot,' etc.) and wonder. There is no way of knowing what lies beneath the surface, what lurks below the inscrutable face of the eggshell. To crack the shell is a leap of faith. But every faith can be tested, and even the most devoted have their breaking point. Today, I’m skipping the suspense.

This method can’t truly be said to produce a soft-boiled egg, but rather, is intended to meet the more general goal of having an egg in my ramen. To wit, instead of getting equipment involved, this low-fuss method involves nothing more than my staple, my tragically understocked favorite, vanished these many days from the shelves of Hodg — Jin Ramen, Mild.

Attempt #2

Setting the scene: It’s Thursday evening, and the post-Quiz Bowl hunger has set in. I’m accompanied tonight by a terrible John Grisham book. Yes, I hate John Grisham’s books. Yes, I’ve read almost all of them. Next question, please.

Methodology: Very quick and easy. Boil the water in the electric kettle, pour into the ramen, add the spice packet and weird dehydrated vegetables, stir. I make a foolish attempt to crack the egg on the edge of the paper lid and fail miserably, forced to resort to a nearby mug. I make a mental note to wash the mug immediately. I crack the egg into the water, shut the lid and attempt to poach. The ramen cup says to wait four minutes. Considering that I cracked a completely raw egg into it, I wait for 10 before opening the lid with bated breath.

First impression: Hmmm.

Second impression: That’s not great.

Third impression: There is a raw egg in my ramen.

Fourth impression: To be fair, it is not completely raw. The whites have become slightly opaque. The yolk is raw though. There’s no getting around it.

Fifth impression: I am out of ramen. But I’m hungry. But I don’t have another ramen. But I’m hungry.

Conclusion: I just went ahead and stirred it in. I ate the raw egg ramen. I am still alive. This is why I buy the ridiculously-expensive-but-good-for-the-chickens eggs. The chicken spirits (or the auspices of the FDA) protected me from salmonella. Sometimes, life is fair.

For the record, I knew this was a bad idea. I just had to try it anyway. For science. I’m gonna go do another microwave egg.

Plan for next time: Electric kettle. This is a tried and true method, but also annoying and wasteful and a method that necessitates many trips to the bathroom sink to fill it with water and pour out water and whatever. I'm always worried I'm going to lock myself out of my room going in and out like that. Also, I have a sneaking suspicion it’s doing something weird to my kettle, like calcium buildup or something, even though I clean it assiduously after use. But that’s a worry for next time.