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Coddled Eggs

Coddled Eggs

Did you ever have “toast and soldiers” when you were a kid? Growing up, crunchy buttered toast dipped into a soft-boiled egg was a special treat for me. This is my grown-up version of that classic childhood breakfast. It’s perfect for customization, so forget what your parents told you and play with your food! — Stephanie Le, author of Easy Gourmet

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Recipe courtesy of Stephanie Le, author of Easy Gourmet. Click here to buy a copy.


  • 1 Cup raw spinach
  • Oil, as needed
  • Salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 Teaspoon butter (for the ramekins)
  • ½ Cup mashed potatoes
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 Teaspoon chopped flat-leaf parsley

Coddled Eggs Recipe

Coddled eggs are made by very briefly immersing an egg in the shell in boiling water (to cook in water just below the boiling point) to slightly cook or coddle them.

The best eggs for coddling are the FRESHEST EGGS you can find (if eggs are more than a week old, the whites thin out) . Whites of fresh eggs will gather compactly around the yolk, making a rounder, neater shape.

What Is An Egg Coddler?

It seems that a lot of people have never seen or used an Egg Coddler. Egg coddlers have been used in England since the 1800s. The original name for an egg coddler was pipkin.

An egg coddler is a porcelain or pottery cup with a lid that is used to prepare a dish called coddled eggs. The eggs are soft-cooked and similar to poached eggs, but the eggs are cooked more slowly than a boiled egg.

The lid is a secure top that either clamps on or screws on the dish/cup. The egg or eggs are broken into the buttered coddler and seasonings of your choice are added. The coddler is then closed with the lid and partially immersed in boiling water for a few minutes. When the eggs are cooked to the desired firmness, the coddler is lifted from the boiling water, the lid removed, and breakfast is served, in a lovely decorated dish.

Coddled Eggs: A "NEW" Take on Your Eggs

When you heard the term Coddled eggs, you wouldn't be alone if you started worrying. Poached eggs and coddled eggs sound exotic and difficult, but in reality, coddled eggs are something that even the most novice of cooks can take on.

Poached eggs are truly an art form. They are cooked by dropping eggs into water or broth that is boiling at a precise temperature for a precise amount of time.

Coddled eggs, on the other hand, are placed in some sort of dish that "coddles" them and that dish is surrounded by water. Protecting them inside of another dish, makes them cook a little slower so that your cooking time is a little longer.

The other major difference between a coddled egg and a poached egg is that you can add seasonings and other ingredients to a coddled egg, whereas a poached egg has to be cooked without any additives.

Coddled Eggs with Tunisian Flavors

Exotic Merguez sausage enhances these oven-simmered eggs. The spicy elements in this North-African-inspired dish are tempered exquisitely with a dollop of cool, creamy yogurt and fresh mint.

  1. Brush the insides of 4 wide-mouth half-pint canning jars with the butter and set aside.
  2. Heat the sausage in a skillet over medium heat and cook thoroughly -- about 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside.
  3. Whisk the harissa and 1/2 teaspoon water together in a small bowl and whisk in 4 teaspoons olive oil.
  4. Crack two eggs into each jar and season with the salt and pepper. Divide the sausage among the jars, cover each, and set them into a saucepan large enough to fit all four jars.
  5. Pour enough water into the saucepan to reach 1 inch from the top of the jars, and bring to a gentle simmer. Cook for 10 minutes turn off the heat and let the jars sit in the hot water for 5 minutes.
  6. Remove jars, uncover, and drizzle each with the harissa mixture and remaining olive oil. Garnish with yogurt and a sprinkling of mint. Serve immediately.

Tips & Techniques

Ingredient Note: Harissa is a fiery paste of cayenne pepper, coriander, cumin, mint, garlic, caraway seeds, and olive oil. It originates from North Africa and is used in couscous, fish, meats, and stews. You can substitute it with 1/2 teaspoon chile paste and 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika, or find it on

If you don't have canning jars on hand, 6-ounce ramekins will work just fine. Cover them tightly with squares of aluminum foil.


1 egg
teaspoon butter
Salt and pepper

  • Lightly butter the inside of the cup.Break eggs into it.
  • Add butter, salt and pepper for flavour.
  • Screw on lid.
  • Cook for ten minutes in boiling water.
  • Lift cup from water by grasp the whole cover.

If eggs are not cooked enough, replace the lid and return the coddler to the boiling water. For variety, add flaked fish, cheese, herbs, chopped ham, mushroom, etc. to the egg.

Ham and egg

  • Butter the inside of the coddler and metal lid
  • Cut the ham into fine strips and line the coddler with the ham.
  • Add the egg, season with salt and pepper
  • Screw on lid and stand coddler in a pan of boiling water taking care that the water level only reaches halfway up the porcelain body.
  • Simmer for 7-8 mins.

Farmhouse Egg

1 egg
2 tsp chopped onion
Salt and pepper
Chopped mushroom
1 tblsp chopped bacon
1/4 tsp butter
1/4 oz Gruyère cheese

  • Butter the inside of the egg coddler and the lid.
  • Fry the bacon strips, add onion and mushroom, cover and cook for a few minutes.
  • Place mixture into the egg coddler, add the egg and stir.
  • Season with salt and pepper and place a slice of gruyère on top.
  • Screw on lid and stand in a pan of boiling water taking care the water level only reaches halfway up the coddler.
  • Simmer for approximately 10 minutes.

Egg Baron

1 egg
1/4 tsp butter
Salt and pepper
1 1/2 tblsp sliced mushroom
1 tblsp chicken liver paté

  • Butter the inside of the egg coddler and the lid.
  • Put the mushrooms into the bottom of the coddler, add the egg and season with salt and pepper.
  • Add the paté.
  • Screw on lid and stand in a pan of boiling water taking care the water level only reaches halfway up the coddler.
  • Simmer for approximately 10 minutes.

Egg with Herbs

1 egg
1/4 tsp butter 1tsp chopped parsley
Salt and pepper
1 tsp chopped chives

  • Butter the inside of the egg coddler and the lid.
  • Beat the egg with parsley and chives, season to taste with salt and pepper and pour into the coddler.
  • Screw on the lid and stand in a pan of boiling water taking care that the water level only reaches halfway up the coddler.
  • Simmer for approximately 10 minutes.

Recipe Summary

  • 1 teaspoon unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces, softened
  • 4 large eggs
  • 4 English muffins, split
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh herbs, such as chives, tarragon, parsley, chervil, or dill
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Butter insides of 4 teacups with 1 piece of butter each. Crack 1 egg into each teacup. Bring 1 inch of water to a gentle simmer in a large, straight-sided skillet.

Transfer teacups to simmering water, and cover with a piece of parchment. Reduce heat to medium, and steam, covered with skillet lid, until whites are set but yolks are still soft, 8 to 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, toast English muffins. Sprinkle chopped herbs, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and pepper over tops of cooked eggs. Serve with English muffins.

Coddled Eggs with Mashed Potatoes (Eggslut inspired) and Cooking with Top Chef Brooke

Individual coddled eggs are cooked inside jars over a puree of garlic mashed potatoes, inspired by the Slut served at Eggslut. It sounds fancy, but it’s actually not too hard to make. It tastes good on its own or served with toasted crusty bread.

Don’t these eggs just look dreamy?

I’ve heard of coddled eggs before, but never realized how easy it was to make at home. Last week, Mr. K and I had an amazing opportunity when we were invited to attend a cooking class with Top Chef Finalist Brooke Williamson (Top Chef Season 10).

I was rooting for Brooke and Kristen during Season 10 and Brooke has remained one of my favorites overall, so the opportunity to be taught to cook by her was ridiculously exciting.

The Egg Mixer event was sponsored by Davidson’s Safest Choice® Pasteurized Eggs and held at the Gourmandise Cooking School in Santa Monica. The cooking class consisted of a four course meal, featuring Davidson’s Safest Choice® Eggs.

While everything was delicious, my favorite course from the cooking event was a coddled egg dish. Her dish was cheffier than mine: Coddled Egg and Whipped Smoked Celery Root, Salmon Roe, Chive Puree. I knew it would take me far too long to recreate that one at home, but I was did create my own version.

Last year, I heard a lot about the popular Eggslut restaurant in LA. One of their signature dishes is a coddled egg dish with mashed potatoes. I’ve never actually been to Eggslut (update: finally visited Eggslut!) but it sounds delicious, so I decided to make my own using my favorite garlic mashed potato puree recipe.

The eggs are placed into individual jars and then steamed until the whites are solid but the yolk is runny. It’s so fun to break the yolk and let it run into the already creamy garlicky mashed potatoes. I deliberately made my mashed potatoes a little runnier than usual, making this great for dipping with some toasted bread.

Of course, I was too impatient to wait for that. I just ate them straight out of the jar with a spoon.

Davidon’s Safest Choice® Eggs look like this:

What makes these eggs so special (other than the red stamp) is that they are already pasteurized, reducing the risk for salmonella. You can read more about Davidson’s Safest Choice ® Eggs here. In terms of taste and texture, they seem just like regular eggs.

For the first two courses, we made nearly everything completely on our own. I’m so proud of us! Chef Brooke would demonstrate and then set us off to work in teams. She would come around to check on us to make sure things were progressing smoothly. After we were done with the preparation and cooking, she would mix everyone’s food together for any last minute adjustments, so that everyone would be tasting the same food. Then she would plate it out.

The first course was a Dungeness Crab Salad with a 6-Minute Egg. This was Mr. K’s favorite. I’ve had 6-minute eggs at restaurants before, but silly me, I did not realize that it is exactly how it sounds. It’s an egg boiled for exactly 6 minutes, which is the precise time it takes for the whites to completely cook and the yolk to remain liquid. We’ve since made it nearly every day at home to eat over salads or for breakfast.

If you’re wondering what Chef Brooke is like, she is exactly like how she was on Top Chef. It was a little surreal. I’ve found that most of the time when I meet celebrities in real life, they are not quite the same as they were on TV. But she is. At times, I felt like I was actually watching her on TV (especially when I was feeling slightly delirious from how warm the kitchen was getting and all that wine). She is so down-to-earth, friendly, and approachable. I don’t know how she had so much energy to cook with us for 3 hours. I was exhausted after and I didn’t do nearly as much work.

The second course was that coddled egg dish I have been raving about that inspired my coddled egg dish. There’s definitely something different about watching a chef cook on tv and then actually being taught by them in real life. I learned so much. One thing I need to practice though, is to be able to salt the food the way chefs do. You know how they sort of just do a few quick flicks with their wrist and the salt just seems to float down? Well I tried that when I was salting my potato puree at home and it’s not as easy as it looks. When I tried to expertly flick the salt in, it just went everywhere except into my food processor. I made a huge mess…

Because we were short on time, Chef Brooke did most of the work for the final two dishes, with us helping out. The third dish was a Braised Short Rib with Truffle Pecorio, Soft Scrambled Eggs, Carrot Farro.

Dessert was chocolate chip cookie dough truffles.

She also made a Whiskey Flip cocktail

Overall, we had such a priceless experience, and I could not stop talking about the coddled egg dish the whole car ride back home. Over the weekend, I went to buy some potatoes and heavy cream and on Sunday afternoon, Mr. K and I set out to make our coddled eggs.

Things did seem to take slightly more time without Chef Brooke’s help, but the end result was delicious. We need to make these again, asap!

If you love brunch be sure to check out my Creamy Cheese Grits and Green Eggs and Ham Cups.

Coddled Eggs

This quick and easy egg baked with cream and cheese is quite versatile. Try it as a swap for regular fried-egg easy breakfast recipes or serve as a midday snack. It works so well along with English sausages and soft crusty bread for a lavishly easy breakfast.

Flavor Profile - :: Category - :: Serves -
Skill Level - :: Cook Time - This quick and easy egg baked with cream and cheese is quite versatile. Try it as a swap for regular fried-egg easy breakfast recipes or serve as a midday snack. It works so well along with English sausages and soft crusty bread for a lavishly easy breakfast. Smart Recipes, American Recipes, Eggs Recipes, Recipes Eggs American Coddled Eggs PT20M Serves 1 Ingredients: 1 Egg 1 Tablespoon Half & Half 1 Tablespoon Cheddar Cheese Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Generously, grease a ramekin. Crack egg in prepared ramekin and top with the half & half, followed by cheese. Arrange the ramekin in an oven proof baking dish. Add enough boiling water in the baking dish that comes halfway up the ramekin. Bake for about 12-15 minutes.

Shakshouka (Poached Eggs in Spicy Tomato Sauce)

This recipe comes from our second book, Breakfast for Dinner. Sometimes I forget about the recipes in that book and how much we love them we need to be better about revisiting them more often. Taylor especially loves this dish, and that’s no surprise, seeing as how it’s satisfying and hearty and chock full of peppers and onion and everything else he loves.

Shakshouka (or shakshuka) loosely translates to “all mixed up” in Arabic, and hints at the potent spice and exotic flavors. This one-pot-wonder of a dish also goes by the name “eggs in purgatory”. I don’t know who came up with such an obvious misnomer, but I seriously question their judgement: anyone with tastebuds will know that this richly spiced tomato sauce is hardly purgatory. In fact I’d argue that it’s nothing short of heavenly. Which is why I think shakshouka is a far more apt name, in my opinion.

Perhaps it’s the same ‘they’ that decided eggs were breakfast, and tomato sauce was dinner, defining a set of arbitrary boundaries that still define our meals to this day. I cry foul. Perhaps this anonymous ‘they’ needs to step out of their comfort zone a bit, get out and see the world. A bit of worldly perspective will do wonders for the soul they may even change their tune entirely.

Meanwhile, ‘we’ will cook up our eggs in a pot of simmering spicy tomato sauce and eat it for dinner. Or for breakfast. Or any time in between. Because ‘we’ won’t be defined by such pettiness as breakfast and dinner stereotypes.

We like to serve this with warm pita bread, perfect for sopping up oozing egg yolk and leftover sauce. Crusty bread would be perfectly suitable as well. And while our version takes on a distinct middle-Eastern flavor, you could just as easily shift it towards the Italian coastline (think a more traditional and less spicy marinara sauce, maybe with parmesan cheese instead of feta). That you’d call Uova al Pomodoro.

Indeed, this dish not only blurs the traditional mealtime boundaries between breakfast and dinner and beyond, it also spans cultures. Dare I say a recipe like this could bring about world peace? It sure seems that way.

Notes about this recipe

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