the [new] secret to easy-to-peel boiled eggs

boiled eggs with curried chickpeas2boiled eggs with curried chickpeas3
boiled eggs with curried chickpeas4boiled eggs with curried chickpeas5
boiled eggs with curried chickpeas6boiled eggs with curried chickpeas7

Ever had a problem with peeling boiled eggs?

It seems you’re not alone.

Almost 2 years ago, I went on a quest for the ‘secret’ to perfectly peeled boiled eggs. I wrote about my findings over here.

While I still use some of that method, there are parts I’ve abandoned over time.

the ‘old’ secret

I’m sure anyone who has eaten boiled eggs at my place over the last few years will be happy to hear I haven’t actually been ‘blowing’ on the eggs to remove the shells.

It doesn’t feel right from a hygiene perspective. Even if the results are great looking eggs.

So I’ve been on the lookout for a new ‘secret’ for a while.

Thankfully, heaps of people had shared their suggestions and tips (and disgust at the blowing method) in the comments. So I had plenty of inspiration.

the ‘new’ secret

I’m now convinced there are two key steps.

1. only peel cooled eggs
Whenever I’m in a hurry and I start peeling before my eggs are cool, I end up with craters.

2. crack & roll
Cracking the shell all over and rolling between your hands separates the membrane from the egg and really makes a difference to the peeling experience.

A big thankyou to everyone who left suggestions on my previous post.

For those of you who prefer a little more detail…

8 tips for moon-crater-free boiled eggs

1. use older eggs.
Pretty much by the time you get eggs home from the supermarket they’ll be old enough. But if you’re lucky enough to have access to super fresh eggs, save them for poaching and keep the older ones for boiling, if you can.

2. poach or bicarb
If straight-from-the-hen-house-fresh eggs are your only option, think about poaching instead. Or add 1/2 teaspoon bicarb soda to the egg cooking water.

3. start cold
Starting the cooking with cold water decreases the chances of eggs cracking as you add them to a hot pan of water. It also evens out the cooking time so it doesn’t matter if your eggs were cold from the fridge or at room temperature.

4. be precise
Overcooked eggs can be more problematic to peel. And who wants rubbery eggs anyway? So use a timer and stick to it.

5. cool quickly
Slow cooked eggs are more likely to develop greenish-grey colouring on the outside of the yolks. Cooling quickly can prevent this discolouration occurring. Drain eggs from the pan and transfer to a cool bowl. Run water over the eggs then let them sit in cold water to complete the cooling.

6. cool thoroughly
I’ve noticed that warm eggs are more difficult to peel, regardless of their freshness. So make sure the eggs are cool before starting.

7. crack first
When you’re ready to peel, crack the shell all over by gently hitting it on the side of the sink, or another flat surface. This can be done before leaving the eggs to cool completely in water if you like.

I’ve also tried a method using a spoon to crack a ring around the circumference of the egg. Then carefully remove the ‘belt’ before lifting off the top and bottom halves of the shell. Not quite as easy as the crack-all-over method, but worth trying if you’re into exploring advanced egg peeling ;)

8. roll gently between your hands
The rolling is a new technique for me, but it seems to help loosen the membrane, making peeling a cinch.

boiled eggs with curried chickpeas 8

moon-crater-free boiled eggs
makes as many eggs as you need

If you have more time, you can also bring the eggs to a simmer. Cover the pot and remove from the heat and stand for 20 minutes.

as many eggs as you need

1. Place eggs in a small saucepan. Cover with cold water. Bring to a simmer.

2. When the eggs start simmering, set your timer for 8 minutes.

3. As soon as your timer rings, drain the eggs and transfer to a bowl. Run cold water over the eggs for a minute and then let the eggs sit in the water until cool.

4. Bash the eggs on the side of your sink to crack the shells all over.

5. Roll the egg between your hands to help loosen the membrane. Gently peel the membrane and shell from the eggs.

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video version of the recipe

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boiled eggs with curried chickpeas

boiled eggs with curried chickpeas
serves 2

Inspired by the kedgeree recipe that accompanied my previous boiled egg post. The chickpeas work even better than the rice to accompany the eggs.

I find with all the protein from the eggs and chickpeas, the fish in the original recipe isn’t needed at all. Feel free to add in some canned salmon if you like.

2-4 eggs
1 onion, diced
2-3 teaspoons curry powder
1 can chickpeas (400g / 14oz), drained
1/2 bunch flat leaf parsley, leaves picked

1. Place eggs in a small saucepan. Cover with cold water. Bring to a simmer.

2. When the eggs start simmering, set your timer for 8 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, heat a frying pan on a medium heat. Add a generous glug of olive oil and cook onions until soft, about 5 minutes.

4. When the onion is soft, add the curry powder and stir for 15-20 seconds before adding the chickpeas. Continue to cook for another minute or until the chickpeas are warmed through. Season and remove from the heat.

5. As soon as your timer rings, drain the eggs and transfer to a bowl. Run cold water over the eggs for a minute and then let the eggs sit in the water until cool.

6. Bash the eggs on the side of your sink to crack the shells, then roll between your hands to help loosen the membrane. Gently peel the membrane and shell from the eggs.

7. Halve the eggs. Serve on top of the warm chickpeas with the parsley.

VARIATIONS

vegan – skip the eggs and serve with a generous handful of roasted cashews or almonds.

egg-free – serve chickpeas topped with fresh bocconcini or buffalo mozzarella torn into chunks.

leafier – serve on a bed of baby spinach leaves, or wilt a few handfuls of spinach or kale leaves in with the chickpeas.

kedgeree – replace the chickpeas with 1 1/2 cups cooked rice and add in some flaked smoked haddock, cod or salmon.

different spice – replace the curry powder with garam marsala or a combo of ground cumin and ground coriander.
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video version of the recipe

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recently on the stonesoup diaries

§ the easiest way to make sure your fish is super fresh
§ the best vegetable for stir fries
§ the brunch of champions

preserve like your nanna class

preserves class logoThe first class this year at the Stonesoup Virtual Cookery School is all about preserving.

And it’s now online.

If you’ve ever wanted to perfect your jam making, marmalade or pickling skills, this is the class for you!

Get access to ‘Preserve Like Your Nanna’ and over 13 other classes when you join.

For more details go to:
www.stonesoupvirtualcookeryschool.com/landing/all/

Cheers
Jules x

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