Heartlander Kopitiam Style Soft-Boiled Egg

This has to be our local favourite dish – soft-boiled egg with dark soy sauce. I’m not kidding. Most if not all of us in Singapore, regardless of race or religion, would have grown up eating this and loving it.

It looks like a very simple dish to make – one just has to put the eggs into a container, pour in some boiling water and viola! The eggs will cook partially such that when you break it open, it will flow out all nice and smooth and white and the yolks will be partially cooked. But in reality, it’s not easy at all. The fact is, I took many tries to get this right. The first few times I poured hot water (not boiling water) and the eggs turned out totally raw and uncooked. Then I learnt that I had to use boiling water and yet the eggs still turned out totally uncooked because I used eggs freshly out of the fridge. Then I made sure that my eggs were at room temperature AND the water was boiling but the eggs were still not cooked enough because the time taken to cook them was too short. It took so many tries, so much so that I almost decided to give up, before I got to the final desired result which I present to everyone here.

It’s very straight-forward to make a sunny-side up but it’s not easy to cook soft-boiled eggs at all. It takes loads of patience to get it right. Try it, and you’ll know what I mean. But if you fail the first few times, don’t give up, try again! Because it’s worth all this effort – this local favourite dish of ours 🙂


  • Water: 3 cups
  • Egg: 2, room temperature
  • White pepper: to taste
  • Dark soy sauce: 1 tsp


  1. Bring water to a boil.
  2. Once boiled, turn heat off. Place eggs into pot slowly with a spoon.
  3. Cover with lid. Leave to cook for 8min.
  4. Scoop eggs out of hot water. Crack them with the edge of a teaspoon into a serving bowl.
  5. Serve hot with white pepper and dark soy sauce.


  • To use eggs straight out of the fridge, increase the cooking time to 12-15min to ensure that egg whites are cooked evenly in the boiling water.
  • If you love cooked egg yolks like me, leave them to cook for about 5min longer so that the yolks can be more well-cooked (and not liquid at all).
  • I love to drown my eggs in dark soy sauce and pepper, so much so that I usually can’t see the whites of the eggs anymore when I serve them to myself!

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