How To Eat A Soft-Boiled Egg Without An Egg Cup

How To Eat A Soft-Boiled Egg Without An Egg Cup

Last year, a Scottish Twitter user known as “moth dad” went on a rant about the US’s lack of egg cups, conjuring up terrible images such as eggs rolling around on plates, yolk spilling forth unchecked and “solid f***ing eggs”.

Photo by Didriks.

OK, so first of all, Americans do soft-boil their eggs sometimes. It is true, however, that very very very few of them use egg cups. I’ve actually never seen a real person use one in the wild. The only time I ever see egg cups is while watching a period piece about British people and ” as my esteemed colleague Beth pointed out in a very spirited Slack conversation ” those people never seem to finish eating their egg. They will crack it, remove the top little bit of shell, and maybe take a single bite or dip some toast in there, before they’re interrupted by a man named “Benedict” with news about a dowry or some sheep or something (perhaps a dowry of sheep).

Now, I can’t speak for all of America here, but my gut feeling on why Americans don’t use egg cups is that they’re a little precious, a bit twee. If an egg cup were a song, it would be written and performed by the adorable indie pop group Belle & Sebastian. (To be clear, I love Belle & Sebastian as much as moth dad loves egg cups, and recently had a very nice dream that I kissed the guitar player.)

Anyway. What if you want more than one egg? Do you get many little cups or do you just set the extra eggs aside while they await their turn in the esteemed cup? I rarely eat only one egg, unless it’s on top of a burger, salad or bowl of ramen, and having a little army of egg cups seems awkward.

But let’s address moth dad’s concerns, with the rolling and the yolk spillage and whatnot. Here are some ways all of that can be prevented without an egg cup:

  • Get a ramekin: Or a small bowl. Scoop the whole egg out of its shell and into this (multi-use) vessel. Dip and eat as usual.
  • Put it on toast (or some other food): Scooping a soft egg onto some noodles, greens, hash browns or plain ol’ toast gives it something to grab onto, and — more importantly — something for the yolk to soak in to.
  • Cut it in half: This only applies to eggs that have been cooked long enough for the white to firm up, but I find slicing an egg with a runny yolk and quickly placing the halves, cut side up, on a plate prevents them from rolling around and spilling that delicious liquid gold everywhere.
  • Use a shot glass: If you simply must have your egg upright, but don’t want to buy a twee, single-use cup, just grab a shot glass. It works pretty well. (Conversely, you could buy an egg cup and use it as a shot glass. I once drank Bailey’s from a shoe though, so maybe don’t listen to me.)

Oh, and if you have any other ideas on how to eat cup-less eggs, feel free to leave them in the comments. Just don’t DM moth dad. He is very much over everyone’s eggspert opinions.

This story has been updated since its original publication.


  • Savages. This is worse than that time they voted Donald Trump as their president.

  • What the hell? I have soft boiled eggs or eggs with soldiers every week with my son. To me, it’s just an Aussie tradition and the best way to start the weekend. Easy to make, easy to serve when you have egg cups. I still have and use the ones from when I was a kid.

  • Ok, so my Aussie dad told me what to do, you gently smash one end of the egg down on your plate, so it has a flat bottom, and stands upright. Spoon out or dip as per normal!

    The cut in half idea sounds horrendous! Twice the problem!!

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