Want perfect hard-boiled eggs? Follow the one true way
Egg salad sandwich. It’s a classic. Recipe: Egg salad sandwich with dill(Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)
Pan bagnat is a pressed sandwich stuffed with things like tuna, eggs, potato and red onion that actually gets better as it sits, giving the variety of flavors time to marry. Recipe: Pan bagnat(Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)
The smoky notes and slightly wilted textures of the ribbons of leafy romaine and radicchio contrast with the add-ins of diced red onion, black olives, hard-cooked egg and parsley. An assertive anchovy-garlic dressing makes this a robust dish. Recipe: Grilled radicchio and romaine chopped salad(Stephen Osman / Los Angeles Times)
Chorizo and hard-cooked eggs are rolled into thin Milanesa steaks that make the casings for these beef rolls. Recipe: Beef rolls(Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)
This colorful potato salad comes together in only 25 minutes. Recipe: Piquillo-potato salad with anchovies and eggs(Bryan Chan / Los Angeles Times)
New York chef Larry Forgione says that when James Beard first tasted Forgione’s strawberry shortcake, the food guru pronounced: “There can be no dessert better, only fancier.” The secret: hard-boiled egg yolk mixed into the dough. Recipe: Old-fashioned strawberry shortcake(Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times)
Nancy Silverton combines butter lettuce, hazelnuts, bacon, hard-cooked eggs and creamy gorgonzola in this salad. Recipe: Butter lettuce with hazelnuts, bacon, Gorgonzola dolce, egg and sherry vinaigrette(Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times)
Want to dress your eggs up a bit? Try them in a layered Spanish tapa. Recipe: Anchovy, roasted red pepper, potato and egg pintxos(Lori Shepler / Los Angeles Times)
Chervil and tarragon are traditional in this classic sauce, and you can substitute them for the chives, or use basil or dill. Serve it alongside crab cakes and you’ve got a winning dish. Recipe: Sauce gribiche(Eric Boyd / Los Angeles Times)
Serve this broiled eggplant salad warm or cool, garnished with hard-boiled egg quarters and olives. Recipe: Broiled eggplant salad with sauteed onions, garlic and tomatoes(Glenn Koenig / Los Angeles Times)
Finely chopped egg yolk looks almost like confetti in this dish adapted from Thomas Keller’s “Bouchon” cookbook. Recipe: Asparagus in sauce mimosa(Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times)
Eggs stuffed with salmon caviar are part of a Russian-style smorgasbord to accompany vodka. Recipe: Eggs stuffed with caviar(Robert Lachman / Los Angeles Times)
Shaved ice adds just the right frost factor to mul naeng myun, with thinly sliced beef, pickled cucumber, hard-cooked egg, radish and buckwheat noodles. Recipe: Cold noodles in beef broth(Glenn Koenig / Los Angeles Times)
Eggs provide a perfect topping for grilled romaine heads. Recipe: Grilled romaine with radishes, hard-boiled eggs and toasted bread crumbs(Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times)
Garnish this rich gazpacho with Serrano ham and hard-cooked egg. Recipe: Gazpacho cream, Cordoba-style(Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)
With ready-made hard-boiled eggs, egg salad comes together in minutes. Recipe: Canter’s egg salad(Glenn Koenig / Los Angeles Times)
Want to add richness to a soup or side dish? Garnish with chopped egg, as in this borscht recipe. Recipe: Warszawa’s cold borscht(Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times)
This rich ranch-style dressing takes no prisoners when it comes to garlic flavor. Paired with a colorful chopped salad, it makes for a flavorful meal that’s simple to prepare. Recipe: Milton’s special house chopped salad with creamy garlic dressing(Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)
A boned chicken is stuffed with hard-cooked eggs, ground pork, bacon, cheese, raisins, pickle relish, ham and sausage in this hearty dish. Recipe: Alice Aquino’s Chicken Relleno(Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)
For the last several years I’ve been waging a relentless campaign against badly cooked hard-boiled eggs. Because I have the one, true method for making perfect ones.
Do I sound like a zealot? Perhaps. But fanaticism in the quest for perfection is to be admired, not scorned, right?
Here’s all you need to do to make a perfect hard-boiled egg:
1. Arrange the cold eggs in a single layer in a pot and cover them with water.
2. Bring the water to a rolling boil over high heat and cook for 1 minute.
3. Immediately turn off the heat and let the eggs stand — 12 minutes will give you golden orange yolks, 15 minutes and they’ll be moist yellow.
4. To make them easier to peel, drain the water and rattle the eggs around in the pot to lightly crack the shells.
5. Cover with ice water and let stand until you’re ready to either refrigerate or use them.
It’s foolproof. You’ll never have a rubbery white or a gray-green ring around the yolk again.
Over the years I’ve tried dozens of ways to cook eggs, getting recommendations from chefs, cookbook writers and readers who emailed with methods they were equally convinced were perfect.
But while some of them worked quite well, each of them had a drawback — you had to cook the eggs a very specific time (a minute too long and they were overcooked); you started with boiling water (combined with cold eggs, that’s a pretty sure prescription for popping); and so on.
You can’t overcook the eggs using my technique, because as soon as the heat is turned off the water starts cooling. Walk away and leave the eggs for an hour, and they won’t be as perfect, but they won’t be overcooked.
You’ll never have eggs explode during cooking either, because they start in cold water. The troublesome cracking is caused by the air pocket in the egg suddenly expanding when heated. Gradually warmed this way, the expanding air will leak through the porous shell.
Though I have tried many other techniques, I remain unmoved by any of them. My faith in the one true way is unshakeable.
Eat your way across L.A.
Get our weekly Tasting Notes newsletter for reviews, news and more.
You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Los Angeles Times.