Dippy egg, boiled egg, soldiers?



Take two free range eggs and put them into a pan of cold water, just covering the top of the eggs. Once boiling turn them down to a simmer for 3 minutes and 30 seconds, drain water from eggs. Take a tea spoon and gently tap the top of the egg to stop further cooking, begin to tap around the top quarter of the egg until you can scoop it away and immediately eat the lid, add a sufficient amount of salt and pepper before dipping your perfectly sliced soldiers into your perfectly runny egg.

This is the only way I would cook a boiled egg and soldiers – not a “dippy egg” or a soft boiled egg; mine always comes with soldiers and so would my mums and her mums.

James puts the eggs into boiling water for 4 minutes. Once ready he carefully cuts the top off with a knife and proceeds to over load both lid and base of the egg with pepper – taught by his mum. My sister in law and her sister boil the eggs for 3 minutes and then peel the shell from the top of the egg! Taught by their parents. Some people add vinegar to the water, some people start the whole procedure from cold water and some from boiling, some insist on it depending on the size of the egg or the temperature of the egg, but one thing that generally stays the same in everyone’s technique is that it was learnt from either mum or dad, and after listening to lots of people, more commonly their dad. Now, i could go down the route of stereotyping all the dads out there by saying eggs would always be a back up plan for the kids tea when mum was away, and in my house hold that was actually the case – my dad makes a mean omelette – that’s about all he can cook, but my God they’re tasty omelettes.

It’s those certain things I’ve learnt from either my mum or dad that don’t seem to budge and I’m quite belligerent about not letting them. Boiled eggs seem to be the one thing that every one does differently, another being making the bed!? Most people learn these insignificant tasks from a parent and most are reluctant to change their ways, even if it could improve their dippy egg or make life easier when making the bed.

Take the finer things in life however – eating out and what to eat, which supermarket to shop in and where to go for your next trip are all things that we usually take more of an individual approach and outlook on. When it comes to politics and opinions we may be slightly influenced by our parents but we will always put our own spin on it giving our own view and occasionally doing the polar opposite of our parents and totally disagreeing with them. The more you grow up and learn about the world the more you become your own person, but we still hold on to our dippy egg techniques.


Parents guide and prepare you to the best of their ability for what’s out there, they teach you with a sprinkle of how they were raised, but the majority they picked up as the years went on. It’s those small sprinkles of tradition that have been passed down that allow you to keep your parents close to you and have a little giggle the next time some one cooks their boiled egg a “funny” way.

I have written this with my sister in law Michelle Binieda Mullany and her sister Dominique Binieda in mind and to their parents – long may your dippy egg technique continue.