I don’t remember the first time I saw someone dipping strips of toasts into runny eggs, but I’ve always had the notion that this was a very special dish. It’s like a ritual – tapping a spoon all the way around the egg, removing the top, and dipping the first soldier into the middle and watching the yolk spill out over the sides. There’s an almost meditative process to eating Dippy Eggs with Soldiers. It is a fairly quick breakfast to make and consume, but this isn’t something you just shovel in your mouth and run out the door. For me, it’s best enjoyed when you have a quiet morning, time to sip on a hot cup of joe, and read the newspaper (old school or digital).
If you’re not familiar with the term “soldier,” as it refers to breakfast, Wikipedia has defined it as:
A British term that refers to a piece of toast cut into thin strips reminiscent of the formation of soldiers on parade. The toast is sliced in this manner so that it can be dipped into the opening of a soft boiled egg that has had the top of its shell removed. Another belief for the origin of the name is from the childhood rhyme “Humpty Dumpty”. The bread refers to the soldiers who went to rescue Humpty Dumpty when he had his “great fall.”
Quite often the simplest dishes are the best. They can also be the easiest to flub. There are various schools of thought on how to make the perfect soft boiled egg, but I’ve found that if you follow a few easy steps you get a perfect egg every time:
- Make sure you lower the boiling water to simmering before you add your eggs – a hard boil may cause your eggs to collide and crack.
- Cool down the eggs in a water bath immediately after you remove them from the hot water. This will halt the cooking process.
- USE A TIMER! It’s so easy to let an extra 30 seconds slip by, and when you’re making soft boiled eggs, 30 seconds can be the difference between perfectly runny yolks and one that is too firm for your liking.
When choosing your bread, pick whatever kind you like best for toast. The soldiers are generally served with a smattering of butter spread over top or even nothing at all. Never leaving well enough alone, I’ve put a Japanese twist on this British classic by adding miso to the butter. I then mixed it with some ground mustard to give it some kick and fresh chives for just a hint of onion. Spread on the soldiers it complements perfectly with the rich and creamy egg yolk. These Dippy Eggs with Soldiers will be your old-new favorite lazy day breakfast.
- ¼ cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened
- ½ teaspoon ground mustard
- 1 teaspoon shiro miso (white miso)
- 2 teaspoons fresh chives
- kosher salt, if needed
- 4 eggs, room temperature
- 4 slices of bread
- In a small bowl, add the softened butter, ground mustard, and miso. Whip together until fully incorporated. Fold in the chives until evenly distributed. Taste and add salt to taste, if needed.
- Bring a large saucepan filled halfway with water to a boil. Decrease the heat to a simmer and gently lower the eggs into the water one at a time, using a spoon. Cook for 5 - 7 minutes, depending on your egg yolk preference (I like my egg yolk runny, so I go with 5 minutes).
- While the eggs are cooking, toast the bread. Slather with the butter mixture and slice into strips.
- Prepare a bowl of cool water. Drain the eggs and gently add the eggs to the water to stop the cooking process. Once cool enough to handle, remove the eggs from the water. Serve immediately with toast soldiers.
- To eat - using a spoon, tap the top of the egg all the way around and peel the shell. Scoop and dip the toast soldiers into the yolk. Enjoy!
Lokness @ The Missing Lokness says
Stunning, Kathleen! My husband LOVES eggs! When we eat runny eggs, he would use a toast to wipe off any egg yolk on the plate (and even my plate as well). He would be so happy if I make him this! 🙂
I love sopping up yolk with toast too! This sounds like the perfect dish for your hubby – just dunk that toast straight into the egg 🙂
Allie | Baking a Moment says
This is my son’s favorite thing to eat. He’ll have it for breakfast or any time of day, really. I’ve goofed up the timing way too many times, so I really appreciate your instructions here! And that miso/mustard butter sounds phenomenal!
Thanks, Allie! When 30 seconds can make such a big difference in a dish, my ‘not so secret weapon’ in the kitchen is definitely a timer! They come out perfectly every time that way 🙂
Helen @ Scrummy Lane says
Eggs and soldiers!!!
Wow. Actually, I had no idea that this wasn’t ‘a thing’ anywhere but Britain. We used to have this all the time for Sunday tea when I was little.
Love your Japanese twist, too!
It’s so strange that eggs and soldiers aren’t seen much in the States – it’s such a fantastic dish! It wasn’t until I first went to Europe that I had my first dippy egg, so it’s got a special place in my heart 😉
You have taken me back with this one, Kathleen. My gram used to make these for my grandfather most mornings. I have wished for the longest time that I hung with her more often in the kitchen to learn her process. Thank you so much for sharing – I’ll be making this, for sure. PS) Will be going old school with the paper. Great post!
Aww… thanks, Annie. That’s one of the things I love SO much about food – it has the power to elicit such special memories 🙂
Btw, I think ‘old school’ paper is the only way to go with dippy egg 😉
Tina Jui | The Worktop says
Beautiful 🙂 I absolutely love dippy eggs! I had never heard of them until I moved to London, but now I have them all the time. Pinned!
Thanks, Tina! So awesome that you get to enjoy dippy eggs IN London! I hope you enjoy the miso and mustard mix with the soldiers 🙂
Marissa | Pinch and Swirl says
Love these photos! I’m a 5-minute egg kind of person – one of my favorite ways to start the day.
Thanks so much, Marissa! I’m totally a 5-minute egg kinda gal too 😉
It’s been too long since I had egg soldiers for breakfast.. this definitely takes me back to my childhood. I must make this recipe!
Thanks, Thalia! Don’t you just love how food can elicit wonderful memories of childhood? I hope you enjoy 🙂
mila furman says
LOVE THIS! I first saw this idea on Maureen’s site (orgasmic chef) and I was instantly hooked! Such simplicity yet with such elegance! Absolute perfection!
Thanks, Mila. I just took a looks Maureen’s post, it looks delish 🙂 Soft boiled eggs with toast soldiers is such a fantastic classic dish – I loved having them for breakfast every morning when we were in Europe. And you’re so right, simple yet truly elegant.
Medha @ Whisk & Shout says
These photos are to die for and I’m obsessed that you used miso in that lovely butter spread! Pinning 🙂
Thanks so much for your kind words, Medha 🙂 The miso and ground mustard really add a nice flavor to the butter.
Culinary Ginger says
My favorite thing to eat for breakfast, I used to ask my mum all the time for this. Dipping the soldiers is the best part and I was always sad when the yolk would run out and I was left with soldiers. Love the addition of the miso in the butter.
Thanks, Janette. The miso adds a really nice rich flavor to the butter. I’m convinced that anything dippable makes eating way more fun! And then of course watching the yolk run out is oh so satisfying! 🙂
Awesome!!! Love runny eggs and will be making some tomorrow ! Humpty Dumpty 🙂 Beautiful pictures!!!
Thanks, Mira! I hope you have a lovely weekend breakfast 🙂
Erin @ Miss Scrambled Egg says
This is such a comfort food. I love the yolk of the egg when it’s runny. It’s been too long since I’ve had this style of egg.
Yes! Total comfort food! There’s something so satisfying when you slice into an egg and you see the yolk run out all over your plate 🙂