In Search of the Perfect Microwave Egg

An Experiment in Coddled Egg Microwave Cookery 

Egg Coddler
I stopped having coddled eggs for breakfast when the ring on my Royal Worcester porcelain egg coddler broke off.*

Then I moved and now I can't find it, but it looked exactly like this one.

(What is a coddled egg? Imagine if you could inject some butter and other seasonings inside the shell of your egg, then soft-boil it to your exact taste... well, the egg coddler is just a replacement shell, and so to coddle an egg, you place it and your chosen seasonings inside the porcelain coddler, close it tightly, then submerge it in simmering water until it's just the way you like it.  A little miracle! [The ring is so you can grab it.])

I've cooked hard-boiled eggs in the microwave, but, I thought, why not coddled eggs? This morning, I decided to try.

Day 1

Chinese tea bowls make perfect little individual egg coddlers. I added a ruler so you can see how tiny they are -- they hold 1/2 cup when full. (If I were making two eggs, I would use one of my small glass custard cups.)

Put a tiny dab of butter in the bottom of the cup;

Microwave for 10-15 seconds to melt the butter;

Rotate the cup to coat the bottom and sides of the cup with butter (this is important both for the flavour and to keep the egg from sticking to the bowl);

Add the egg and pierce the yolk with the tip of a knife or a fork;

NOTE: this is essential -- otherwise the yolk will explode!

Add seasonings -- any or all of the following:
  • Salt and pepper;
  • Chopped chives or green onion tops;
  • Finely chopped cooked mushrooms, crumbled bacon or finely chopped ham;
  • Anything you would normally add to your eggs.
Add another dab of butter on top -- please don't skip this! It's amazing what this minuscule amount of butter does to the flavour of the egg!

Wrap the bowl in a paper towel (NOT plastic wrap);

Microwave on High-- I tried 45 seconds today;

Eat out of the bowl with a coffee spoon;


Flip over toast.

This is how I did it today, but as you may know, after you take something out of the microwave oven it continues to cook. That's why, in these last two photos, you can see that the yolk is beginning to solidify.

I like my yolks completely liquid, so tomorrow, I will try 40 seconds and a 10-second rest, and see what happens.

NOTE: if you decide to try this, you will have to experiment too, because as you know all microwaves are different, and of course you may like your eggs more or less cooked.


After several tries, I did settle on 40 seconds, and that time seems to work best in the smaller of the two cups, the one on the right. The walls are thicker, which may contribute to the whites setting better.

That's what works best for my taste and my equipment.

You're on your own: do your own tests; just remember that, oddly enough, if you get some water in the bottom of the cup, it's not from under-cooking, but from over-cooking. It's a chemical reaction, apparently.

 * Without some sort of "handle", it's impossible to get the coddler out quickly when the timer goes off (and believe me, I've tried).


Making Seedless Raspberry Jam In Winter

Seedless Raspberry Ja

Photo Credit: See Footnote
Raspberry jam is my absolute favourite, but I don't like the way those little seeds get between the teeth, so I've been straining them out.

During the raspberry season, I use the wild raspberries that grow in my back yard, but in winter, I use frozen raspberries, and this is the recipe that I use.

This jam is as pure as it gets.* I never use pectin – it's expensive and superfluous and jams made with it do not have the same rich fruit taste and texture.

  • A stainless steel pot or saucepan
  • A kitchen scale (This recipe shows the weights, both in ounces and in grams -- next time I make it I will measure the raspberries by volume and I will come back and fill in the square.)
  • A candy thermometer (See other technique, below.)
  • A potato or bean masher
  • A fine strainer and a glass or stainless steel bowl over which it sits well (and safely, jam is hot!)
  • A jam funnel (optional)
  • A small jar

Metric Weight
US Weight
Frozen raspberries 285 grams 10 ounces ?
White sugar 240 grams 8.5 ounces 1 cup

  1. Mash the raspberries if they're thawed; if not, combine them directly with the sugar
  2. Set aside, stirring from time to time, until all the sugar is dissolved
  3. Transfer to stainless steel pot
  4. Place over medium heat and continue to mash the raspberries until there are no whole ones left
  5. Insert the candy thermometer
  6. Boil, stirring from time to time at the beginning, then let the mixture simmer until the thermometer reaches 104 degrees C or 220 F (this is called the Jelly stage and if you don't have a thermometer [highly recommended if you're going to be making your own jams and jellies], follow my friend Goldie's technique: she would keep a small saucer in the freezer, take it out and pour a spoonful of jam on it, then run her finger through the jam. If it wrinkled, the jam was ready.)
  7. Remove from heat, stir well and pour carefully into the strainer, using a silicone spatula to get every bit. This must be done while the jam is still hot, so do be careful.
  8. Now comes the fun! Stir the jam around with a spoon; press on the seeds and keep scraping the bottom of the strainer until nothing will come through any more. (But don't throw those seeds away yet!**)
  9. Transfer quickly to a jar, using a jam funnel if you have one
  10. Cool, put the lid on and refrigerate
YIELD:  1 cup (250 ml)  -- just enough to fill one of those cute Mason-type jelly jars.

NOTE: I prefer to make a small quantity like this, rather than having to worry about sterilizing the jar etc. I buy the frozen raspberries in a big bag, and just take out what I need as I need it. But of course you can double the recipe.

* I found the following ingredients listed on a jar of premium "Pure Seedless Raspberry Jam" at the supermarket:
  • Raspberries
  • Sugar
  • Glucose
  • Pectin
  • Citric Acid
** There's still a lot of raspberry pulp (and sugar) attached to the seeds, and it makes great tea, either by itself or with some tea leaves. If you have a teapot that comes with a strainer basket, that's best; otherwise, use a tea strainer over your cup.  Try it!

 Image: zole4 /