The act of sous-viding is a poetic affair. Like a flower blooming, the process is long and gradual and, watching it progress can be an optical illusion. Sous vide cooks long and low, yielding delicate results over time. So, after watching an egg submerged for an hour, you may want to blink a bit and take a closer look.
I recently bought a Nomiku -- the home sous viding magic trick. With it, I found that you can cook almost anything, from seafood to a rack of lamb, and let the science of sous-vide do the work for you, delivering consistent results every single time. Because eggs are easily one of the most heat-sensitive ingredients, I decided to run a few tests. To sous-vide means to seal an ingredient in a vacuum-tight bag and immerse it under water at a consistent temperature. With the egg, a bag isn't necessary since it has its shell. I was pleasantly seduced by each and every egg that came out of the water. It was #yolkporn at its best.
Here were my results:
The 62 egg: The white is of a halfway set gelatin consistency and the yolk runs like a hollandaise sauce.
The 63 egg: The white is noticeably firmer but still begs to be handled with care, and the yolk slowly peaks out but doesn't travel far, similar to a custard.
The 64 egg: The white holds its egg-like shape and doesn't seem to want to burst like the two proceeding eggs. The yolk retains a globular form, and where the knife cuts through, the edges round out.
The 65 egg: The white is pillowy and a little tighter, and the yolk more malleable than the 64 egg.
The 66 egg: The whites is creamy but can be held up with a fork, and the yolk can actually be cut through.
The 67 egg: The white is still slippery but creamier and the yolk takes after the consistency of play-doh or softened butter.
The 68 egg: The white has set and the yolk is slightly granular. It begins to look more like a boiled egg.
Slow-cooking eggs is a method preferred by those that have the luxury of extra time, but it is a technique that requires little effort. The differences of one degree makes endless varieties of eggs, from saucy to chewy, and its uses are limitless. Texture takes on an entirely different meaning, where the characteristics of each egg becomes strikingly distinct. I found that with sous vide, though I was a bit skeptical of a new-fangled cooking machine entering my kitchen, my appreciation for the simple egg reached new heights.
Today, I am giving away a Nomiku on my Instagram: @theculinistas to spread the love.
Also, an intern wrote a poem about it!
An Ode to Sous Vide by Priscilla Kim
A marigold yolk unveils itself,
letting the white slip away. It oozes over a slice of bread
like a thick creamy sauce. My egg had been sitting
under water at 62 degrees Celsius for one hour.
A gently cracked shell exposes
a tender flesh that when slit exposes
a sunny yellow perfect for morning toast.