Best French Breakfast: Oeuf à la Coque


Of course,when you think of a typical French breakfast, images of buttery croissants and pain au chocolat come to mind, but there’s another French classic favorite breakfast or “petit déjeuner” that every French man, woman, and child has grown up with. It is the glorious “Oeuf à la Coque!” literally translated as ‘Egg in its Shell” or dip dip egg as the kids used to call it in our family. This was their go to breakfast at their grandparents’ home when they were growing-up and their Pappy made it perfectly.

Enjoy au naturel or with a few sprinkles of salt and pepper and some butter on the bread of course! An Oeuf à la coque is basically a 3-4 minute soft-boiled egg that is eaten with strips of French bread or “mouillettes“dipped in the egg.

Unusually quite simple, making the perfect Oeuf à la Coque takes a little flair, practice, and experience to get it just the way you like it. 🙂 The trick is all about timing and knowing exactly when and how to remove the egg from the hot boiling water. The eggs should gently be dropped in the water with a large spoon and removed the same way after about 3 minutes boiling time. I use a little salt in the water in case it cracks and the egg can coagulate. ( You may like your eggs cooked between 3 or 4 minutes, after that it’s just a hard boiled egg!)

Finally, after taking it out of the water, set the egg on its egg holder and remove the top hat or decapitate 🙂 the top of the egg with a sharp knife after a few taps on shell. Don’t take too long to dip your “mouillettes” or it may be overcooked as the egg will continue cooking and it is best when the yellow is still oozing.

Bon appétit!

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French Culture & Lifestyle in the USA

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French Egg Holders by Le Creuzet

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