The excellent Cooking for Engineers blog has posted a step-by-step guide for the boiling time needed for different consistencies of soft-boiled eggs: http://www.cookingforengineers.com/article/249/Soft-Boiled-Eggs. They also have a guide about how to soft-boil an egg: http://www.cookingforengineers.com/recipe/239/Soft-Boiled-Eggs.
If you haven’t been to Cooking for Engineers before, it’s a great place to find recipes that lays out EVERY step needed to complete the dish. Fantastic for beginning cooks, and for those who need detailed instructions.
For my soy sauce soft-boiled eggs, I would say that the photo at the 7 minute mark is probably closest to the consistency that is needed for my recipe, although I know some people in Malaysia eat them when the egg whites are still soupy.
One of the first things I learned to cook was the first thing my Dad has taught all his kids to make: soy sauce soft-boiled eggs. (Frankly, I think he taught us so that he can get us to make them for him instead of making them himself!) I thought this was just one of my Dad’s odd food preferences, but apparently they’re eaten this way quite often in Malaysia and Singapore.
Soy sauce soft-boiled eggs
Soft-boil eggs in water; I generally prefer having the whites close to fully cooked, but some people will use runny whites. In either case, the yolks should be as runny as possible and warmed all the way through. If the eggs are too hot to handle, use cold water to cool them down a little bit. Crack open the egg shell and scoop all the contents into a bowl. Add soy sauce (preferably dark soy sauce) and white pepper to taste, stir, and eat while still warm. It’s a delicate balance between having not enough soy sauce and having way too much of it, so be careful when seasoning.
And yes, this is for another entry in the Steamy Kitchen contest.