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Thai Soft Boiled Egg Recipe (Kai Luak)

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Thai soft-boiled egg, or kai luak, is your go-to breakfast whenever you’re in a hurry. At street food markets, the eggs are served in a shot glass and drank as a shot, but I prefer to savor them at my own pace. Quick, easy, and nutritious!

Thai soft-boiled egg kai luak seasoned with pepper in a clear glass bowl.

Start your day right by combining your boiled eggs with one of my other Thai breakfast recipes: khao tom, a traditional Thai rice soup, Thai congee, and khao jee, sticky rice with egg!

What is kai luak

Kai luak is a classic Thai breakfast, beloved for its simplicity and flavor. It’s essentially a soft-boiled egg, traditionally served in a shot glass for a quick, nourishing start to the day.

Thai soft-boiled eggs

In Thailand, we say that this is a breakfast for men, as it’s considered a robust start to the day, offering protein and an energy boost. When I was a kid, I used to see it served at street food markets, and it was often paired with a refreshing cold or hot coffee.

To prepare, eggs are gently placed in boiling water for a few minutes before being moved to a bowl of room temperature water to cool. The result is eggs that are soft-boiled to slightly raw, featuring a runny yolk and a tender egg white.

In Thailand, these soft-boiled eggs are cracked into a shot glass and seasoned with white pepper and a few drops of Maggi seasoning sauce. The tradition is to consume the soft-boiled egg from the shot glass in one go!

Spooning Thai kai luak soft-boiled egg with runny yolk in a glass bowl.

Why try this Thai boiled egg recipe

Simple and mess-free: Cooking it right means the egg white separates cleanly from the shell upon cracking. That’s no cleanup!

Energizing breakfast: Pairing it with strong coffee kick-starts your day in the best way.

Minimal ingredients: You need very few ingredients to make this.

Kid-friendly: Your children will be excited to try this unique egg variation.

Healthy: This Thai egg breakfast is both low in carbs and high in protein.

So easy: Anyone can boil an egg, and the simple Thai-style seasoning adds an irresistible flavor you must try.

Ingredients

Ingredients can be sourced at Asian grocery stores and Asian markets.
The exact measurements are in the recipe card at the end of this post.


Ingredients for kai luak: eggs, Maggi seasoning sauce, white pepper, bowl of water.
  • Water – Ensure you have sufficient water to boil the eggs in a pot and enough to fill a bowl for cooling the boiled eggs afterward.
  • Eggs – I usually go for 2 eggs per person.
  • White pepper – Brings a mild spicy heat, perfect for kids.
  • Maggi seasoning sauce – This key ingredient adds a rich, umami flavor.

Cooking instructions

Steamy cooking pot with a wooden knob lid.

Step 1: Fill a medium-sized cooking pot with enough water to cover the eggs and bring it to a boil over medium-high heat. Cover the pot with its lid.

Cooking pot on stove with lid closed, boiling eggs.

Step 2: Once boiling, remove the lid, turn off the heat, and gently lower the eggs into the water using a large spoon. Close the lid and set a timer for your desired egg consistency, as outlined in the recipe tips.

Eggs in water in a clear bowl.

Step 3: Prepare a large bowl with room-temperature water. As soon as the timer sounds, move the eggs from the pot to the bowl.

Thai soft-boiled eggs in a clear bowl.

Step 4: To serve, crack the eggs into your chosen serving dish, be it a bowl or a shot glass.

Step 5: Season the eggs with white pepper and a few drops of Maggi seasoning sauce to taste. Enjoy!

Kitchen tools

  • Ladle for removing eggs from boiling water
  • Bowl for cooling the boiled eggs
  • Serving bowl or shot glass
  • Pot for cooking

Recipe tips and tricks

For barely firm, milky-structured egg whites, soft-boil the eggs for exactly 6 minutes.

If you prefer egg whites with a bit more body, aim for an 8-minute boil. This slight adjustment makes a noticeable difference in texture.

For those who enjoy a firmer bite, similar to traditional Western soft-boiled eggs, extending the cooking time to 10 minutes is your best bet. This method delivers a more defined egg white.

To ensure the egg whites release smoothly from the shell, let the eggs rest in room temperature water post-boil.

How to serve

Traditionally, these soft-boiled eggs are served in a shot glass, emerging warm from the water and ready to be seasoned and savored immediately. For those who prefer to savor them slowly, simply serve them in a bowl with a spoon.

Try replacing the typical fried egg atop pad kra pao and pad krapow chicken with this softer alternative.

Related Thai egg recipes

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Thai Soft Boiled Egg Recipe (Kai Luak)

Thai soft-boiled egg kai luak seasoned with pepper in a clear glass bowl.
Learn how to make energizing Thai soft-boiled eggs shots, or kai luak, with this quick and easy recipe.
Praew
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Cuisine Thai
Course Breakfast
Serving Size 2 people

Ingredients

  • 2 liters water for boiling eggs
  • 500 milliliters water for cooling eggs
  • 4 eggs
  • a twist of white pepper add to taste
  • a few drops of Maggi seasoning sauce add to taste

Instructions

  • Fill a medium-sized cooking pot with enough water to cover the eggs and bring it to a boil over medium-high heat. Cover the pot with its lid.
  • Once boiling, remove the lid, turn off the heat, and gently lower the eggs into the water using a large spoon. Close the lid and set a timer for your desired egg consistency, as outlined in the recipe tips.
  • Prepare a large bowl with room-temperature water. As soon as the timer sounds, move the eggs from the pot to the bowl.
  • To serve, crack the eggs into your chosen serving dish, be it a bowl or a shot glass.
  • Season the eggs with white pepper and a few drops of Maggi seasoning sauce to taste. Enjoy!

Notes

  • Use the nutrition card in this recipe as a guideline.
  • Cook for 6 minutes: Egg-whites barely firm, with a milky structure.
  • Cook for 8 minutes: A little more firm, pudding-like structure.
  • Cook for 10 minutes: A firmer structure, almost like Western soft-boiled eggs. (Recommended for children.)

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