I think that hard-cooked eggs are pretty just as they are. The ones from my hens have bright white whites and deep-yellow yolks. I like polka dots, so a sliced egg’s sunny circles make me happy. It should be enough. It usually is. But, once in awhile I want to push that cute-factor, and that’s when I turn to a trick from Japan – I mold eggs into shapes. The Japanese have been doing this for ages, making adorable hard-cooked eggs for their children’s bento box lunches.
You’ll need molds.
The directions are in Japanese, and the illustration appears to be missing some steps.
Fortunately, I bought these at a local store and was able to ask the Japanese shopkeeper for a translation. It’s easy! Here’s what you do:
If the eggs are from your own hens, wait until they are at least 10 days old. That way they’ll peel easily.
Put the eggs in a pot, add water so that they are covered by an inch. Bring the water to a boil. As soon as the water is rolling, turn off the heat and cover. Let sit for 16 minutes.
Here’s the hard part – you have to peel these when they are still hot. After years of working in kitchens, I have asbestos fingers and can handle hot eggs. But, you might want to run the egg briefly under cold water. Peel immediately and place in the molds.
Snap shut and put in the refrigerator until chilled.
You can also make a homemade heart mold. Cut a piece of cereal box cardboard and fold into a vee. Line with parchment paper. Place the egg in the vee, set a chopstick on top and hold down with rubber bands. The stick has to be pressing down hard enough to cause a clear depression. Do a few extra because you’ll probably have one or two that crack (I think homegrown eggs are firmer and not as pliable.) Chill in the mold.
The heart eggs can be sliced, or you can cut a bit off the bottom so you have fat, upright hearts. So sweet. And just look at this cute bear.
Isn’t it nice that such simple little things can make you smile?
I might have to get the Hello Kitty egg mold next.