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I ate a scotch egg at in New York City.

The dish was clearly cooked fresh and the yolk of the egg was still runny when I cut into it. It was pretty amazing.

My question - how can I get the yolk to stay runny? Scotch eggs are pretty easy to make with hard-boiled eggs - but soft-boiled? Is it just a timing thing?

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I believe this was done in episode 2 of How to cook like Heston. Starts at 12:18 here: – cptloop Apr 6 '12 at 22:47

Timing and precision are key. First off, you need to boil your eggs for exactly 5 minutes, assuming they're large. They should be at room temperature before you start, and you should let them cool afterwards. This should result in a cooked white and a very runny yolk before you fry.

The oil you use to fry the Scotch eggs needs to be just the right temperature - too hot and the crust will brown before the sausage is cooked, too cool and the yolk will cook solid before the crust is browned. The oil needs to be 350F/180C; a cube of bread should take 1 minute to completely brown.

If the temperature is right the Scotch egg should take about 5 minutes to brown evenly, and you should have properly-cooked sausage and a yolk that's still runny.

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Just a side question: do you need to cool the egg before wrapping meat around it and putting it in the deep-fryer? – Mien Nov 13 '11 at 21:46
Yes, you should. I'll edit my answer to reflect that – ElendilTheTall Nov 14 '11 at 13:17
Or you could cook at a low temperature. According to McGee, the water should be at least 60ºC for 5' and less than 70ºC, or 70ºC for 1'. – BaffledCook Nov 16 '11 at 14:39

The scotch egg with a runny yolk -- or other cooked eggs with yolks of various textures -- are a hallmark of some of the new molecular gastronomy chefs. Pick up a copy of the first issue of Lucky Peach, there's a whole long article on egg cookery which explains the various cooking times and techniques.

Be warned, though, that it's probably more effort than you want to go to.

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Everything you try, will require trial and error. Basically practice makes perfect, but here is a method I use:

Freeze the raw egg in its shell, de-shell the frozen raw egg and wrap the sausage meat around it whilst it is still frozen. This can be difficult as the egg's albumen defrosts quickly. Coat in flour, egg and breadcrumb. Fry till the scotch egg floats and the crumb is a deep golden brown.

It's the only way I know that gives a soft runny yolk every time.

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Won't the yolk be tasting/feeling weird? And freezing in the shell, how do you do that so you're sure it won't break? – Mien Apr 6 '12 at 19:36
the yolk is fine, no matter what, try freezing a raw egg, the shell does split as the albumen expands whilst freezing but half a day or so in the freezer should be fine. they peel relatively easily when frozen, brown eggs seem to work best as they seem to have a more 'workable' membrane under the shell itself. – Kevin Tidy Apr 9 '12 at 18:34

(This is more or less an addition to ElendilTheTall's answer, but it's too long to fit into a comment.)

My experience with eggs is that "let them cool afterwards" won't fully do the trick, since the egg yolk will simply continue to cook from the heat left in the egg. To prevent that, after boiling for five minutes, you need to cool them down quickly by putting them under running cold water. This stops the cooking process, and when deep-frying later on, they will just heat through, but the yolk will stay runny and not start to set anymore.

See also here in section "Cooling".

For a recipe, see here for an example. When this was broadcast (last month I think), there was a lot more emphasis in the programme on how important it was to cool the eggs than the sentence Drain and cool the eggs under cold running water suggests.

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The easiest way to create a runny center is not to use a boiled egg, but a poached. Use cling film and a small bowl, place your egg and wrap it in the cling film and tie it off. Cook your poached egg for 2 minutes. let it cool and snip away the cling film. place the egg in the freezer and allow it to set. The egg is only half cooked at this stage. Wrap your egg in sausage meat and breadcrumbs and deep fry for around 4 minutes. You will have a perfect runny center and a treat!

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