Is there some guide I can use for cooking soft boiled ostrich eggs?

  • I'm kind of curious where it is that sells them... – jogloran Jun 30 '12 at 11:31

Good question. It's probably not possible to dump it in boiling water for X minutes and end up with a boiled egg. It's just too big, I would suspect that you would end up with a yolk that is hard on the outside, and cold in the middle.

Check out: http://blog.khymos.org/2009/04/09/towards-the-perfect-soft-boiled-egg/

Which deals with Sous-Vide techniques for hen's eggs. It appears that the perfect temperature is in the 144 - 145 F range.

I'd try a sous-vide at 145, for several hours. You're going to have to experiment a bit.

  • That was exactly the page I was going to send him to. – daniel Sep 22 '10 at 19:25

You can't easily get a set white and a runny yolk, but 62.5°–63° (145℉) for 3.5 hours gets a cooked yolk that's still runny; the white will not be set, however.

You may be able to get a soft-boiled ostrich egg with two-phase cooking though.

The fundamental problem is that ostrich yolks coagulate at a lower temperature than ostrich whites. Thus if you just cook to a constant temperature inside, by the time the whites are set, the yolk will also be set.

Ostrich egg whites do not coagulate the same as hen egg whites, but the yolks seem relatively similar; thus you can follow hen egg guidelines for the yolk, but the white will be off.

I tried cook sous vide at 64° (~147℉) for 6 hours, and ended up with an egg with the yolk fully set, but a gelatinous white: almost the opposite of what we were looking for!

Boiled ostrich egg, with gelatinous white

For another attempt, you can see Nicole Miizuka: The Ostrich Egg, who cooked it at 145℉ for 3 1/2 hours, and got a runny yolk (and runny white).

I found a paper discussing this: Gelling and color properties of ostrich (Struthio Camelus) egg white, and it found that at 65°, hen egg white rapidly coagulated completely, but ostrich eggs only coagulated to 70%.

Thus, if you'd like to have a soft-boiled ostrich egg, I believe you would need to cook it for a long time (3 or 4 hours?) at ~62.5° for the yolk to cook, and then raise the temperature to close to boiling, but only leave it for a brief time (10 minutes?), so the white sets, but the yolk stays liquid.

  • 1
    interesting! I would have never guessed that ostrich egg white/yolks behave differently than hen's... – Luciano Nov 10 '20 at 10:48
  • This deserves the checkmark. – Chris Cudmore Nov 10 '20 at 13:37

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