For the English "a hard-/soft-boiled egg" I've found the German equivalents "ein hart/weich gekochtes Ei" (for a runny egg, also "ein wachsweich gekochtes Ei"), but I couldn't find the German word for what in Russian is called "в мешочек". Its English equivalent "medium-boiled egg" doesn't fit exactly, as by the hardness-softness of the yoke criterion it is a bit harder than a runny egg and a tad softer than a medium boiled one. It cooks in simmering water exactly three minutes. Is there a German word that could meet this criterion of a boiled egg?

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    It's a Drei-Minuten-Ei. – Janka Oct 16 '17 at 18:02
  • @Janka - This easy? And if it boiled four or five minutes, it would become a Vier-/Fünf-Ninuten Ei, wouldn't it?? – Lamplighter Oct 16 '17 at 18:16
  • @Rompey yep. That easy. But after just three minutes, I’d still expect a soft egg. – Stephie Oct 16 '17 at 18:28
  • Yes, it is that simple. Hartgekochtes Ei is common too, weichgekochtes Ei not so much. youtube.com/watch?v=UWjIX3h1C0Q – Janka Oct 16 '17 at 18:29
  • @Stephie - Well, maybe three and a half minutes, depending on the size and provided that the eggs don't come into the water and onto the cooker straight out of the fridge:-) – Lamplighter Oct 16 '17 at 18:41

This page offers the term

wachsweiches Ei

for the intermediate type, probably due to the consistency of solidifying liquid wax as well as an advanced cooking time calculator considering size and temperature of the egg.

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  • For a medium-boiled egg PONS dictionary suggests "Fünfminuten-Ei". Is it also in use? I only started learning German to know for sure which bilingual online sources are reliable and which are not. – Lamplighter Oct 16 '17 at 21:30
  • Wachsweich: firm whites, creamy yolks. Fits the description of the OP. (Except for the timing.) – Stephie Oct 17 '17 at 4:37

In addition to the pretty common


, there's also the rather rare


Both of these have a distinctly old-fashioned ring to them (esp. the latter). Also, a quick google search came up with mentions of "pflaumenweich" but the few definitions give the impression that these two are somewhat interchangeable. Some people feel that plums are softer than wax, some think wax is softer than plums.

So, long story short: go with the easy and very unambiguous timescale-related descriptor. Three minutes is three minutes for (almost) everybody. :)

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"Frühstücksei" is what I've heard it referred to, even though that's a general term for any egg you eat at breakfast.

Most people in Germany expect an egg to be "Weichgekochtes" (between 3-5 minutes).

It was explained to me by several Germans that this is because "it takes more skill to cook than just boiling it for 10 minutes like anyone can do (i.e. in America)".

Terminology will, however, vary by region and/or town. Some might say as already said "Drei-Minuten-Ei" though I've never heard that in my 5 years here.

This article has a nice infographic as well as more explanations (in German of course).


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