HOWTO separate eggs with a plastic bottle

This Chinese-speaking woman has a cool tip for separating eggs, using the suction of a slightly compressed water bottle. That's a pretty clean separation. I could watch it all day.

如何巧妙分离蛋清蛋黄 (via Kottke)


  1. Amazing!   Any idea how often they break?  Usually the reason for separating eggs is so you can get egg-whites to whip, and they don’t behave as well if they get yolk in them.  (The other direction’s not a problem; most egg-yolk dishes don’t care if there’s a bit of white mixed in.)

    1.  I agree, it’s a neat trick, but those bottles can be a bit sharp on the edges.  It might pay to experiment with different brands.

        1. I don’t think you’re happy enough!
          That’s right!
          I’ll teach you to be happy!
          I’ll teach your grandmother to suck eggs!
          Now, boys and girls, let’s try it again!

          If’n you aint the grandaddy of all liars!
          The little critters of nature…
          They don’t know that they’re ugly!
          That’s very funny, a fly marrying a bumblebee!
          I told you I’d shoot!
          But you didn’t believe me!
          Why didn’t you believe me?!

  2. Magic – its the simple solutions that fascinate me the most. 
    (would be nice if the ‘Chinese speaking lady’ was given credit by name)

    1.  I looked on the YouTube page, it’s a set of videos in Chinese demonstrating quick DIY activities under different categories. She doesn’t give her name in this video and other videos have different contributors.

        1. I suspect niktemadur was referring to videos of interesting tricks, rather than the ethnicity of persons posting videos on the net.

        2. Japanese and Chinese look and sound the same to you don’t they?

          When you say Chinese, do you mean Mandarin, Wu or Cantonese?

        3. Not at all! Well, they do kinda sound the same to me, but that’s probably because I don’t hear the languages that often. But, generally with a bit of practice, it is pretty easy to tell a Chinese from a Japanese from a Vietnamese from a Thai……Also. the written languages are fairly easy to tell apart once you pay attention. There’s just a certain gestalt to each of them.

          1. Well, they do kinda sound the same to me

            Are you joking? Japanese doesn’t sound any more like Chinese (I’ll assume Mandarin) than any European language does.

  3. It’s easy enough to just use the egg shell, but that does look very clean. I’d stick with the half shell for a single egg, but if I was doing a few I reckon this would be the way to go.

  4. Are these bottle only sold in China and if so, how much is a dozen cases? I was sold on the Pachelbel background  music. 

    1. The guy behind the Wahaha drinks company that sells those water bottles has quite an interesting story – he comes from a poor family and started the company in 1987 after only being able to find menial work in a school due to his lack of education. He topped the rich list of China in 2010 with 12 billion US dollars, although he’s since fallen to third. Oh, and as a definite 1%er, he’s also got a green card and allegations of tax evasion.

  5. Break the egg in a bowl. Over another bowl pour the egg in your hand, fingers slighlty apart and gently shake your hand back and forth until the white spills through your fingers into the bowl and you are left with an unbroken yolk in your hand. Voila! Not as fun but no plastic is involved.

    1. See, I would buy a plastic bottle just so I could avoid the whole slimy-mess-on-my-fingers thing.

      1.  Trust me. You won’t have a slimy mess on your fingers. Well, maybe a tiny bit, but cooking is messy. Got any eggs in the house? Why don’t you try it just for the heck of it?

      2. Why don’t you cough up $5 for a decent egg divider/separator? They are reasonably small. Even though I actually throw out unneeded things out of my kitchen, I’m considering to get one, if my wife starts craving more waffles.

    2. Crack the egg in half over a bowl, retaining the yoke in one shell half. Pour yoke into other half, allowing egg white to fall into bowl. Repeat if necessary.

      No plastic, one less bowl, no egg on your hands!

      Edit: I just noticed who I was replying to. I promise I’m not stalking you! :)

      1.  The problem with the egg shell method is if the yolk touches the ragged edge of the shell while you’re juggling it between the two shell halves, it rips and gets messed up with the white.

        1. I agree that is an issue. You need a good egg breaking technique to get a cleanish edge, and a little luck. But it works most of the time for me, egg yolks always surprise me by how strong they are, and by how fragile they are.

          1. Probably the fresher the egg, the more resilient the yolk. Your method used to be mine when I had my own hens and their egg shells were harder, but grocery store egg shells (I find) are thin and brittle and don’t break cleanly. Maybe I don’t have the right technique for the breaking. I probably hesitate at the last nano second.

          2. @rattypilgrim:disqus 

            Are you buying decent free range eggs?  Not that home ‘grown’ aren’t better either way, but if you’re buying decent eggs the quality shouldn’t be that different.

  6. Nice trick. Pressing the bottle neck to the drain and squeezing is a handy way to speed up my kitchen drain after I wash the cat’s food plates, too. 

  7. At the speed YouTube is choosing to stream this video, watching it all day would take a week.

  8. I showed this to my 2yr old who immediately went to the kitchen and started pushing a chair over to the counter which is her signal when she wants to watch us cook, meaning she wanted to try the egg trick she just watched. We decided to sacrifice an egg for fun – and it works! Sorta. Sure enough the yolk sucked up into the bottle, but the woman must be saying something important about transferring it from one bowl to the other becuase although the yolk went in easy enough, it didn’t want to stay there very long. There’s a trick or finesse to it that we were missing.

    1. The woman was saying you have to perform a Kagel while transporting the zygote or you might be shot on the spot by a sheriff from Hew Hampshire.

    2. When she sucks up the yolk with the bottle, notice that she did not release the bottle completely. If the yolk is about to fall out, you release the bottle a little bit more. Repeat a few times, and you’ll make it across to the other bowl. At least that’s what it looked like to me. I haven’t tried it yet.

  9. Apparently you can get extremely fresh eggs where this lady lives – where I live, the yolks don’t stand so high.

    1. Wasn’t there once a thread here on Boing Boing revealing that eggs on the US spend way too much time in storage?  

      (Though I don’t understand why that would be the case, except for the additional demand around Easter.)

      1. I’m in Canada, where eggs, chicken, and milk are supply-managed – it’s illegal to sell them without purchasing quota from the government, which is prohibitive for small operators.

        Aside from the occasional absurd spectacle of police raids on farmers’ markets and roadside egg stands, it apparently means big delays in getting eggs to market – maybe to ensure no one is trying to overproduce the quota the cartel sold them..

        EDIT – it also means you basically can’t eat uncommon breeds of chicken. You can get Angus or Simmental or Galloway beef, but there is only one kind of chicken to be had, and it is called chicken.

  10. I once saw my Granny do something similar to this, on my brother. On a boil on his neck. yum.

  11. That egg is so not fresh, the white is almost water like. Wonder how well the ‘trick’ works on a fresh egg when the white is gelatinous and bonded to the yolk.

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