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Definition: In the culinary arts, the word coddling refers to a cooking technique, usually involving eggs, in which the egg is cracked into a small buttered dish or ramekin, along with seasonings, and then partially immersed in a hot water bath (or bain-marie) for several minutes.

Another technique for coddling involves immersing the whole egg, in its shell, in boiling water for a short time.

Coddled eggs are a traditional ingredient in the classic Caesar Salad recipe. Note that coddled eggs are not fully cooked and thus present a risk of Salmonella poisoning. Therefore, when preparing coddled eggs, it's a good idea to use pasteurized eggs.
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