Perfect Poached Eggs

July 4, 2011

I love poached eggs.  These delicate packages are delicious on toast, with beans, and atop asparagus.  Once I got the technique down, I started making them all the time.  There are a hundred ways to poach an egg but this is the method I subscribe to and they come out perfect everytime.

1. Heat a few inches of water in a pot.  The water should be very hot but not simmering or boiling.  In other words, you want to see the bubbles but don't want them to break the surface.

2. Add 1 tablespoon of regular distilled white vinegar to the water.  This will help tighten the egg white.

3. Break the egg into a small dish so that it will be easier for the egg to slide into the pot.

4. Swirl the water with a spatula in one hand to make a whirlpool and with the other slide the egg into the center.  The whirlpool will help the egg white to wrap around the yolk, creating a neat package. You can also scoop the white onto the yolk with a spoon but be gentle.  Sometimes your egg may stick to the bottom of the pan.  To release it,  use a plastic spatula.

5. Let it cook for 3 to 4 minutes for an egg with a runny yolk.  If you like your eggs fully cooked, let it go for another 2-3 minutes. Scoop the egg with a slotted spoon and let the water drain.

6. Serve

For a visual tutorial, watch this video from the Oakland Tribune Food Editor, Jenny Slafkosky.

*she does not use the whirlpool but corrals the white with a spoon as mentioned above

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Michele's picture

What's your beautiful poached egg sitting on in the pic? It looks fab and dare I hope, gluten free?

The Hungry Writer's picture

This is exactly what I needed. I've been scared of poaching eggs for too long! Thank you.