Refuse to be Passive

The Perfect Poached Egg

In Food on January 2, 2010 at 8:21 pm

This New Year, when my family and I raised our wine glasses to the year past, and then to the one that lay ahead, I made a resolution to them all. This year, I would succeed in perfectly poaching an egg. No cheating here. No special pan or cup for egg poaching. I was going to make a gorgeous egg by cooking it in boiling water. Now, this was no small resolution as in the past, I have made a horrid mess trying to poach eggs. This evening I got up the guts to give it a try. Armed with suggestions from Jamie Oliver’s cookbook Jamie’s Food Revolution that I received for Christmas, I put water on the stove to boil. The results? Well, they’re quite impressive if I say so myself. Jamie Oliver makes the claim that a perfectly poached egg is one of the most brilliant things in the world. I have to say that I agree wholeheartedly. So what is the secret to keeping the white from turning into a sloppy stringy mess in the pan? There are a couple of things.

One, make sure that you have the freshest eggs possible. Jamie says that you’ll know your egg is fresh “if the yolk stands up and the white isn’t wattery.” Fresh eggs. Check.

Two, you do not make poached eggs in boiling water, rather lightly simmering, lightly salted water. Make sure you have enough water to full submerge your egg.

Three, when you take your egg that you’ve cracked into the cup, make sure you pour it into the water as close to the surface as you can, and in one fluid motion.

From there, the edges may be a little ragged, but you can use a fork or spoon to fold those over the cooking egg. But, if you have a really fresh egg, it shouldn’t have much of a rough edge.

Wait until the egg is at your desired consistency, a few minutes plus or minus, depending on how well you like it cooked. Remove the egg from the water using a large dinner spoon. Use paper towel to remove the excess water and then place on toast and serve! (I neglected the toast, as I’d have to make the bread first).

Thanks Jamie, for helping me brave the murky waters of poached eggs. They’re not murky anymore!

Also, some people use the “vortex” method of swirling the water first. If your eggs are fresh, it’s not needed at all.

  1. […] Actually, poaching an egg is about as easy as frying one. Don’t believe me? Check out my previous post on this and then try it for […]

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