How to Poach an Egg
Being able to poach an egg is a very handy skill to add to your culinary tool-belt. As it is boiled in water and is not fried in butter or oil, it is one of the healthiest means by which to cook an egg. It should be smooth, have an unbroken yolk, and be evenly surrounded by a shiny white. It will take a couple of attempts to get it perfect, but don’t let practice put you off.
1- As timing is crucial, it’s very important to have everything prepared in advance. Have your eggs ready next to a pan (which should be shallow and wide), which should have about 10cm of simmering water in it. A tea spoon of white vinegar (other vinegars also work) will help set the eggs although this is not essential. Choose fresh eggs as they have a thicker white. Poach one egg at a time.
2- Crack the egg into a small container or soup ladle. Ensure that this is done gently to avoid breaking the yolk.
3- Swirl the simmering water inside the pan to cool it down slightly.
4- Gently drop the egg into the centre of the pan, in the middle of the simmering whirlpool.
5- The egg should take between 3-5 minutes to cook. It will be ready when the whites appear set and the yolk just starting to thicken.
6- If cooking multiple eggs, do not swirl the water. Instead, very carefully, yet quickly, tip them into the water from surface level. Leave roughly 10 seconds intervals between the dropping of each egg.
7- Remove the egg(s) using a slotted spoon in order to allow the water to drain off. Serve immediately.
Milk can be used in place of water if you’re seeking a richer taste.
Season the eggs by plunging them into salted simmering water before serving.
Should you wish to prepare the eggs in advance, as soon as they’re cooked, plunge them in ice cold water. They can then be refrigerated for up to a day. To re-heat, place back in simmering water for 30 seconds.