Monday, March 11

How To: Poach an Egg

I've mastered the fried egg (see here), but sometimes a poached egg is just better. The only problem is that they're so much harder to make. Whenever I try to poach one, I get it right about 20% of the time and end up wasting a bunch of eggs and getting in a bad mood. I thought I had tried all the tricks, but this article and video from Serious Eats encouraged me to try again. The key is to use the freshest eggs you can find (I got mine from the farmers market) and strain out the loose watery whites that spread out in the pot and cloud the water. You'll be left with a thick white and yolk that stays in tact and holds its shape. This weekend I made four poached eggs and they all turned out perfectly - egg-shaped, no weird floating whites, and a liquid gold center. It made for a perfect breakfast over some buttered toast and sprinkled with coarse sea salt, but try this, this, or this, for something more substantial.

Poached Eggs:
  • Fill a saucepan with a water and heat until barely simmering.*
  • Crack eggs, one a time, into a small bowl or ramekin.
  • Transfer eggs, one at at time, into a fine mesh strainer and gently swirl to allow the very liquid whites to fall through.
  • Carefully submerge egg and strainer into the pot of water and gently jiggle the egg out into the pot.
  • Cook for 2-3 minutes, using a slotted spoon to turn the egg every minute or so to evenly cook.
  • Remove the egg with a slotted spoon and place on a power towel to drain.
  • Season with salt and pepper.
  • Repeat with remaining eggs.**

*The water should just have a few small bubbles at the bottom of the pot.
**You should be able to poach 4-5 eggs in the same water. Poached eggs can also be immediately transferred into cold ice water and kept in the fridge for a few days. To heat, gently place eggs in hot water for 2-3 minutes.