Poached eggs have such a great number of uses, and there is just something about a perfectly poached egg, that’s just well…perfect. Aside from Eggs Benedict, they are a classic component for Frisee and Lardon Salad, and are delicious with Roast Pork and Ramen Noodles too. They are actually not that difficult to make. Here’s how:
You will need:
3 or 4 prep bowls
a shallow 10″ saucepan
a slotted spoon
1. Fill a 10″ shallow saucepan with water and a splash of vinegar, and bring to a boil. Lower to just a bare simmer. Crack an egg into each of the prep bowls, removing any shell that might end up in the bowls, and discarding any ones with broken yolks. Before you drop them in, give the water a vigorous stir.
2. Quickly but gently drop the eggs in one at a time while the water is still moving. If you are poaching a number of eggs, do them in batches of 3 or 4. They will cook more evenly.
3. Give the water another gentle stir, keeping to the edges of the pan. This encourages the egg whites to flip over and coat the tops of the yolks, so you don’t end up with a “sunny side up” appearance.
4. Cook the eggs for 2-1/2 to 3 minutes. If you have another batch to cook, use this time to crack them into the prep bowls. The eggs are are ready when the whites are completely set but the yolks are still liquid. Use a slotted spoon to remove them from the water. Blot on paper towels and if desired, use kitchen shears to remove any jagged edges. Serve immediately.
5. If you are not using the eggs immediately, plunge them into a bowl of ice water to cool. When you are ready to serve them, reheat the eggs in barely simmering water for at least 30 seconds and up to a minute, taking care not to overcook them.
The vinegar is added to the water to help the eggs coagulate as soon as they hit the water instead of breaking up. Don’t add too much vinegar though, or your eggs will take on its flavor.
Fresher eggs hold their shape better and are easier to poach. As eggs age, they start to break down and liquify. Eggs also poach better if they start off cold. As they come to room temperature, the whites get runny and the yolks cook more quickly.