Perfectly Poached Eggs
Fresh eggs are the best for poaching because they are more likely to gather compactly around the yolk, making a rounder, neater shape. I also prefer using organic eggs. There are many techniques to poaching eggs but this is the “old school” vortex method that doesn’t require any fancy equipment.
Optional: 1 tablespoon of distilled vinegar
This method requires cooking one egg at a time. (There are other techniques and gadgets that allow more than one at once however, this is a good method for those new to poaching eggs). Crack each egg into small glass dishes. Keep a plate or glass dish to the side for when the eggs are done cooking. Photo by jo-h
Add vinegar to water and turn heat to high. Just before the water reaches a hard boil, use a spatula or wooden spoon to briskly swirl the inside of the pan to make a vortex in the center of the hot water. As the vortex is at full speed, slide the cracked egg into the water positioning the bowl as close to the water as possible. Continue stirring so that the vortex helps the egg form into a spherical shape and the egg whites encase the yolk. Turn heat down just a smidge so that it’s not at a full boil - but don’t turn it down too much.
After about 15-20 seconds, stop stirring and set a time for 2-3 minutes in the water or up to 5 minutes if you don’t want your yolk runny. You can test for softness/firmness by lifting an egg on a spoon and gently pressing a finger on the yolk.
Lift the egg from the water with a slotted spoon - drain water well over pan and set inside a small, clean bowl while you continue to finish cooking the rest of your eggs. Use a new clean bowl for each cooked egg so that they don’t stick together. Pat each one dry with a paper towel.
To serve best-quality poached eggs, they should be served as soon as they are pulled from the water. However, it is possible to prepare them ahead of time. To learn how to store and re-heat poached eggs (and pick up some other cooking tips), check out Julia Child’s poaching egg techniques.
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Yields: 4 poached eggs
Recipe by Julie Negrin © 2009, www.julienegrin.com