We have already given tips on frying sunny side up eggs. Now for poached eggs – our favourite way to prepare eggs for breakfast.
The internet is full of instructions and videos on techniques to poach an egg. We’ll just sum it up here and explain, in addition to the basic technique, a trick that can be especially helpful when preparing many eggs at once.
You will need a pot with enough hot water to cover your eggs completely without touching the bottom.
It helps to crack the eggs one at a time into a small bowl or cup.
You also need a clean cloth and a large spoon, ideally with holes in it. For us, it’s simply part of the salad servers.
You often read that the water should be salted, that a little vinegar should be added – or even both.
If you use very fresh eggs, then neither is necessary. However, the older the eggs are, the more liquid the egg white becomes, and then poaching is no longer so easy.
Salt and vinegar can make the egg white form an outer membrane more quickly, which holds the egg together. We regularly use a small dash of light vinegar and make very good experiences with it. It also does not transfer any taste to the eggs.
Purists simply let their eggs slide into the water, but probably most people have learned to do it by first stirring the water with a spoon to create a vortex in the pot – and that’s how we do it. The egg is then carefully transferred from the pot to the centre of the swirl.
Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise, poaching eggs by no means always works that well. A lot depends on the egg, which is a natural product. Sometimes the egg white will immediately lose itself in long stretches and you can start all over again. It happens to everyone. But a little vinegar and a swirl in the water will increase the odds.
If the egg does not take on a clear shape or settles on the bottom, you can gently and carefully try to correct this with a spoon. Sometimes this works better, sometimes less. Be brave and you will learn the right technique over time.
An egg needs at least 3 minutes. From this time on, you can spoon it out – very carefully – and check the consistency with some pressure from your finger. For us, 4 minutes is usually the right time.
Then lift the egg out of the water with the spoon and place it on the cloth to dry a little. Then transfer it from the cloth to the place where it is intended to be, for example like this:
With these few tips, anyone can achieve such a beautiful result:
You can also prepare several eggs at the same time with this technique, but it is not all that easy. Here is a short video by the grand master Jaques Pépin.
Many solutions are also suggested for cooking multiple eggs at the same time, ranging from “just put them all in the pot” to “cook them in oiled kitchen foil”.
Here is another approach:
Mix water with light vinegar in a 1:1 ratio. How much you need depends on the number of eggs you want to poach.
Then add the raw egg to this mixture. It immediately takes on a perfect shape and begins to encapsulate itself. About 7 minutes is enough for a shape that is very easy and safe to transfer with a small ladle into your pot of hot water. You are welcome to add a little of the water-vinegar mixture to the cooking liquid.
No taste of the vinegar goes into the egg for up to 8 minutes. We wouldn’t leave it in longer than that.
It’s very easy to get a nice shape….
…put the finished eggs on a cloth….
…and then gently place the eggs on the dish of your choice.
And may the taste be with you.