POPSUGAR Celebrity

How to Poach an Egg

Jun 1 2010 - 3:50am

My best friend was in town from Los Angeles over the weekend, and one of the first things she did when she saw me was to proudly proclaim that she had set a cooking goal [1] for herself. "I love poached eggs at brunch, so it's time I learned how to make them at home," she said. Instead of going out on Sunday, we stayed home and made poached eggs with blender hollandaise [2] and prosciutto. For some reason, poached eggs developed a reputation for being difficult to make, but really, the process is easier than waiting in line at a popular city brunch spot. See step-by-step photos when you keep reading.

Fill a saucepan with water.

Begin with a saucepan that's about 2/3 full of water.

Crack the eggs into ramekins.

A small bowl will work, too. They key is the have them standing by so that they're ready to go as soon as the water starts to simmer.

Don't forget the vinegar.

Have the egg-poaching power ingredient on hand: white vinegar. It encourages the egg's albumen to coagulate, helping the egg retain its form.

Bring the water to a simmer, not a boil.

It's important not to let the water become so hot that it boils. Instead, bring it to a simmer. You'll know it's ready when small bubbles begin to rise to the top in rapid succession.

Add the vinegar and salt.

Once the water begins to simmer, add the white vinegar. Add one teaspoon of vinegar for every egg that you are poaching; for four eggs, that would be four teaspoons of vinegar. At this point, you can also add a pinch of salt to enhance the egg's flavor.

Slip the eggs into the simmering water.

Once you've added the vinegar and salt to the water, give it another minute to return to a simmer if it's cooled down. Then, gently slip an egg into the water. Don't try to do more than two eggs at a time, as they have a tendency to want to stick together.

Give the eggs a light touch.

Using a spoon or slotted spoon, gently touch the surface of the water in a circular motion. This will help them to form a cohesive shape.

Cook them three to four minutes.

Watch the eggs closely. They will be ready in three to four minutes, when they've lifted slightly off the bottom of the saucepan, and the whites have formed, but the center is still runny.

Remove them gently.

Using a slotted spoon, remove them gently one by one. Transfer them to a paper towel-lined plate.

Transfer them to an ice bath unless you're using them immediately.

If you aren't using them, say, rightthisminute, you'll need to transfer them to an ice water bath. It will halt the cooking process so the yolks remain runny. They will keep for up to two days in the ice bath. Reheat them by dropping them back into simmering water for 10 to 20 seconds. Have you ever poached eggs at home?

Source URL