MAKES: 2 servings
TIME: 10 minutes
Making a poached egg that looks perfect takes a little practice. If you really care, you’ll trim away the (inevitably) ragged edges of the whites with kitchen scissors. I don’t bother anymore, since a poached egg in its natural form has its own appeal.
If you want to make more than two eggs, simply use a bigger pan, and be careful to avoid crowding. It’s tricky to make poached eggs in multiple batches, but if you are up for the challenge, the best way is to keep a large pot of water warm over very low heat. Use an instant-read thermometer to make sure the temperature hovers between 145В°F and 150В°F and adjust the heat accordingly. As the eggs are cooked, move them to the second pot of water and cover. Fish them out with a slotted spoon when you’re ready to serve.
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon white vinegar
Bring about an inch of water to a boil in a small, deep skillet, add the salt and vinegar, and lower the heat to the point where the liquid barely bubbles (if you were to measure it with an instant-read thermometer, the temperature would be just under 200В°F). One at a time, break the eggs into a shallow bowl and slip them into the water.
Cook for 3 to 5 minutes, just until the white is set and the yolk has filmed over. Remove with a slotted spoon and allow the water to drain off for a couple seconds. If you are eating the eggs right away, put them directly on the toast or what have you. If you like, drain them briefly on paper towels before serving. Poached eggs are delicate, so be careful handling them.
5 Flavorful Liquids for Poaching Eggs
Not something you might do intuitively, but quite clever, and lovely. You can also boost the flavor of these poaching liquids (or of water) by adding sprigs of fresh herbs (tarragon, parsley, dill, basil, rosemary, thyme, or cilantro); throwing in a chile or a couple cloves of smashed garlic; or simmering a cup or so of chopped or sliced vegetables, like onions, leeks, carrots, celery, fennel, parsnips, or mushrooms in the liquid.
- Vegetable stock: Replace the poaching liquid with any vegetable stock.
- Juice: Replace some or all of the poaching liquid with vegetable juice, like tomato, carrot, spinach, or celery.
- Wine: Replace half of the poaching liquid with white or red wine (the red wine will dye the eggs a pretty burgundy color).
- Cream: For a super-rich poached egg.
- Tea: subtle flavor and subtle color added to the eggs; replace some or all of the poaching liquid with freshly brewed tea (strain out the leaves first).
6 Great Sauces for Poaching Eggs
You can poach eggs in thicker liquids like sauces, though the technique is slightly different from the one described in the recipe. Make sure the sauce is at least an inch deep in the pan and heat it only to the gentlest bubble so it doesn’t scorch. After all the eggs have been slipped in, cover the pan tightly to steam the eggs. When you’re done, you have a delicious sauce to pour over the eggs. To make a full meal, simply serve with vegetables and some pasta, rice, grains, noodles, or potatoes alongside.
- Fast Tomato Sauce or any of its variations
- Salsa Roja or any of its variations
- Mushroom Ketchup
- Smooth Green Chile Sauce, Indian Style, or any of its variations
- Cooked Tomatillo Salsa or any of its variations
- Spicy Indian Tomato Sauce
19 Things to Serve Under Poached Eggs
- Toasted or grilled bread
- Any waffle
- Corn Bread
- Virtually any grain, legume, or vegetable pancake or griddlecake
- Baked circles or squares of Savory Pie Crust
- Tortillas (soft or fried)
- Any Mashed Potatoes, Curried Stir-Fried Potatoes, or any Oven-Roasted Potatoes
- Any cooked rice, grain, pasta, or noodle, especially with butter, extra virgin olive oil, or sauce
- Baked Mixed Vegetables with Olive Oil
- Braised Lentils, Spanish Style
- Sauted spinach, or other cooked greens, like kale, collards, or chard
- Fried Eggplant (or Any Other Vegetable)
- Any corn dish, like Pan-Grilled Corn with Chile or Tomatoes, any Creamed Corn, or Corn Pancakes, Thai Style
- Sauted Mushrooms
- Creamed Onions or its variations
- Paprika Peppers
- Panfried Pumpkin with Tomato Sauce
- Most Vegetable Pures