How to Poach an Egg

 

Spend your entire life carefully avoiding egg whites in any recognizable form.  Pick them out of potato salad, and don’t let the apparent similarity to chunks of potato fool you.  If you miss any, grimace and spit in disgust.  Eat only the yolks of fried, devilled, or hard-boiled eggs.  Try to conceal the remaining whites under garnish or, even better, slip them to any dog that is handy.  Order Eggs Benedict with scrambled eggs and be prepared to send them back once. 

Read a succession of blog posts, complete with mouthwatering photos, about dishes that are topped by poached eggs-like this, and this, and definitely this. You’d always figured it would be too hard to separate the whites from the yolks of a poached egg.  However, poached eggs start to sound rich, decadent, and delicious.  Slowly become convinced that you are missing out on something good here.

Discuss Operation Poached Egg with significant other and hammer out parameters: eggs poached in cups are not acceptable due to retention of large amounts of egg white in process.  Besides, this is clearly a cheater method.  Eggs must be poached properly in simmering water. 

Go to Farmer’s Market and buy three dozen eggs from your egg guy (“48 happy hens and two very busy roosters!”)  instead of your usual two dozen.  Mistakes are bound to be made. 

Consult the experts on the internet and consider the relative merits of various methods, then ask your foodiest friend for advice. 

Gather supplies: fresh eggs, white vinegar, pots of simmering water, slotted spoon, small bowls.  Experiment simultaneously with “vortex” method and “slipping egg into still water” method, while doing a lot of anxious clock watching and simultaneous urging of the English Muffins to “Hurry up and toast, for the love of God!”

Determine that vortex method really is the best way to poach an egg, just like your friend said. 

Eat results on toasted English muffin with bacon and coffee.  Peeling off most of the egg white: optional.

Vortex Method for Poaching Eggs

This method is clearly easy enough that complete amateurs can successfully use it on the first try, therefore I heartily endorse it. 

Bring at least 4-5 inches of water to a simmer in a large pot.  Meanwhile, break egg into a small dish.  Pour about 1 tbsp of white vinegar (white balsamic vinegar is fine) into the simmering water.  Reduce heat slightly.  Water should be just about to simmer, but not actually boiling.  With a spoon, swirl the water until a vortex is created, then slip the egg into the middle of the vortex.  If additional eggs are to be poached, slip them into the middle of the vortex one at a time.  Each egg will migrate to the edge of the pot.  Do not stir.  Let the eggs cook for four minutes for a firm white and mostly runny yolk-adjust to your preference.  Remove eggs with slotted spoon.  If desired, immerse briefly in another pan of warm water to remove any lingering vinegar taste.  Serve immediately.

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2 thoughts on “How to Poach an Egg

    1. The Rowdy Chowgirl Post author

      Baby steps! I did eat a teensy bit of egg white–all deliciously smothered in yolk it wasn’t so bad!

      Reply

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