The perfect poached egg – tried and tested ways

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Scrambled, hard-boiled, soft-boiled, fried eggs? How about poached eggs? Learn the secrets of preparing them. With our tips you will surely succeed!

What kind of egg is a poached egg?

Shirred eggs, otherwise known as poached eggs, are a bit of a leap of faith when it comes to cooking. Although at first glance it seems relatively simple to make, it requires some practice.

What is the secret? First of all, a poached egg is cooked in water without the shell in a certain way, which will be explained below. The result should be a white egg, heated and liquid yolk.

Poached egg tastes great on toast, crispy bread, on lettuce or asparagus – accompanied by pepper, salt and chives, pickled cucumber, avocado or fried onions. You can also serve them with crispy slices of bacon or Parma ham, or in a classic way, i.e. as eggs benedict – placed on toast with Hollandaise sauce.

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To prepare poached eggs, 10% spirit vinegar (about 2 tablespoons per liter of water), lemon juice or a big pinch of salt is often used.

A fresh egg is an attitude

Above all, eggs must be fresh. They should not be more than five days old. Why is this so important? The point is that with each day the white becomes more and more watery and no longer adheres so tightly to the yolk, resulting in the white – instead of wrapping our yolk in water – spilling over the sides.

>> See also: Dried fruit. An idea for healthy fall and winter snacks!

There are at least two homemade ways to check the freshness of an egg. The first is to put it in a glass of water – horizontally, at the bottom of the dish. If it turns upright and begins to float, it means it has already taken on air, which means it has lost its freshness.

The second way involves breaking an egg – on a plate or in a bowl – and observing the white, or rather its consistency. The older the egg, the more watery the white is, which means it is not suitable for “dressing in a shirt”. It should be thick and gelatinous – then we can be sure that it will not separate from the yolk.

What else is important is that the eggs are at room temperature. So they need to be taken out of the fridge early enough

Boiling water – not quite, but almost

Now comes the time for boiling. Here the water should not be boiling, but very hot, so that the egg does not spill all over the pot through strong bubbling. Just boil it and reduce the heat so that it literally “flickers” slightly.

At this point, you can add vinegar, lemon juice, or salt (to make the egg white curdle faster), although there are many people who opt for none of these additions.

Put the water in a swirl

Just before pouring the egg into the water, it is essential to create a vortex – under the movement of the water, the white will more quickly and easily surround the yolk. Stir the water vigorously near the edges of the pot, so that the desired vortex will form in the center.

Also, stir all the way through while pouring and a moment right after. This will preserve that best, crackly egg shape.

How do you pour an egg into water? Gently!

Pouring a raw egg into a pot is not that easy. The most important thing is not to disturb the yolk. So the best way is to first crack the egg into a small bowl or cup and then into the water, holding the vessel just above the surface.

Of course, this has to be done very carefully and gently, without rushing. There is no question of dropping the eggs in from a height. They should even slide slightly into the water.

How long to cook a poached egg?

A perfect poached egg is ready to be fished out after about 3 minutes. This is where a skimmer spoon or a strainer will work best. After that you should put it on a paper towel for a while to absorb excess water. As we mentioned before, a poached egg should have a white and liquid yolk.

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