How To Poach An Egg

I am super good at making a few key things in the kitchen.  One is salad dressing.  Mustard, olive oil, cider vinegar, salt, pepper.  So delicious and so much better than the stuff you get in the bottle and so, so easy.  Another is eggs.  I kick ass at eggs.  My favorite way to make them is poached.

Some people get wicked intimidated by poached eggs and I understand that.  You have to be careful.  But I have some tips, you guys!  There are a few things you can do to ensure that you don’t fuck up your eggs.  It’s almost impossible to fuck them up if you follow a few steps.  They’re gathered from a variety of sources (Alton Brown, Julia Child, whoever the instructor was of a cooking class my friend Dan took last year).  Follow these steps and there’s nothing to be afraid of:

1. White vinegar in the water.

Grab a little sauce pan and fill it like 2/3 of the way with water.  Salt it a bit.  Then toss a splash of white vinegar in there.  I don’t know why, but it keeps the egg from separating when you plunk it in.

2. The Vortex.

This is a Julia Child tip.  So you have your water with salt and vinegar in there (yum, this reminds me of fish and chips – don’t worry if you don’t like the flavor of salt and vinegar, you can’t taste it in the eggs).  Get the water to a rolling boil and then take a wooden spoon and make a vortex.  Just stir the boiling water around until there’s a little dip in the middle.  It’s like the only fun thing you can do in an above-ground pool.  Everybody run in one direction and it’ll be like a whirlpool!  Do that, only instead of using your little brother, use a wooden spoon.

3. Crack the egg in a mug.

Crazy idea, right?!  I know.  But trust me.  So crack an egg into a mug.  Pretty much any old mug will do but I like to use these ones we have that are sort of roundy so that the egg just slips out.  Sidenote: if you crack an egg into the mug and you break the yolk just throw it out.  It’s not happening.  Not worth it to try and save it.  You fucked it up.  This is pretty much the only way you can fuck up poached eggs if you’re following my instructions.  I broke a yolk this very morning.  It happens.  Don’t fret.  Just cut your losses and toss the egg.  Start again!  Don’t break the yolk this time.


You have your salt/vinegar water swirling in a whirlpooly vortex and you have your egg in a mug.  Now just plop your egg from the mug into the center of the vortex.  The cool thing about the mug is you have a handle and the egg just slips out, no worrying about cracking it right in there, which can be tricky.  Okay, so the vortex keeps the egg all together in the center of the water.  Set a timer for 3 minutes.  Check on it a couple times, adjusting the heat if it gets too bubbly or not bubbly enough in there.  You want it to keep boiling but not like crazy.  Stir the water a bit to keep the egg from hanging onto the edges.  Then when the timer goes off, take the egg out of the water with a slotted spoon.  Drain the water off the egg and you’re done!  A perfect poached egg!  How easy was that?!  You can reuse that same water a bunch of times too.  No need to add more salt or vinegar.


Poached Egg On Toast With Other Stuff From My Fridge

4 pieces of whatever toast you have
Some cheese
Some green (I had baby arugula)
Some harissa (North African sauce that’s got peppers and salt and stuff – it’s good)
4 poached eggs
8 slices of roasted red peppers
Frank’s Red Hot sauce

Basically I made some toast and piled all this stuff on top of it.  In this order: toast, cheese, arugula, harissa, egg, red pepper, hot sauce.  It was delicious and pretty!  This recipe can be modified to include whatever weird jars of shit you have in your pantry.  Delicious Saturday morning breakfast!



Filed under Things

3 responses to “How To Poach An Egg

  1. The Internet

    Love those candlesticks

  2. Do tell me, why are my poached eggs so SOGGY? What is that weird little spindly doo dad attached to the yolk? It grosses me out.

    I have to do it over medium-soft. Any other way… I just can’t.

  3. receptionist

    Nellie: maybe you don’t like poached eggs! That’s okay! Medium-soft is good too. Here’s how I avoid sogginess – I take them out of the water wtih a slotted spoon and roll them between the slotted spoon and a wooden spoon until it drains some of the water off nicely. The stringy doo dads are here to stay sadly. They just taste like egg whites.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s