How to Poach an Egg with Minimal Crying/Frustration

13 Jan

Poached eggs!

Have I mentioned that breakfast is my favorite meal? Well, it is. Except for dinner.  But it definitely beats lunch by a long shot.  I used to detest breakfast, as I’m sure my mother would tell you.  This didn’t really have to do with not liking the actual eating of food, rather just the fact that I also tend to value my sleep a lot, and never saw the point in giving up 10 precious minutes in bed to force a piece of toast down my throat before going to school in the morning.  Despite my aversion to waking up early (in middle school I had an infamous shirt with the phrase: “Morning person– not!” on it), I have always loved a good breakfast/brunch, especially a huge full English breakfast, the likes of which would probably give anyone not familiar with it heart attack.  In my opinion however, fried bread, sausages, eggs, bacon, and baked beans should be additions to every breakfast table (I usually do without the black pudding though. No thanks).

I know you wish you could eat this every morning...right? Anyone? Whatever, it looks delicious to me.

Sadly, I do not usually have the time or ingredients to make myself an English breakfast on the weekend mornings when I have enough time to make anything, so I save those for family brunch trips to Soho House in New York.  Instead, I tend to rely on tried-and-true favorites such as my famous scrambled eggs (which I may at some point blog about, but only if I decide to give away my secret recipe), soft-boiled eggs with toast soldiers, and poached eggs on toast or with other breakfast fare.  I know poached eggs seem intimidating, but they are actually pretty easy to make once you’ve practiced a couple of times (or just buy something like this).  Some people use white vinegar to help the whites coagulate, but I don’t particularly feel like buying white vinegar for this one purpose, so make do without.

Oops, lost some egg whites in the tornado.

When I’m making poached eggs I just bring a big pot of water to boil, turn down the heat very slightly so the bubbles aren’t going crazy, and create a tornado-like swirl with a wooden spoon.  Then very quickly either crack an egg or slide an egg you have already cracked into a bowl into the middle of the water, and kind of coax the water back into a swirl with your spoon again for a couple of turns.  At this point the water will probably be very foamy with egg white that has floated to the top, but the key is to have faith that your egg will cook and come together.  Cook for 2-3 minutes and you should have a perfectly soft poached egg.  It definitely takes a couple of practice tries to get the technique down, but as long as you come to terms with losing a couple of eggs in the process you should be fine.  The recipe below is poached eggs with avocado toast, which is a delicious and cheap combination, and as a bonus, only requires you to have three ingredients in your kitchen!

Poached Eggs on Avocado Toast
1 serving

Equipment: Large saucepan, wooden spoon

1/2 of a whole, ripe avocado
2 whole eggs
2 slices bread
Lemon juice
Salt and pepper

Begin by boiling a large pot of water to poach the eggs in. When the water is boiling, put your bread in the toaster and then get ready to poach some eggs! Have your eggs out of the container and right next to the pot, and using a wooden spoon, begin to stir the water so it is moving very fast in a circular motion. When the water is spinning around crack the first egg into the center of the pot, pick up your spoon and continue to move the water in a circular motion. The white should congeal around the yolk in a few seconds; don’t worry if you lose some of the whites to the surface! Cook for 2 1/2 minutes until white is set and yolk is runny inside.

While egg is cooking, take the bread out of the toaster and halve your avocado. Divide one half of the avocado and spread over both pieces of toast (save other half for another use), then squeeze a little lemon juice over each piece. When the egg is ready, remove with a spoon (preferably slotted, but just try not to get too much water in it if you don’t have one) and place onto the avocado-toast. Repeat the process with the second egg. Salt and pepper your eggs before serving, and enjoy!


2 Responses to “How to Poach an Egg with Minimal Crying/Frustration”

  1. Mother Spice January 16, 2011 at 1:09 pm #

    All these years, and I didn’t know the swirling water trick for poaching eggs. But with the help of some neat holders given to me by Ginger Spice Jr. I made perfect poached eggs this morning.

  2. Tamsin January 22, 2011 at 1:18 am #

    I twas emboldened by this post and attempted to poach. Failure. Internet tells me my eggs must not have been fresh enough.

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