Recipes by Kristin Riley

Eggs 101: How to poach an egg

Poached eggs are cooked by slipping them into a bath of simmering water, and they emerge with silky, whites, and soft and golden yolks.

The most basic poached egg is so easy a child could make it. Making a slightly more “perfect” poached egg is all about your standard of perfection. I’ll be the first to admit, achieving the perfect smooth restaurant egg is a challenge, but for me texture is more important than appearance.

There are a few gadgets you can purchase to achieve the perfect looking eggie. I own a few silicone egg cups. Contrary to what I was told, yes, you do need to grease them, and yes you must use butter. They work well, easy to store and they’re cost efficient. There is always the “egg poacher” that comes complete with cups, rack, simmering pan and lid. This is my favourite, however when poaching eggs for myself or a crowd, I prefer to use the method below.

The major key to success with poached eggs is using the freshest you can find. The fresher the egg, the tighter the white will poach. The older the egg, the more whispys you’ll have in the water. A splash of vinegar with help the whites to coagulate quickly. No worries, adding vinegar won’t negatively affect the taste of your egg.

I usually poach up to 6 eggs at once. Of course, this is all dependent on the size of pan you use. I crack each egg into a small custard cup, or ramekin and gently slip them into the water one by one. Remember to increase the cooking time by 30-40 seconds per additional egg.

Have a poached egg for breakfast eggs benny style; poached eggs for lunch with quinoa salad; poached eggs for dinner on creamed spinach and hash browns.

Eggs 101: How to poach an egg
Serves: 4
This recipe makes 4 poached eggs
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • water
  1. Heat 2-3 inches of water in a large skillet until simmering. Add vinegar.
  2. Crack eggs into a ramekin or custard cup, one egg at a time, and gently slide into water.
  3. Reduce heat to low. Cook approximately 3 minutes. Remove with slotted spoon and let drain on paper towels.

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