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Jun 20, 2009 03:25 PM

How do you poach an egg?

And what's the point? I mean, what's it like? I have lovely egg cups that I use for easter decorations, and suddenly realized I've never used them for their original purpose, because I've never had a poached egg...

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  1. I have luck with room temperature eggs. Simmer some water, carefully put in the eggs, then let them cook for exactly 4 minutes. Drain and cover with tepid water while you peel them one by one. You need to gently peel them (tricky) and sit them whole on a piece of buttered toast. Otherwise, you can use a shallow saucepan and muffin rings. Fill the pan 2/3 with water and get it to a gentle boil. Butter the muffin rings and put in the water. Break each egg into a cup and slip into the ring. When there is a film over the yolk and the whites are just firm, remove with a buttered spatula or skimmer, drain and put on the toast. :) Poached eggs are great!

    1. In a pot of water with a little vinegar added...brought to the boiling point but not boiling...swirl the water around with a spoon, place the egg in the center of the swirl...cook until white is just done...remove with a slotted spoon..Voila! poached egg. --- Several can be poached a head of time, and returned to hot water prior to service...


      3 Replies
          1. re: Uncle Bob

            Bay leaf. Add a bay leaf right at the start and let the water simmer for a bit.

          2. The egg cup thing confused me as in my experience, the only egg cups I have known are for boiled eggs. I think that is why VG gave you two distinct recipes, one for boiled and one for poached. Both look good to me.

            The classic poached egg takes a little practice. It involves a small sauce pan and a good amount of water brought up to the boil. Swirl the water into a vortex and break each egg one at a time into the center of the vortex until the egg has congealed. Remove with slotted spoon. Repeat as needed for desired servings.

            An easy way to do a poached egg is in the microwave. A 6 ounce coffee or custard cup will do. Fill cup with about 1/3 cup of water. Break egg into cup, pierce egg yolk with toothpick, and cover dish loosely with plastic wrap. Microwave for about a minute or until desired texture is achieved. Repeat as needed.

            Why would anyone want to do this? They are truly wonderful in texture and taste with no added fat. Good enough reason for me.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Greyghost

              Greyghost: Thanks for a great way to poach eggs in a microwave--I'm going to try it. Actually, I usually just simmer the eggs for 4 min. most of the time and painfully peel them. The other recipe was from "The Original Bosont Cooking School Cookbook, first published in 1896. It is actually for poached eggs--you can see when the yolks just start to set and take them out. Good, but still more work than the microwave :)

            2. Since you're talking about egg cups, I assume you want to boil an egg, not poach it. They're both cooked in hot water, but a poached egg is cooked out of its shell, while a boiled egg is cooked in the shell.

              Here's how I do mine. Put plenty of water in a saucepan of and bring it to a boil. Kill the heat, slip in your eggs, and cover. After 5 minutes, remove the eggs from the hot water and stand them in your egg cups. The white should be mostly solidified, and the yolk barely starting to thicken. Chop off the top of the egg, sprinkle in some kosher salt, and eat with strips of toast for dipping.

              1. i'm surprised Uncle Bob is the only one who mentioned adding [white] vinegar to the really does help the eggs hold together & maintain their shape because it accelerates the protein coagulation.

                3 Replies
                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet


                    What you say is true, but I have never done it as I am not a fan of vinegar. I doubt the small amount used would really affect the taste that much. I have had good results with the swirling vortex method. I am sure the vinegar helps a lot and perhaps I will try it. So far I have never needed it though.

                    1. re: Greyghost

                      I transfer egg to paper towel/clean dish towel and dab of liquid. No vinegar taste left.