How to poach an Egg

Ok I really don’t mean to separate an Eggs Benedict post into so many sections or days. But it just so happened that, by the time I reach home, bath and have time to look at the macbook again, it’s past midnight. If u’re seeing this post in the morning, that’s because it’s scheduled to be up at 8am ish. (Malaysian time of course.) And I’ll be away this weekend to the hot springs. So if there are any unapproved or not replied comments, please bear with me until Sunday. Will be back by then.

Run yolk, run!

But surely, after this post on how to poach an egg, it will be Hollandaise sauce and Eggs Ben. Now if you search on youtube or google, you’ll find a lot of ways to poach an egg. Basically, poached egg means, the egg is cooked by poaching in the water, and no oil or fat is used. What happens is that, the poached egg will have it’s whites / albumen cooked and the outermost layer of yolk cooked, leaving runny yolk in the middle. One may say it’s quite like an half boiled egg, but only the yolk part is similar, as half boiled egg is entirely runny, even the whites.

There are alot of methods to use. Some uses silicon mould, some wraps them in a food grade cling film and cook the whole egg in, some uses some funky appliances to cook it, for me, I like the vinegar-in-swirling-water-method. It all depends on how big the egg is, how hot the water is, and most importantly, how fresh the egg is.

I have only trained in the world of pastries and cakes but not in cooking methods. So I must say, that poaching an egg is somewhat rather, overwhelming at first. If you do it wrongly, u’d have cooked egg, or swimming egg whites all over the pot of water, like swimming jellyfishes :/ But it is easy! really! You can find the best method for you, but this is how I did mine.

(I don’t have pictures of all steps because I only have a pair of hands, that kinda leaves non for taking pictures.)

So first, bring a pot of water to boil. Be reasonable on the size of pot you want to use. An ‘instant noodle’ pot is good enough to poach 2-3 eggs at 1 go.

When it’s boiling, reduce the heat to low and make sure the water is just simmering with very minimal bubbles on top. Pour in about 1 tbsp of white vinegar into the pot. Use a slotted spoon, swirl the water in either clockwise or anti-clockwise motion, like a tornado. Stirring the water vigorously to create a vortex may reduce dispersion.

Crack egg in a small bowl. Lighly drop egg into the pot of swirling water. Turn off heat. If the water is not swirling as much, swirl it again so the yolk goes to the center of the poaching egg. Cover with a lid, and wait for 15-30 seconds, it may sometimes takes up to 45 seconds <depends on the size of egg, how hot the water was and what temperature was the egg at before>. Remove lid, and check the colour of the whites. It should be opaque. Lift up with a slotted spoon. Plunge in cold water if not using immediately. Or on a plate with paper towel, to pat off the excess water.

IF you’re cooking more than 1 eggs at one time, pour in the 1st egg, let it do its job and make sure the water is still swirling. Once you see the 1st egg is almost settling down, add in the 2nd egg. Just try to remember when to remove the first.

Though the whites are opaque, the yolks are still deep orange in colour and has not turned to a lighter shade of orange. You can always press lightly with your fingertips. It should be soft and bouncy like jelly. If you think it’s too raw, just pop it back into the water for a couple more seconds.

Can you see the jellyfish lookalike egg whites ? That’s cause the whites has dispersed. and why is that so? because the egg is not the freshest. Get farm eggs if you want nice and firm egg whites!

4 thoughts on “How to poach an Egg

  1. Eh, there’s a “western food” stall in Uptown’s food center that does poached eggs very well. Their meals come with poached eggs,and I see their workers with the “wok” full of eggs. It’s somewhere near the Ah Keong chee cheong fun.

    Hard to get really fresh eggs here ler, unless you know the farms and get it straight from there. Or rear your own, of which is against the municipal rules. But many still do it secretly, as long as no one complains.

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