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A good brunch can make any weekend better – and what comes to mind when we want an indulgent breakfast dish is poached eggs.
The whites are firm, the yolk spills out when you cut into it and it’s perfect for putting on avocado toast or in a breakfast sandwich.
But, unlike fried or scrambled, poached eggs can be very tricky to get right – but you can make things easier for yourself.
If you’ve tried over and over again and been left with an egg dissolving in the water or gross wispy strings on your egg then check out these tips for the perfect poach.
Use fresh eggs
Jordan Moore, Senior Recipe Developer at food box company Gousto, said: “To avoid the egg-white spreading through the water, always opt for the freshest eggs possible.
“As eggs get older, the whites get more liquid, meaning you run the risk of the whites spreading around your pan. If you do have older eggs spare don’t let them go to waste, they are perfect for making soft boiled and hard-boiled eggs.”
Add an acid to the water
The chef noted: “A drop of vinegar or lemon juice in your water can really help the whites to set up and envelop the yolk fully. The acid reacts with the egg-white, allowing it to firm up more quickly, rather than spreading through the water.
“Don’t use too much though. A teaspoonful is a perfect amount to avoid leaving an acidic taste on your poached eggs.”
Simmer don’t boil
Jordan said: “ Vigorously boiling water can cause the egg to tear and break. Instead, look for small bubbles at the bottom of the pan so you know you’ve got the right temperature.
“To achieve the perfect poaching temperature bring the water to the boil and then reduce to simmer.
“Not only do the small bubbles mean you’ve got the heat right, they can also stop your egg from hitting the bottom of the pan and sticking.”
Use a deep pan
Jordan commented: “Use a really deep pan for that classic tear-drop shape. To help you get perfect poached eggs, use a really deep stock pot, full to the brim with simmering water. Forget the whirlpool and vinegar technique this time, and simply drop your eggs into the water.
“As the depth of the pan is so great, the egg white will wrap around the yolk before it hits the bottom, leaving you with a gorgeous shape, perfect for eggs benedict or topping avocado on toast. Poaching an egg in shallow water will create a flat-shaped egg.”
Use eggs straight from the fridge
The chef advised: “Doing this will help the eggs form a more spherical shape.
“The eggs transferring from a cold to hot temperature will increase the chances of a runny yolk yet keeping the firm consistency of the whites, as it slows the cooking time of the yolk, whilst letting the whites cook completely.”
The Whirlpool Method
The chefs over at Eggslut, a gourmet restaurant that focuses on the humble egg, recommended their perfect recipe for poached eggs.
Follow their guide below for cracking (excuse the pun) poached eggs every time…
What you need:
- 1 egg, we use Clarence Court Burford Browns
- A dash of white vinegar
- Add water to a pan and put it on a medium heat, it does not need to be boiling just a few bubbles visible at the edge of the pan
- Add a dash of white vinegar and mix the water, this will result in a gentle motion which will help the egg to remain in one piece
- Create a whirlpool with a spoon
- Crack the egg into the middle of the pan and leave it to cook for a couple of minutes
- When the egg is fully cooked, use a large spoon to pick up the egg and gently angle the soon to drain the water away 6) Place your egg on a plate, the white should be fully cooked and the yolk should be runny
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