Tuesday Eats: how to poach an egg…

Posted on November 29th, 2011

Honestly, you shouldn’t be allowed to leave home not knowing this critical life skill. But, alas, some do. And then you email me. And so I post a little guide…

how I poach an egg…

  1. Fill a shallow pan (a small frying pan that has a lid) with water. Bring to boil.
  2. Add a dash of white or rice vinegar – it helps the egg whites to congeal. Don’t worry if you don’t have any.
  3. One at a time, break the eggs into a teacup, then tip from  cup into the water. Do a few eggs at a time if you like.
  4. Turn off the heat immediately and cover tightly. Leave 3-4 minutes.
  5. Remove with a slotted spoon.

BONUS TIP: You can poach eggs a few days ahead and store in a bowl of cold water in the fridge! They’ll keep several days.

put a poached egg on top…

This little parcels of goodness are designed to plop ontop of a meal that is otherwise a little lacklustre/lacking in protein/lacking in goobiness

Try this:

  • Using the hot egg water after you’ve removed the eggs, steam up some frozen peas and chopped zucchini. Place in a bowl with a tin of tuna, some shallots (green onions) or red onion finely chopped and capers, eggs on top.
  • While the eggs are poaching saute some garlic and silverbeet (that perhaps you’ve already presteamed and frozen). Toss in some parmesan. Put in bowl, eggs on top.
  • Made some bubble and squeak? Or corn fritters? A bit dry and blah? Add a poachie and things are smoother and comfortingly goobier in an instant
  • A big chickpea stew is made “meatier” with a poachie in the mix
  • I like this idea: cook the egg in the tomato-ey sauce. The New York Times did this recently with a curried tomato sauce. I like the idea of doing it in a basic sauce:

eggs poached in tomato Sauce

1/2 cup tomato sauce – make it in advance and store in the freezer…the New York Times has recipes made with fresh or canned tomatoes. I make mine with chilli. Or simply use pasta sauce from the night before…or even a soup!

A sprinkle of herbs, maybe some cut olives and some extra Tabasco or paprika

2 eggs

parmesan cheese

1. Heat the sauce in a small omelet pan with the herbs etc.

2. Poach the eggs, as above, tipping them into the tomato sauce. Cover the pan and simmer over low heat for 3 to 4 minutes, until the tops of the whites are set. Sprinkle with cheese.

3. Carefully ladle into a bowl.

What do you do with poached eggs? Any tips and tricks you’d like to share?





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  • http://svasti.wordpress.com/ Svasti

    I spent several months last year perfecting the art of the poached egg. I made them almost every day for a while until I had it right.

    Something you could add to your instructions is that the length of time you leave the egg poaching will effect the yolk (but of course). Some people like ’em runny, others don’t.

    Also, I pat my poached googs dry with a little paper towel to get the excess water off so it doesn’t get into my meal.

    Love a poached egg on top of avocado with a little parmesan on top! :)


    Sarah Wilson

    Sarah Wilson Reply:

    Nice combo – avo and egg!


    Kat Reply:

    Ooo good tip re the paper towel blotting. Thanks :)


  • Chloe

    Hi Sarah –

    Always love your foodie blogs. One thing I wanted to point out to everyone is that tinned tuna is pretty troublesome in terms of sustainability – I personally don’t eat it, just stick to sardines/anchovies (stuff lower on the food chain). I just did a quick search and see you’ve blogged about this already (awesome!) but one update on that list is safcol, which has now switched to 100% pole and line caught skipjack tuna – the first Australian company to do this!! This makes them the best option according to the ethical consumer guide. Anyway to the other readers, if you’re going to partake in tuna please choose your brands carefully! As a marine biologist I strongly believe that consumer choices will play a large role in the future of our oceans.

    By the way I’m definitely going to cook up those eggs poached in tomota sauce on the weekend – looks amazing!


    Sarah Wilson

    Sarah Wilson Reply:

    Thanks Chloe…yes, we updated it once…will do so again!


  • Karen

    For me the words ‘egg’ & ‘tomato sauce’ just dont go together (nothing worse than seeing people in a cafe ruin perfectly good poached or fried eggs by pouring tomato sauce all over them). Personal choice, just not for me.


  • Kate

    I learned how to poach eggs 2 different ways to this but I tried this way this morning and it was delish! Thanks for sharing :)


  • Claire

    For a quick meal I grab a portion of homemade chicken broth out of the freezer, put it in a saucepan with some kale or other veg, then poach an egg or two in it, pour the whole lot into a bowl and chuck a handful of coriander/parsley/parmesan on top. poached eggs floating around in my soup… happy days :)


  • http://holistichealingandcfs.wordpress.com/ amy

    Best poached eggs ever! They were so neat and cute and delish. Thanks for the tips!


  • http://nadist.org.nz Nadine

    Thanks so much for this post! Perfect timing, since the pet chookies I have been raising since August just started laying on Friday, and I have been poaching up their delicious free-range loved-up eggs.


  • http://www.kattate.com Kat

    Yum yum yum – I will definitely be giving this a go!

    I usually just use the cheap plastic rings you can buy from Kmart and poach the eggs in there with boiled water. But I’m keen to try out another method :)


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  • Ashley

    so I’m a little confused. I’m doing the 8 week program. I make all of my tomato sauce from scratch: canned whole tomatoes, olive oil, garlic & herbs, sometimes onions. Is it okay to have this during the 8 week program. Or are tinned tomatoes a no no?


  • http://hoopmixtape.ning.com/profiles/blogs/the-truth-about-super-beta-prostate-1 ning.com

    Spot on with this write-up, I seriously believe this website needs a great deal more attention.

    I’ll probably be back again to read through more, thanks for the advice!


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