Rediscover poached eggs


So often I forget that poached eggs are always there to help out when time is short and protein is needed. Whether you eat them on toast, with a salad or use them to top a vegetarian entrée like the curried lentils and rice pictured above, a poached egg can be a meal saver!

I think poached eggs intimidate some home cooks and I wish that weren’t so. They are actually pretty darn easy to make:

1. Fill a pot 3 to 4 inches deep with water.
2. Add 3 tbsp (45 mL) white vinegar to every 4 cups (1L) of water in the pot.
3. Do not add any salt to the water (it breaks down eggwhite).
4. Bring the water to a rolling boil.
5. Break each egg into a ramekin or small bowl.
6. Stir the water so that it is swirling and pour in each egg, adding up to six at one time.
7. Decrease the heat so that the water is just beneath the simmering point.
8. Poach the eggs for about four minutes.
9. Lift out using a slotted spoon. Press lightly with your finger. The eggs are perfect if the whites are firm and the yolks are very soft.
10. Drain on paper towel for a moment before combining with other ingredients.

See how easy that is? When’s the last time you made a poached egg?


16 Responses to Rediscover poached eggs

  1. Rosa says:

    A fabulous looking dish! It’s been quite a long time since I last ate poached eggs… I love mine with creamed spinach.



  2. I haven’t had a poached egg in years. Your serving suggestion is much healthier than Eggs Benedict, which is the only way I’ve ever had poached eggs.

    My husband eats a lot of eggs, easy over, but I think I’ll try this instead.

  3. Amy says:

    I *LOVE* Poached eggs….

  4. Barb says:

    Poached used to be the only way I ate them. I have strayed a bit form them however. I bought a microwave egg poacher and I kept trying it so I could perfect the microwave method and it does such a poor job that I gave up. I think I will go back to my old method of poaching them (which you have described here) and enjoy them more often again. Thanks for reminding me!

  5. When was the last time I made a poached egg? I poached 24 last Friday night and there’ll be another 15 tomorrow night. On Friday it was to serve over a traditional French frisée salad with lardons and tomorrow they will be served on top of a lentil salad. Both of these occasions are classes I’m teaching, but last Thursday I also served them to guests in my home.

  6. Diva says:

    I haven’t poached an egg in years either … but not because I can’t … the husband is the breakfast chef in my household and I leave the poaching to him. He’s remarkably good at it too and he always uses the vinegar trick. I adore them and the recipe that you’ve linked, with the pea-shoot and ham, sounds divine!

  7. danamccauley says:

    Glad to see that poached eggs are so well-loved! Now, let’s help Peter out with the responsibility of keeping the poaching love alive and get busy boiling some water and cracking some eggs!

  8. Natashya says:

    I love poached eggs. Eggs are hubby’s domain – he is the omelet maker and egg poacher. I just sit and wait for mine!

  9. Cheryl says:

    Add me to the chorus. I adore poached eggs. I make them for breakfast atop buttered toast or for lunch or any easy supper atop sauteed veggies with a little sour cream. Whenever I make them for other people, they’re overly impressed, which cracks me up because they’re really not hard to make once you’ve done it a few times.

  10. danamccauley says:

    Cheryl – love your egg pun “crack me up”!

  11. Cheryl A says:

    Dumb question here, but when you serve a poached egg over frisee or another form of salad greens, do you poach them hard? Or is the goal to have the yolk run? I love my eggs, but a runny yolk over uncooked greens doesn’t sound appealing to me.

  12. danamccauley says:

    Cheryl A, think about how delicious a Ceasar Salad tastes – that’s an egg based dressing, too. I love a runny poached egg or substantial greens like frisee since the yolk becomes part of the dressing. Give it a try!

  13. KrisT says:

    I make poached eggs all the time. They are my fall-back for breakfast or lunch when i have nothing in the house, can’t come up with a better idea or just want something quick & easy. Poached eggs on buttered toast.

    Not sure I’d like them on fresh greens either though!

  14. Oh I love poached eggs and your fabulous pic makes me want one now. I love them with cheese………odd? Yes but there you have it.

  15. Deb says:

    So where’s the recipe for the lentils?

  16. danamccauley says:

    Deb, I didn’t really use a recipe. It’s just a can of lentils, some carrot, onion, canned tomatoes, curry paste, ginger, and coriander to finish. Pretty easy stuff!

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