Poached Eggs

Serves: as many needed Ready in: 10 minutes
I love a poached egg but there are a few tricks to poaching perfection. Use smaller eggs, not so much white to go floaty on you. Fresher eggs = firmer whites and use barely simmering water. Properly bubbling water breaks up the whites, you want tiny bubbles. A dash of vinegar in the water helps the whites to set (science guff - yawn). Sounds a lot but really it’s not- just a technique that works.


  • 2 eggs per person - use smaller, fresh eggs 
  • a dash of vinegar 
  • Lightly buttered toast, english muffin or some cooked mushrooms and spinach to serve them on


Fill a saucepan with hot water, place on the element, add the vinegar and heat until boiling then turn down until only just simmering - teeny tiny bubbles. 

Break the eggs one at a time into a tea strainer or sieve. This allows very runny whites to drain off so you don’t have a big “shroud” of whites in the water.

Tip each egg into a small cup or egg cup, then tip eggs gently and neatly into the pot. The small cup keeps the egg compact as it descends into the water. 

Set the timer and cook until they’re just the way you like them – around 3 minutes works for me. Remove with a slotted spoon, dab off excess water with some paper towel and serve on your preferred base. I like cooked mushrooms and spinach.

If you need to do a lot of them then you can poach them ahead, plunge into iced water and leave in the fridge until needed then reheat with a quick plunge into simmering water. 


You can swirl a whirlpool into the water and break the egg into the centre - it makes a very neat little bundle but if the eggs arent very fresh you'll get a bit of a shroud of whites in the water.

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