How many times has your poached egg dissolved into a mass of frilly white fronds with barely any egg white clinging to an under to over cooked yolk? So disappointing when you’ve been looking forward to it and can’t be bothered to make another. For perfect poached eggs every time there are three essentials, which are a) very fresh eggs, b) a bit of vinegar and c) to be prepared to only cook one at a time. Sorry, but it’s the only way. Those poaching pans, as everyone whose tried them knows, do not work.
So, here’s how to achieve success every time; bring a small pan of water to the boil – it’s important to use a small pan because of the next step which is to get a whirlpool of water going by stirring like mad but first add a few drops of any kind of vinegar. Then start your whirlpool going, grab you egg and crack it neatly and swiftly into the swirling water, turn down the heat to its lowest and watch as the white of the egg folds itself lovingly round the yolk and slowly sets. It shouldn’t take more than 4 minutes but check it after 3 with a slotted spoon. When the white is nicely set and the yolk beneath it yields to the touch remove it from the water and onto a holding plate before you place it on your toast or your smoked salmon, etc to let the excess boiling water drain away.