Poached Eggs

IMG_1053Eggs have always been a comfort food for me.  Learning to be gentle with them, and to never rush their cooking has been one of my most important cooking lessons. A perfectly poached egg on top of some cheesy polenta, maybe some re-steamed Japanese rice or earthy mushroom risotto, is pure heaven.  As the yolk gently mixes with the grains, no other sauce is required.  In the seventies there was a restaurant on Robson Street called Cher Ton Ton.  They served a dish called the  Geisha Bowl that was Japanese rice topped with stir-fried veg and a poached egg for $5.  Lunch just didn’t get much better than that!  Of course there were awesome French pastries and wonderful Cappuccinos, too.  Oh, to have the Robson Street of old…

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1 or 2 eggs per person

water 3” deep (you want the eggs submerged)

a splash of vinegar (this helps to keep the albumen from breaking down)


Bring the water & vinegar to a boil in a pot wide enough to hold the eggs required.

Break the eggs into small cups or bowls.Turn the water down to a shimmer – this is a little gentler than a simmer!  The less action in the water, the better the eggs.Add the eggs one at a time, giving each one a chance to set up a bit.

Using a spoon gently encourage the outlying eggwhites to stay close to the main egg.  Pour a bit of the water over the yolks just to be sure they’ve got a bit of a skin on them.

Remember the order that they went into the water. I don’t even bother putting a lid on the pan.

Just watch them, and after a minute or two, ease the spoon under each to release it from the pan.By this time they should be looking uniform – give them three minutes total and then check their doneness by gently pressing the backside of a spoon on the yolk.  The yolk should stay in position and give enough that you know it is still liquid.  Give them another ½ minute or so ‘til they’re ready.

Remove the eggs from the water with a slotted spoon.  If you like you can put them on a papertowel lined plate to absorb any extra water.


(If you need to do more than 4 or 5 eggs, simply cook them in batches, hold the cooked ones in cold water, return to simmering water for 1 minute to reheat.  You can even do eggs before hand, and keep them covered with water in the fridge for up to a day and reheat when needed.)

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