The biggest challenge with poaching eggs is that you want the water to be as hot as possible, so the egg sets quickly, but if the water is boiling, the turbulence will make a mess.
Jamie Oliver has three different ways to cook a poached egg and shared his tips on his YouTube channel.
1. Fresh eggs
“The only way to poach the perfect egg is if you have really, really, fresh eggs,” the TV chef said.
“Bring your water to the boil – that means there are bubbles. Take if off so they subside, and look at the water – there should be no bubbles, it’s just poaching, poaching is not boiling, boiling will smash the eggs all around. Poached eggs, gentle.
“Take the egg and crack it into a small bowl and you just plop it into the water.”
Jamie continued: “Some people say ‘put some vinegar in the water’, really, why? Yes, it does firm up the egg, but it tastes like vinegar, so I would suggest, don’t bother.
“As far as cooking is concerned, roughly around three minutes is going to give you a softish egg.
“Using a slotted spoon, remove the eggs from the water – cooked to perfection,” he said.
2. Old eggs
“If you haven’t got fresh eggs, I do have a few little tips,” Jamie continued. “First up, if you spin your spoon around in the pan [to create a swirling motion], then get your cracked egg, and plop it into the middle, you see the inertia of the water is wrapping it around the yolk.”
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3. More than one egg
If you’re wanting to poach more than one egg, Jamie has a “little technique”.
“Get some food-safe cling film and put it in a little bowl, put a bit of oil and just rub it around,” he explained.
“Crack the egg into the bowl and clingfilm – the nice thing about doing it this way is you can flavour the egg. You could put chopped herbs in, harissa, spiced truffle, and flavoured butters.
“Pull the sides of the cling film up and tie it in a knot. It’s really easy to do and will give you a perfect shape.
“Put it straight into the water then after a couple of minutes, open it up with a knife or pair of scissors and snip off the end.”
As for how the egg turned out, Jamie remarked: “But look perfection. Absolutely cylindrical, perfect. Soft, delicate, gorgeous.”
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