There are a number of ways to poach an egg; create a whirlpool in your pot, silicon moulds, even actual pans created specifically for the purpose, but we find this method is our favourite. Its success is to use the freshest eggs possible so that the whites are not runny. Of course, you can use older eggs, but your poached eggs will spread out a bit more. Use eggs that are room temperature.
1.If you’re poaching more than 2 eggs, it’s best to use a large lidded pot, even a shallow casserole pot will work. If poaching 1 or 2 eggs, any small to medium sized lidded pot will do.
2.Bring a kettle of water to the boil. Place pot over medium to medium-low heat then pour in water, about 3-4 fingers high. Add a pinch of salt. Leave the water until it’s barely simmering and there are only a few bubbles rising. Vigorously rising bubbles will disturb the egg so it spreads out rather than remains a neat mass.
3.Cracks eggs into individual cups, ramekins or similar, then gently pour each egg into the water, quite close to the surface, in a fluid motion. Space the eggs out so they don’t stick together while cooking.
4.Place lid on pot and cook for 2 minutes for a very runny egg to 4 minutes for a firmer yolk.
5.Use a slatted spoon to scoop each egg out of the water, starting with the one you dropped in first, allowing the water to drain off. You can return the egg to the water to cook further if it still feels too soft for your liking if you give it a gently prod.
6.Serve immediately with a grinding of salt and pepper.
7.It’s best to use very fresh eggs as the whites hold together better. If using older eggs, as soon as you drop the egg into the water, use a spatula or similar to bring the egg whites in towards the egg. Extra large eggs will take a little longer to cook, and medium eggs less time. Cold eggs from the fridge will also take a little longer, but you can drop the eggs back into the water to continue cooking if needed.