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Poached Eggs

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Poached eggs sprinkled with matcha and salt, served on sourdough bread.

A poached egg is an egg that has been cooked by poaching, that is, in water. No oil or fat is used in its preparation. Poached eggs are commonly used in Eggs Benedict and Eggs Florentine.

In modern parlance, the term ``poached egg`` is also applied to a different method of preparation using an ``egg poacher``, where the egg is suspended in steam, rather than being poached in water.



The egg is cracked into a small bowl, and then gently slid into a pan of simmering water and cooked until the egg white has mostly solidified, but the yolk remains soft. The 'perfect' poached egg has a runny yolk, with a hardening crust and no raw white remaining.[1]

Fresh eggs will yield the best results.[2] Broken into simmering water, the white will stay clinging around the yolk, and the egg results in cooked albumen and runny yolk.

To prevent dispersion of the white of the egg, a small amount of vinegar may be added to the boiling water.[3] Stirring the water vigorously to create a vortex may reduce said dispersion.[4] Special pans, with several small cups, allow a number of eggs to be poached at the same time; silicone ``poach pods`` allow one egg to be poached without risk of dispersion. Other methods of producing poached eggs, such as using cling film to keep the egg perfectly formed have been documented.[5]

If the eggs are at room temperature, the cooking time is 2 mins 30s to 2 mins 40s. If the eggs are taken from a refrigerator, then a longer time of about 3mins is required. Dipping the eggs into cold water for a few seconds immediately after taking them out of the boiling water prevents over-cooking.


The term is also commonly applied to an alternative method whereby the egg is placed in a cup, suspended over boiling water, using a special pan called an ``egg-poacher``. This is usually a wide-bottomed pan with an inner lid, with holes containing a number of circular cups that each hold one egg, with an additional lid over the top. To cook, the pan is filled with water and brought to a boil. The outer lid holds in the steam, ensuring that the heat surrounds the egg completely. The cups are often lubricated with butter in order to effect easy removal of the cooked egg, although non-stick egg poachers are also available.

The result is very similar to the traditional coddled egg, although these steamed eggs are often cooked for longer, and hence are firmer. Eggs so prepared are often served on buttered toast.

Dishes with poached eggs

Eggs Benedict are usually served with poached eggs.

Poached eggs are the basis for many dishes in Louisiana Creole cuisine, such as Eggs Sardou, Eggs Portuguese, Eggs Hussarde and Eggs St. Charles. Creole poached egg dishes are typically served for brunches.[6]

Several cuisines include eggs poached in soup or broth and served in the soup. In parts of central Colombia, for instance, a popular breakfast item is eggs poached in a scallion/coriander broth with milk, known as changua or simply caldo de huevo (``egg soup``).

The Libyan dish Shakshouka consists of eggs poached in a spicy tomato sauce.

See also

Food portal List of egg dishes


^ ``What makes a perfect poached egg?``. Retrieved 2008-07-26.  ^ ``Perfect Poached Eggs - How To Poach Eggs``. Retrieved 2008-07-26.  ^ ``everybody likes sandwiches: how to make the perfect poached egg``. Retrieved 2009-08-02.  ^ ``how to poach an egg, smitten kitchen-style``. Retrieved 2009-08-02.  ^ ``FEATURES: HOW TO POACH AN EGG``. Retrieved 2008-07-26.  ^ John D. Folse, The Encyclopedia of Cajun & Creole Cuisine, Chef John Folse & Company Publishing, December 2004, ISBN 0970445717

External links

Wikibooks Cookbook has a recipe/module on Poached egg Mr. Breakfast: How do I make a poached egg?