Poached eggs are my go-to breakfast. And have been for years. I just change the accompaniments to save me from getting bored. Sometimes it’s salad leaves and sauerkraut like the photo above but in the winter I prefer cooked greens.
There are 2 secrets to perfect poached eggs. Using the freshest eggs you can and using lots of vinegar in the poaching water.
And if I had to offer a third secret, it’s practice! The best way to get great at poaching eggs is to poach them every day for a week like I did. It’s amazing
And every now and then, even with fresh eggs from my chooks, I get a ‘dud’ that goes all whispy in the water. So don’t be discouraged – it happens to the best of us.
Poached Eggs with Mayo
- Bring a small saucepan of water and the vinegar to the boil on a very high heat.
- Break an egg into a small cup and slide gently into the boiling water. Repeat with the other egg. Or if you’re more confident just crack your eggs directly into the pot.
- Reduce the heat to keep the eggs at a gentle simmer and cook for 3 minutes or until the eggs feel firm but not hard. Or if you don’t want runny yolks, simmer for 5-6 minutes.
- Drain eggs with a slotted spoon and pat dry with a clean tea towel. Serve eggs on a bed of salad with mayo slathered over.
no vinegar – If you are sensitive to vinegar, wash the eggs gently under warm running water then pat dry and serve. Citrus juice could be substituted if you want to poach eggs without vinegar.
different vinegar – any vinegar will give the acidity needed. I use white vinegar because it has a neutral flavour and is inexpensive.
carnivore – serve with crispy bacon or a few slices of finely sliced proscuitto draped over. I also love black pudding or sausages.
different veg – a handful of baby spinach or baby kale, raw finely sliced zucchini, shaved white cabbage, grated raw cauliflower, raw snow peas or any cooked veg.
decadent – serve with some hollondaise sauce instead of the mayo.
savoury – sprinkle over some nutritional yeast, schichimi togarashi (japanese spice blend) or shaved parmesan cheese.
more substantial – serve with smashed avocado, a decent pat of butter or extra mayo. Seriously you won’t miss the toast with this extra fat!
Problem Solving Guide
bland – serve with salt! Next time choose eggs from a different supplier. I notice a huge difference in flavour between my home grown eggs and supermarket eggs.
egg white whispy / falling apart – I hate when this happens. It could be you didn’t use enough vinegar. Or if the eggs are very old this happens. I’ve also had it happen to with eggs still warm from the nest but not day old eggs.
hard / rubbery eggs – oh no they’re overcooked. For now serve with a nice sauce to balance out the dryness. Next time simmer more gently or for less time.
too vinegary – it’s important to be thorough when patting the eggs dry. Little pockets of cooking water can get trapped in the white. Rinsing the eggs under warm water will help if you’re very sensitive to vinegar.
Waste Avoidance Strategy
white vinegar – keep it in the pantry.
eggs – will keep in the fridge for weeks or use for another meal.
mayonnaise – unopened in pantry or once opened will keep for months in the fridge.
salad leaves – are highly perishable. My first path would be to use them for another meal (salad for breakfast!) but if that isn’t possible you can pop them in the freezer. They will wilt down but can then be used anywhere you’d use wilted greens. At least this way they won’t go slimy.
You can but I prefer my eggs freshly poached. If you do have leftovers they’ll keep in the fridge for a week or so. I haven’t thought to freeze poached eggs but they should be fine.