I love eggs. They’re super versatile and a great way to add extra protein (and oomph!) to a dish. As a breakfast lover, I pretty much enjoy all styles of eggs, but poached hold a special place in my heart. See, I’ve never made a poached egg…at least not the traditional way.
Poached eggs done well are soft, creamy, and ooze perfectly over toast or crispy potatoes. Badly poached eggs on the other hand are all over-done whites and hard yolks. Because I’m so particular about my poached eggs and because I’ve had my share of over-done eggs, I’ve convinced myself that poached eggs are the most difficult egg cooking technique. The holy grail of eggs, if you will.
In my search for the easiest poached egg recipe I saw multiple egg poaching methods: water-swirling, vinegar-ing, plastic wrapping, and silicone podding. All the methods seemed too persnickety to try, so I went with the simplest method possible.
Turns out that the simplest way to poach eggs is to slow poach them. I found the technique in New York chef David Chang’s cookbook, Momofuku. Chang’s slow poached eggs are based on onsen eggs, a Japanese egg cooking technique. Eggs are slowly cooked in their shell in 145 F hot water for 45 minutes. Because the eggs are cooked so slowly, the eggs are super creamy: the whites are just set and the yolks gloriously oozy.
The beauty of slow-poached eggs is that they are cooked in their shell. Because they’re already naturally packaged, you can make a bunch at a time and have them in the fridge on hand anytime you have a poached egg craving. You can use these eggs anywhere you’d use regular poached eggs. If you’re having people over for brunch, it’s awesome because you can prep all of your eggs the night before and just heat them up in a bowl of hot water. Crack them open and watch your friend’s faces light up in amazement when your “raw” eggs slide out of the shell perfectly poached.
I am oozy, I am unctuous: I AM SLOW POACHED EGG!
Slow Poached Egg Recipe slightly adapted from Momofuku
- large eggs, as many as you like
Place a steamer rack in your biggest pot and then fill the pot with the hottest tap water possible. Put the pot on the stove on the lowest heat.
Clip a thermometer to the side of the pot and monitor the temperature. You want the water between 140-145 F. When the water is the right temperature, add the eggs to the pot and let them hang out for 40-45 minutes checking the temperature regularly. Add a couple of ice cubes if the water gets too hot.
The eggs can be enjoyed immediately or you can keep them in the fridge for a few days. If you want to keep them in the fridge, chill them in an ice water bath before storing in the fridge. To warm up, place in a bowl of piping hot tap water for a couple of minutes.
To eat, simply crack open the egg into a small saucer. There may be a tiny bit of white that is a bit loose, tip the dish to pour it out then slide the egg on the dish you’re using it in. Enjoy!
**Fried Slow Poached Eggs
If you’ve made a big bunch of slow poached eggs and you’re wondering what to do with them (as if!), try pan frying them in a bit of oil over medium high heat. You’ll end up with perfectly runny yolks, creamy whites and crispy brown sides.