How to poach eggs
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|Equipment: You will need a small frying pan, a Delia Online/Silverwood Little Gem Frying Pan (heavy gauge aluminium) or similar with a base measurement of 17cm, click here for stockists, a draining spoon, a wodge of kitchen paper and a timer.|
Recipe adapted from Delia's Complete How to Cook
The key to success here is freshness. So remember the horizontal position in a glass and the plump yolk with its inner gelatinous circle of white.
Fill the pan with no less than 2.5cm of water from a boiling kettle – nothing else is needed, no salt, no vinegar, just water – and have the heat underneath quite gentle.
What you need to see is the merest trace of tiny bubbles beginning to form over the base of the pan, no more than that. Now break in the eggs, one at a time, or I think it helps to break the eggs into little bowls before slip them onto the hot water then set the timer for 2 minute, and let the water barely simmer.
When the time is up, simply remove the pan from the heat and set the timer to 10 minutes. During this time you can baste the top of the eggs with the hot water.
When the time is up, gently and carefully lift each egg out of the water on the draining spoon, letting it drain for a few seconds.
Then place the spoon on the kitchen paper to absorb any water still left.
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Obviously every single one of us has a personal preference as to precisely how we like our eggs cooked. Over the years I have found a method that is both simple and reliable, and the various timings set out here seem to accommodate all tastes.
Some people hate soft-boiled eggs and like to eat them straight from the shell, hard-boiled. All well and good, but if you want to use hard-boiled eggs in a recipe and have to peel them, this can be extremely tricky if the eggs are too fresh.
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