You have probably watched the tutorials, followed the videos, added the vinegar, stirred the water and then watched your egg dissolve into egg drop soup.
Poaching eggs is not easy and most restaurants now do it sous vide, so that the water temperature is controlled the eggs stop cooking and stay at temperature for the entire brunch service. They are often in plastic wrap or special containers.
It can be hard to poach a perfect egg at home, I will give you a few methods: For each method you will need.
- The freshest possible eggs, preferably directly from a farmer
- A fine mesh strainer
- Simmering water
You put the egg in the strainer to strain away the loose part of the white that gives you all those strands in the water.
Shake the egg back and forth gently and release into the water, gently turning over with a spoon for up to 4 minutes until done.
Remember that a poached egg just means an egg cooked in water and if you can let go of the idea of the perfect oval shape, bring a pan of water to a simmer and put a small round in the pan, making sure the water just barely covers the round. (a biscuit cutter is great for this.)
After straining the fresh egg, gently pour into the round mould, set your timer and walk away for 4 minutes. Come back to a perfectly poached egg. Sometimes the yolk will be more prominent than those at your favorite brunch restaurant, so what, salt, pepper, break that lovely yolk and enjoy.
In Istanbul I bought an egg poaching pan. The bottom of the pan has 4 rounds pre molded. Because the pan is not flat on the bottom it can take longer for the water to heat, but once the fresh eggs are released from their mesh into those rounds I can end up with perfect eggs every time. You just have to remember which one you slid into first as they should be removed from the water in that order for consistent results. Look for a Turkish shop near you.
The absolute easiest method. Water in a nonstick pan and fry in water just as you would in butter, you will get a perfect water bathed sunny side up egg.