½ tsp salt
1 tsp white vinegar
Thickly sliced toast, to serve
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to serve
The fresher your eggs, the better! The eggwhite is firmer and less likely to break away from the yolk during cooking.
Use a slotted spoon. This makes it easier to remove the eggs from the water and reduces the risk of breaking the yolk. The small holes allow excess water to drain away.
Vinegar helps the eggwhites set quickly into a mass, rather than dispersing through the water. As a result, the eggs form a round shape.
It’s important to add salt to the water as it helps to set the whites. It also adds flavour to the egg.
Putting the poached eggs on paper towel helps absorb excess water. This way, when you put your eggs on your toast, it won’t go soggy.
If cooking eggs for a large group of people, you can prepare everything before they arrive. Poach the eggs, but cook them for a slightly shorter time than as directed in this recipe. Plunge the cooked eggs into a bowl of iced water, then refrigerate them in a bowl of water. When you’re ready, put the cold eggs into a large frying pan of simmering water and cook for about two minutes or until eggs are heated through.
Pour water into a large wide frying pan or saucepan to 5cm-deep. Put over a high heat and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to a low (so there are a few small bubbles breaking on the surface). Add salt and white vinegar.
Break 1 egg into a cup. Use a spoon to swirl water in pan, creating a vortex, then carefully slide egg into water. The egg will swirl, forming a circular shape.
Repeat with remaining eggs. Poach, in 2 batches, for about 2 minutes for a runny yolk, 3 minutes for a soft yolk and 4 minutes for a firm yolk.
Line a plate with paper towel. Using a slotted spoon, transfer eggs to prepared plate to drain. If there are any stringy-looking pieces of eggwhite, cut them off using a small knife.
Serve poached eggs on toast, seasoned with salt and pepper.