How to poach a perfect egg

Struggle to achieve that perfect poached egg?

Here Glenn Futter, head chef at La Cachette restaurant in Elland teaches us how to achieve a yummy yoke, every time.

Sheffield City College are starting healthy cookery classes for the public where either no or very little fat is added ''How to poach an egg - an egg is dropped into swirling water

Sheffield City College are starting healthy cookery classes for the public where either no or very little fat is added ''How to poach an egg - an egg is dropped into swirling water

When was the last time you enjoyed a poach egg (without using a fancy pan or cling-film)?

Recently I’ve noticed more and more people wanting to take short cuts in the kitchen, which is fine when time is of the essence, but every now and then I think it’s important to step back and enjoy the traditional way of doing things.

It may seem obvious, but a good poached egg is very difficult to come by and, when done correctly, tastes just delicious.

This week, I will talk you through the best way to poach an egg to make sure that you can have restaurant quality poached eggs in the comfort of your own home, every time.

Best of all, you’ll only need five things; an egg, a pan, a whisk, a slotted spoon and some water. Vinegar is optional.

It’s also worth noting that the fresher the egg, the better the result when poaching.

So now we’ve got our equipment, let’s get started.

1. Firstly, let’s get the pan on. You’ll need to bring five to six centimetres of water to a simmer. Don’t let the water start to boil, it needs to be as gentle a simmer as possible.

2. If you want to add a drop of vinegar to the water, do it now. Adding vinegar can help binding – but don’t add too much as this can result a slight vinegary taste to your poached egg.

3. When you’re happy that the water is simmering nicely, you need to create a whirlpool. This is what helps the egg keep its shape and stops it from dispersing in the water and becoming more of an eggy ‘string’. Put your whisk into the water and stir the water vigorously in a clockwise direction. Don’t be afraid to really get the water spinning!

4. As the whirlpool is spinning round, crack your egg in one clean movement into the centre of the whirlpool and immediately turn the heat right down.

5. Now you just have to wait. It all depends on the size of your egg and how you like it cooking, but around three minutes in the water is a good guide for nicely cooked whites and to achieve a soft runny yolk.

Glenn Futter is the head chef at La Cachette restaurant, Elland. Call 01422 378833 or visit www.lacahette-elland.com