Following in the footsteps of Delia Smith’s How to Cook, (in which we discover how to boil an egg), I present to you free of charge, my method for the perfect poached egg (a proper skill).
Cook’s tip: You need to add vinegar to hold the whites together, and the eggs need to be fresh otherwise they will separate no matter what you do.
Bring a pan of water to the boil and add a cap full of white vinegar, or one to two teaspoons. The water needs to be hot enough that when removed from the heat the egg will set quickly, preventing the white from breaking up. Do not add the egg to boiling water as the movement will also break the egg.
Once boiling, remove the pan from the heat and quickly make a whirlpool with a spoon, breaking your egg gently into the centre. I never break it into a cup first as I can’t bear to use more utensils when cooking than necessary (nor would any other self respecting Thai cook, my mother would never do that). Be decisive and you will not get shell in the egg!
The whirling action combined with the vinegar, the freshness of the egg and the high heat (almost boiling) will result in a perfectly clean and smooth bundle – with no straggly bits or foam. You will see the egg sink to the bottom, then once formed into its bundle, it will float to the top.
You can now either replace it onto a very low heat, or leave it to poach off the heat altogether. Remove with a slotted spoon once cooked to your liking, preferably still soft. Health tip – egg yolks need to be eaten soft, or as close to raw as possible to keep the biotin (vitamin b7) intact, but the whites need to be cooked, as raw whites interfere with biotin absorption. Why do I care about biotin? Well, I am a vain actress and don’t want to lose my hair. But I digress…drain well, and add Maldon salt, or pink salt, black pepper or (sun-dried) paprika.
Classic Delia, oh how I love this woman!
From too good to be true to football hooligan, Delia, you’re the best!