Perfect fried eggs? Poach them
I’m always in search of the perfect way to cook eggs. Today it was fried eggs.
Now – I know plenty of people like their eggs fried so the edges go dark and crispy. That’s fine. If you like them like that then great – you know what you like and there’s nothing wrong with that. Me – I’m not so mad on the crispy bits. In fact I like my eggs as silky and smooth as I can get them with no crunchy bits whatsoever.
This got me thinking – poaching eggs gives you the clean silkiness which I love but frying does add flavour. So why not do both? Here’s what I did.
I poached the eggs in near boiling water – just on the point of bubbling but I didn’t want any movement in the water. I didn’t use any of the normal poaching tricks – the vortex method or placing the egg in a clingfilm pouch. I wanted the eggs to sit there, still in the water and not take on the rounder, sphere like shape you get with those other poaching methods. So – a good splash of vinegar in the water to help them hold and about 1 minute poaching time.
Once they are just about set, take them out with a slotted spoon and place them straight into a bowl of iced water.
This serves two purposes – firstly it stops the cooking process (obviously) but also it makes getting your timings right easier for breakfast – you just need to heat them up again when you’re ready to go.
When you are ready to serve, take them out of the water, drain them as best you can and fry them gently in butter. If you’ve fried bacon you know it makes sense to fry the eggs in that wonderful bacon oil. On this occasion I fried mine in butter, just to get a bit of heat back into them and to add a little of that fried flavour.
The frying wont take long – make sure you spoon the oil/butter over the eggs as they warm up.
To serve – a pinch of chilli flakes, sea salt and a twist of black pepper.
By John Loydall