Soft-poached eggs on toast

Smashed egg
Sasha Ashall/Senior Staff

Eggs. Eggs are perfect. Their culinary uses are fairly close to boundless, they’re the most delicious and versatile breakfast food and they pack a protein punch. For the most part, we students feel comfortable with eggs; cracking them into cake mix, eating them raw in cookie dough, scrambling them with cheese and bacon, placing a fried one atop some breakfast hash or a raw one inside an avocado.

But the one preparation that mystifies us — nay, terrifies us — is poaching. We serially eat poached eggs only when professionally prepared by our favorite breakfast spots. But why are we so scared of making them ourselves? It’s pretty simple: We don’t know how and we assume it’s difficult.

In restaurants, poached eggs are often slathered in a shiny coating of Hollandaise sauce and other fancy, inaccessible preparations that intimidate us into thinking the eggs are hard to make as well. Eating Berkeley is here to show you how easy and delicious the very simple dish of poached eggs on toast can be to make in your student kitchen with just a couple basic ingredients.

Not that we need to convince you to make this recipe because it’s super simple and yummy, but you might be wondering why you shouldn’t just make fried eggs on toast. The difference is in the whites. Poached eggs have much smoother and more tender whites compared to fried eggs, which can often get very thin or crispy. If you’re looking for velvety texture, poached eggs are your way forward.

What you’ll need:

Eggs

Toast

Salted butter

Small saucepan, slotted spoon

Optional toppings include: avocado, bacon, tomato and any seasonings

What you’ll do:

  1. Put about four inches of water in a small saucepan and place it over medium heat. Some people suggest putting a splash of vinegar in the water because supposedly it helps tighten the egg up, but I’ve done it both ways and have never noticed a difference.
  2. While it’s heating, grab a regular spoon, a slotted spoon, a piece of paper towel and your eggs.
  3. Heat the water until right before it begins to simmer. The surface of the water will be shimmering and there will be bubbles covering the bottom of the pan.
  4. You’ll need to move swiftly here. Create a whirlpool in the water by stirring it quickly with a spoon, then immediately crack an egg into the middle of the whirlpool. The reason we need a whirlpool is to conserve the most egg white possible and tighten up the egg so it looks pretty and has a smooth texture.

    Egg in the water

    Sasha Ashall/Senior Staff

  5. For a perfect soft-poached egg, set your timer for exactly four minutes. During this time throw your bread in the toaster and cover it with salted butter and any other additional toppings.
  6. You need to keep a close watch on the pan for the entire four minutes to make sure it never begins to boil. This means you’ll need to regulate the heat by turning it down when the water looks like it might start to bubble and turning it back up when it’s no longer shimmering. This is the most difficult part of poaching eggs, but I promise you’ll pick it up fairly quickly with practice.
  7. After four minutes, remove your egg with a slotted spoon and transfer to a paper towel to dry for 30 seconds. Trust me, you don’t want to put a wet egg on your toast.

    Egg on towel

    Sasha Ashall/Senior Staff

  8. Sprinkle liberally with salt, pepper and any other seasonings of your choice.

    Egg on Toast

    Sasha Ashall/Senior Staff

  9. Enjoy and don’t forget to put some egg porn on Snapchat.

EGG-REAL-ACTUAL-2

Sasha Ashall is the assistant blog editor. Contact Sasha Ashall at [email protected].