The silky, creamy texture of a poached egg on buttery toast is a breakfast lover’s dream. If you are one of the many people—including me—who loves the sound of poached eggs but are intimidated by the process, I’ve got a trick from the ultimate kitchen queen, Julia Child, that will change all that. It certainly did for me.
The secret to a perfectly poached egg is to boil it first, for exactly 10 seconds. This helps the egg retain its shape when poached in simmering water—no vinegar or swirling required. This technique produces a lovely, velvety egg with no flimsy, scraggly whites. I’m not giving up my weekday scrambles anytime soon, but come Sunday, these poached eggs are my new best friends.
How to poach eggs the Julia Child way: What you’ll need
- Eggs (of course!)
- A pot of water, filled a least a few inches high
- Safety pin
- Slotted spoon
- Plate lined with paper towel
How to poach eggs the Julia Child way: The method
- Get a timer (or your brain ready). I use my iPhone timer because I’m easily distracted, but you can go old-school and count like Julia does here with Jacques Pepin.
- Poke the large end of an egg with a pin.
- Gently place the egg into boiling water and hit “start” on your timer.
- After 10 seconds, remove the egg and turn the heat down to bring the water to barely a simmer. This is important; make sure the water is not boiling.
- Crack the egg and gently slide it into the simmering water for 3 1/2 – 4 minutes. I like to crack the egg into a small bowl and then slide it into the water from that.
- Remove the egg(s) with a slotted spoon and place onto plate linedwith paper towels.
- Sprinkle with sea salt and savor every last bite of egg-y goodness.