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Tip Tuesday

Ever since I began cooking for myself … some 40+ years ago, I have made poached eggs the exact same way. I fill a small saucepan with water, bring it to a boil, add a pinch of salt and maybe a splash of vinegar, crack in the egg and simmer for exactly three minutes. This produces the perfect, fully cooked whites with a runny yolk egg, every single time, guaranteed.

In the last month or so, I’ve done it differently and now this is the only way I’ll cook a poached egg.

First, let me say, I love poached eggs. For breakfast, or on top of an open sandwich for lunch, or atop pho for dinner. Nothing is better than a perfect poached egg. The thing I’ve never liked about making it at home was cleaning the saucepan. There was always stuck egg white on the water line that wasn’t exactly easy to clean off.

With the new and improved way, there is nothing stuck, no need to do more than a quick soapy wipe, rinse, and dry. Now, I use a 1-cup Pyrex measuring cup, a splash of vinegar, and the microwave.

Adding vinegar to the poaching water makes for faster coagulation of the egg whites. It also helps make the whites more tender by reducing the strength of the egg protein bonds. With the vinegar, the proteins unravel and loosely bond back together as they cook.

You will need to experiment a bit to find out exactly how long it takes to poach an egg to your perfection in your microwave. I have an 800-watt microwave and it takes about 70 seconds to have an egg with a runny yolk and set whites. I’ve also had success cooking for 1 minute and simply leaving the egg in the hot water for another 20 or 30 seconds while I prepare the English muffin or toast. Always drain on a paper towel before transferring to a muffin. No one likes soggy bread!

One-Minute Poached Egg

Fill a glass 1-cup Pyrex measuring cup about halfway full with tap water. Add a splash of vinegar, about 1/2 teaspoon or so. Any vinegar will do, but distilled white vinegar is the most economical.

Crack the egg into the water.

Place the measuring cup in the microwave and cook on high for 60 to 70 seconds.

Use a slotted spoon to transfer to a paper towel to drain. Enjoy!

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