Looking to poach the perfect egg this bank holiday weekend? Michelin-star chef Paul Foster shared his top tips in a recent TikTok video and explained why you don’t need to add vinegar to the water to make poached eggs.
Paul, who is a chef and founder of the restaurant Salt in Stratford Upon Avon, shared a video of him making a poached egg on the social video platform.
To his 120,700 followers, he said: “I’m going to show you how to make the perfect poached egg. I know it’s a nemesis for a lot of people.
“Now I was shown when I was a young chef to use vinegar, but I’ve learnt a better way. This is the better way.”
He began with a “pan of water”, and told those watching: “Do not add vinegar – whatever people tell you, you do not need it.”
@paulfosterchef How to poach a perfect egg!! No vinegar required. ##egg #viral #chef #chefsoftiktok #simplerecipe #eggsoftiktok #howtocookproperly #cooking #poachedegg #howtocook #eggs @foodies ♬ Comptine d’un autre été, l’après-midi – Yann Tiersen
Instead of vinegar, the chef recommended a “pinch of salt”.
You’ll also need the “freshest egg as possible” which should be at “room temperature” not cold from the fridge.
Paul said to crack the egg open and “drop it into a sieve to get off any watery bits of the white”.
With a “boiling pan of water” with water that is “nice and deep”, “turn it down” on the hob “so it’s just under a boil”.
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“Give the water a stir, you don’t need to whisk it to create a vortex, the stir just helps it to move so it doesn’t stick to the pan, and the protein can set,” he explained.
Next, “set a two-minute timer” which Paul said “is not going to be long enough but I always like to check it before”.
“Give it a little look, don’t walk away from it, see how that water’s not boiling? No vinegar in there, not gone all scummy, not going to taste like c**p.”
After two minutes, “give the egg a little check”. He used a female spoon – the round metal one with holes in to remove the egg and “drained it on some paper”.
“I never put it straight onto toast as it’s just going to make the toast soggy,” Paul added.
“Now’s your chance to finish it with cracked black or white pepper.
“Now that excess water’s drained off, I’m going to just put it on a plate,” but you can “put it on toast, bacon, avocado, whatever you like”.
Cutting the poached egg open, Paul remarked: “You can see it’s cooked through, perfect poached eggs.
“Don’t need a microwave or stupid egg poachers. You just need a pan with some water, no vinegar and a little bit of salt.
“Runny yolk and a nice soft white – you can’t get better than that!”
As for why some add vinegar to the water when poaching an egg, it is said the acidic material helps “the proteins in the egg white to unravel and loosely bond back together as they cook”, forming a perfectly shaped egg in the water.
But some claim using vinegar in the water can alter the taste of the poached egg afterwards.
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