For best results, use very fresh, cold eggs straight from the fridge for poaching.

...Poach eggs

Step by step

1 Break an egg into a small bowl. Fill a deep saucepan two-thirds full of water, add a little salt, place over a medium to high heat and bring to the boil.

2 Lower the heat, ensuring a few small bubbles are still rising and breaking the surface of the water. Swirl the water with a spoon to create a whirlpool.

3 Allow the whirlpool to almost subside, then pour the egg into the middle of the water.

4 As the egg sinks, the swirling water helps to wrap the white around the yolk. Poach for 2 minutes. If poaching ahead, lift out at this point with a slotted spoon. The white should be set and the yolk still very soft.

5 When ready to serve, lower the egg back into the water and cook for another 30 second, then lift the egg out and dab some kitchen paper under the slotted spoon to remove excess water.

6 Trim away any straggly white strands around the edge and serve. Repeat with the remaining eggs.

A note on poaching a lot of eggs...

Once you are confident, you can poach several eggs at a time. Until then, poach them one at a time for 2 minutes, so the white is just set but the yolk is still very soft, then carefully lift into a bowl of cold water to stop the cooking process. When all the eggs are poached and in cold water, carefully lift out each one, trim as necessary and place in a bowl of fresh cold water. The eggs can be kept like this for a few hours.

When ready to serve, bring a saucepan of water to a gentle simmer and carefully place the eggs in the water for 30 seconds, to reheat and just start to set the yolk. Remove, dry the eggs (as above) and serve.

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