The vortex: this poached egg is test 4 of 5 that I’ll be doing.
I first read about this method in Bon Appetit magazine. Swirl the water to create a vortex and place the egg in the center.Sounds pretty reasonable.
Shape: The shape of this poached egg is really really pretty. I got a tight little compact package. Beautiful. Part of the shape of this egg comes from sitting in the vinegar for 5 minutes. This starts the coagulation of the egg white. And, I think that without doing this part, you risk having egg drop soup. You can actually see the egg whites start “cooking” while they’re in the vinegar. (You know, kind of like how fish starts “cooking” in lime juice when you make ceviche.)
I’d want to do this method of poaching when you’re going to leave the egg on top of everything else. It wouldn’t work so well for a breakfast sandwich in an English muffin because it doesn’t lay flat, and you wouldn’t want to hide its pretty shape.
Taste: The flavor is good from the vortex egg. But, I do notice that I like the eggs poached without any vinegar better than eggs poached with vinegar. It isn’t like you taste the vinegar, but the simple eggy flavor isn’t quite as pronounced when there’s vinegar in the cooking liquid. I guess the vinegar hides the flavor a little.
Yolk: The yolk is perfect. Not too runny. Not too hard. Just perfect.
Ease of Cooking: Not too bad. Just some waiting and stirring. The vortex isn’t hard to create. As with the other methods, make sure that you have all of your tools and ingredients out and ready to go.
½ cup distilled white vinegar
1 large egg
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
Plate lined with a paper towel or clean rag
Pour vinegar into a small bowl. Crack egg into bowl, taking care not to break yolk; let stand for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil over medium-high heat. Using a whisk, vigorously swirl water until a vortex forms in the center. Slip egg with vinegar into vortex and continue to swirl water with whisk around edges of pan until it returns to a boil. The egg white should wrap tightly around the yolk, forming an oval shape. As soon as water returns to a boil, reduce heat to medium and gently simmer egg, frequently swirling water, for 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, lift egg from water and use kitchen shears to trim any stray pieces of egg white. Place egg on paper towels and gently blot; transfer egg to a bowl or plate.
If poaching more than 1 egg, repeat using fresh water. Season with salt and pepper.
DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Immediately transfer to a bowl of ice water and let cool. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a plate. Cover; chill. Rewarm in a saucepan of simmering water for 1 minute.
All of the Poached Egg Tests:
Poached Egg Testing 1 – Vinegar
Poached Egg Testing 2 – Julia Child’s method of pricking the shell and pre-cooking the egg