Slideshow: How to Poach an Egg

Start with eggs that are as fresh as possible
Start with eggs that are as fresh as possible
These tend to hold their shape better during cooking. Fill a medium saucepan with water at least two inches deep, and up to four, and bring to a simmer.

In the meantime, crack the egg into a small bowl (if you don’t have one, skip this step—straight from the shell is fine).

When the water comes to a gentle simmer
When the water comes to a gentle simmer
(you’ll see some bubbles, but they’ll rise slowly) add a splash (at least 1 tablespoon, but up to 1/4 cup is fine) of white, champagne, or other light-colored vinegar. Lower the bowl with the egg to the water’s surface, then lightly tip the egg into the liquid. Work one at a time at first, adding an egg or two as you feel comfortable. If needed, swirl a spoon in the water to gently nudge the whites closer to the yolk while it sets up.
Once the whites have firmed
Once the whites have firmed
And no longer look runny, about 3 to 4 minutes, fish out the egg with a slotted spoon. Let any excess water drip back into the pan.
For a neater presentation
For a neater presentation
You can trim thin or flimsy edges of the whites with kitchen scissors or a knife.
Ta da!
Ta da!
Sprinkle with sea or kosher salt. Pat self on back. Serve.