Eggs, the food staple of many countries throughout the world, are a very good source of inexpensive, high quality protein. More than half the protein of an egg is found in the egg white along with vitamin B2 and lower amounts of fat than the yolk. Eggs are rich sources of selenium, vitamin D, B6, B12 and minerals such as zinc, iron and copper.
A poached egg is an egg that has been cooked by poaching in or over simmering liquid. This method of preparation is favored because a very consistent and predictable result can be attained with precise timing, as the boiling point of water removes the temperature variable from the cooking process.
If the eggs are at room temperature, the cooking time usually 3 minutes 30 seconds. If the eggs are taken from a refrigerator, then a longer time is required, though the exact time depends on the size of the egg, and other factors such as altitude.
Steam poaching is applied to a method whereby the egg is placed in the stainless steel cup, suspended in the stainless steel rack over simmering water. To cook, the pan is filled with water and brought to a simmer, or a gentle boil. The vented lid will be closed to hold in the steam, ensuring that the heat surrounds the egg completely. The cups are often lubricated with unsalted butter in order to effect easy removal of the cooked egg.
The result is very similar to the traditional coddled egg although steamed eggs are often cooked for longer, and hence are firmer. Eggs so prepared are often served on buttered toast.
While cooking the egg, the water should be simmering, not boiling. Too vigorous a boil will break up the eggs. But if the water's not hot enough, the egg might fall apart before it cooks. The ideal water temperature for poaching eggs is around 180° to 190°F. Poaching eggs with an induction cooktop produces the best results.
Dishes with poached eggs
- Poached eggs are used in Eggs Benedict and Eggs Florentine (made with prosciutto mince onion and garlic, spinach, nutmeg, crème fresh, grated Romano cheese.
- Poached eggs are the basis for many dishes in Louisiana Creole cuisines as Eggs Sardou.
- Portuguese, Eggs Hussarde and Eggs St. Charles. Creole poached egg dishes are typically served for brunches.
- Several cuisines include eggs poached in soup or broth and served in the soup. In parts of central Columbia, for instance, a popular breakfast item is eggs poached in a scallion/coriander broth with milk, known as changua or simply caldo de huevo ("egg soup").
- The Libyan dish Shakashouka consists of eggs poached in a spicy tomato sauce.
- In Italy poached eggs are typically seasoned with grated Parmigiano reggiano and butter (or olive oil).
- Turkish dish Cilbit consists of poached eggs, yogurt sauce with garlic and butter with red peppers.
NUTRITIONAL DAILY VALUES: Amount per 1 large egg 50 g; Calories 78; Total Fat 5 g (7%); Saturated fat 1.6g (8%); Polyunsaturated fat 0.7 g; Monounsaturated fat 2 g; Cholesterol 187 mg 62%; Sodium 62 mg 2%; Potassium 63 mg 1%; Total Carbohydrate 0.6 0%;Dietary fiber 0 g 0%; Sugar 0.6 g; Protein 6 g 12%; Vitamin A 5%; Vitamin C 0%; Calcium 2%; Iron 3%; Vitamin D 11%; Vitamin B-6 5%; Cobalamin 10%; Magnesium 1%.