Nigella Lawson's Trick For Perfect Poached Eggs

Specialty sites like Sauder's Eggs tells us that there are at least 13 different ways to cook an egg, and while some may be egg-ceptionally easy (scrambled, fried, baked), others may be less so, and it is to this list of more complicated-sounding egg prep procedures we'd like to add poaching. 

You know you're looking at a challenging kitchen task when British kitchen goddess Nigella Lawson actually blogged about how fearful she used to be at the thought of poaching an egg on her website. She wrote: "I felt a little ashamed, and also knew that avoiding things you're frightened of merely makes that fear grow. And that's no way to live. So I overcame my fear [and] found a method that works for me," which she demonstrates in her mouthwatering video tutorial on Turkish eggs or cibir. This recipe features a delicately poached egg which sits atop a creamy garlic and yoghurt base, with chili butter sauce (via BBC).  

Nigella uses lemon juice or vinegar in an unexpected way

The best way to poach an egg depends entirely on who you ask. Celeb chef Alton Brown uses the whirlpool method (agitating water with vinegar and salt so it spins) to poach one or two eggs, according to Food Network. Ina Garten, on the other hand, uses a large sauté pan and omits the whirlpooling altogether.

Nigella Lawson chooses to crack a fridge-cold egg into a tea strainer to get rid of the extra liquid (doing this removes the stringy bits of fluff from the cooked egg), and then puts the egg into a cup — but here's where she goes off script.

While the egg is in the cup, Nigella adds a teaspoon of vinegar or lemon juice to help the egg hold its shape (via BBC). The egg then goes into the water after the pan comes to a boil and then the heat is turned off. If more than one egg is involved, the water is left on, but left on a temperature so low it barely breaks any bubbles. The egg will cook to perfection after four or five minutes.

Lawson's cooking method isn't limited to preparing poached Turkish eggs, of course. We imagine it would help you turn around a mean eggs Benedict, too.