Mumbai Food: Chef Devendra Khetle on expert tip to make perfect poached eggs

Jul 29, 2018, 10:30 IST | Debjani Paul

Chef Devendra Khetle cracks the secret to this five-star breakfast that's good for the mind and body

Mumbai Food: Chef Devendra Khetle on expert tip to make perfect poached eggs

There's a warm satisfaction in digging into a perfectly round poached egg and watching the rich, golden yolk gush forward like liquid sunshine. But most people are too afraid to make them at home because the perfect poach can be a tough egg to crack.

The most important trick is, of course, to find a good egg. But there's so much more to it than that. "While the technique looks simple, it is actually quite challenging. But if you do it right, what you get is a delicious, soft and runny yolk and beautifully set egg white," says chef Devendra Khetle.

The secret lies in good timing and great ingredients, says the chef de cuisine at Gustoso, Kemps Corner. Pick only the freshest eggs — less than a week old — so that the egg whites are thick enough to hold that perfect round shape. To check if your egg is fresh enough, just dunk it in water. Ideally, it should sink to the bottom. If it starts to float or turns upside down, you won't get the best result.

Chef Devendra Khetle prefers to serve poached eggs on freshly baked bread with sautéed mushroom, Parma ham slices and truffle oil. Pics/Bipin Kokate
Chef Devendra Khetle prefers to serve poached eggs on freshly baked bread with sautéed mushroom, Parma ham slices and truffle oil. Pics/Bipin Kokate

Another hack is to soak the egg in vinegar for five to seven minutes before dropping it in the pan. "The acid in the vinegar will help coagulate the proteins in the egg white and prevent them from spilling in water," says Khetle. Bring some water to a simmer in a bowl or pan — don't pick one too small or shallow. Crack the egg into a ramekin mould, and be careful not to break the yolk. Now tip the egg into the simmering water. "It takes not more than 90 seconds to three minutes to poach the egg. Do not overcook it.

Overcooked eggs have rubbery whites and firm yolks, and don't taste good. A minute or even 30 seconds of too much cook time can overdo it," warns the chef. Extract the poached egg with a slotted spoon, add a little salt, and enjoy it with a slice of toast or experiment with other combinations. "I prefer to serve my poached egg on freshly baked house bread with sautéed mushroom, few slices Parma ham and truffle oil," says Khetle.

Like everything else, the more you practise, the better you'll get at it. Luckily, you can take a crack at poached eggs every day guilt-free, as it is a healthy breakfast that's low on calories and saturated fats, he promises.

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