What You Need
SERVINGS: MAKES 2
1 cup distilled white vinegar
2 large eggs
Coarse sea salt (such as Maldon) and freshly ground black pepper
1. Heat the water: Fill the saucepan about 2/3 full with water and bring to a boil.
2. Take the water down to a simmer: Turn the heat down and let the water relax into a brisk simmer. You should see bubbles coming up to the surface, but it won't be rolling. (It's easier and quicker to control the simmer if you bring it to a boil first, then reduce the heat rather than trying to get it to the perfect simmer from the get-go.)
3. Crack the egg into a small cup: Crack the egg into a small measuring cup, preferably one with a long handle. This will help you ease the egg into the water.
4. Add vinegar to the water: This step is optional, but many people like to add vinegar to the boiling water because it helps the loose, billowy white cohere to itself and cook into a more compact shape. The taste is not noticeable in the finished egg, although you might notice a firmer, more "squeaky" texture to the white.
5. Ease the egg into the water: Use the measuring cup to carefully lower the egg into the water and then tip it out into the water. Make sure the water is at a bare simmer.
6. Cook for 4 minutes: The final cooking time for a poached egg is very much up to you, and it depends on how well you like your eggs done and how hot the water is. But 4 minutes, give or take, in lightly simmering water, will give you a firm white and a gooey but still runny yolk.
7. Remove the egg: Use a slotted spoon to remove the egg from the water.
8. Pat the egg dry: This is optional as well, but I like to pat the egg dry lightly with a paper towel.
9. Season and eat! Place the poached egg on a salad, piece of toast, or a plate and season to taste with salt and pepper. Eat immediately!