The Simple Tool You Need For Richer Poached Eggs

Poached eggs, when executed correctly, make for an elegant and delicious addition to any dish. Their silky, plump consistency somehow classes up the meal, whether they're plopped on top of a hearty breakfast bowl or gently placed over some toasted English muffins to ooze their yolky goodness into every nook and cranny.

As simple as the process is in theory (boil water, drop egg in, take egg out), anyone who's attempted to make poached eggs knows that you run the risk of breakage or the dreaded spreading egg — those long, wispy strands of white that seem to run away from the yolk with a mind of their own.

No one wants that. It's just not pretty, and you want your poached eggs to be pretty, right? Luckily, there's only one tool you need to ensure your poached eggs embody that yolk-forward plumpness that every poached egg should be, and it's probably already in your kitchen: a mesh strainer.

How to use a mesh strainer for perfect poached eggs

Dropping your eggs first into a sieve or a fine mesh strainer, rather than directly into the boiling water, will allow any run-away wisps or loose egg white strands to drain through the tiny holes, leaving behind a prettier, more compact egg that stays together when it cooks.

Simply crack your egg into the mesh strainer and let it drain over the sink for a few seconds until your egg is nice and uniform. From there, once your water is boiling, you'll place the entire sieve into the water along with the egg — these things are metal, so they're made for this!

This way, when it's done cooking, you've already got an easy removal method ready to go and can strain any excess water as you take your egg out of the pan. It's an easy-peasy hack that's well worth the little effort it requires, producing poached eggs that aren't just pretty, but extra yolky, extra rich, and extra tasty.

Best out-of-the-box foods to pair with poached eggs

Everyone's mind most likely goes to Eggs Benedict when they think of poached eggs, picturing the runny little spheres sitting atop an English muffin and drenched in creamy hollandaise sauce. However, there are so many foods that complement the rich softness of a poached egg that go far beyond benedicts.

Aside from the usual suspects like crunchy grains, roasted vegetables, and a good crusty piece of bread, poached eggs can taste delicious in all kinds of dishes. You may not think eggs and yogurt go together, but they do, and these Turkish-Style Poached Eggs prove it. Don't limit yourself to breakfast — you can plop a poached egg on anything from spicy noodles, to a frisee-lardon salad, or a sausage and kale soup.

If you're going for something savory, pair your poached eggs with smoked salmon, rice, and leafy greens. Speaking of seafood, poached eggs also taste wonderful atop something like a Jumbo Lump Crab Hash. If you've got a sweet tooth, you can always crack one on top of a sweet potato pancake.