Three Ways to Eggsellence

Poached egg with nutmeg, onion and pinenut spinach

Regardless of how arf-tastic my blog post titles become, we remain huge fans of poached eggs in our house of a Saturday and Sunday morning.  Or afternoon, rather.

Poached eggs are one of those tricky kitchen knacks that freak people out.  I have never made a successful poached egg in any other kitchen besides my kitchen at the moment, and I honestly believe it has something to do with our city centre water.  Anybody know if there’s any truth in my hunch?

Advice on poaching always says to create a circular movement in the water which just seems daft and complicated.  Here’s how I do it.

  • Bring a large saucepan of water seasoned with a pinch of salt to the boil.
  • Once boiling, add a glug of red wine vinegar, about two tablespoons.  I’ve tried white wine vinegar (because the red wine vinegar dyes the eggs ever so slightly) but it doesn’t seem to hold the eggs together as well as the red type.
  • Now break your egg gently into the water, from as close to the water as you can get (without burning your hands on the steam, obviously).
  • Set your timer for 3 and a half minutes.
  • Get a plate with kitchen towel ready.
  • After 3 and a half minutes, scoop out your egg with a spoon (preferably a slotted spoon so you gt rid of most of the excess water).  The eggs may have a pinky hue from the vinegar so when you’re scooping them out, you can try to “wash them” with the water a bit, to get rid of some of that.  If you know what I mean.
  • Place on the plate with the kitchen towel to absorb the last bit of water on eggs.
  • Carefully transfer egg to the top of your toast and enjoy.

Read on after the jump for recipes for three of my favourite ways with poached eggs.

Poached egg with chorizo and parsley

Poached egg with Marmite on toast

Poached Eggs with Nutmeg Spinach for 2*

*For this recipe, it’s important to be a spinach fan.  I have been ever since my childhood fascination with Popeye and Olive Oil and their never-ending love.

120g baby spinach (about two big handfuls)

1 small or 1/2 medium sized onion, sliced into half moon shapes

2 tablespoons of pinenuts

1/4 fresh nutmeg

2 slices of nice bread

2 large free-range and/or organic eggs

Get your saucepan of water on the boil.

Heat some olive oil in a frying pan on a medium to high heat.  Fry your onions until softened, about five minutes.  Now add your spinach (don’t worry if it seems like a lot, it’ll disappear into virtually nothing!) and stir until wilted, another five to eight minutes.

Now add your pinenuts to the pan.  Stir occasionally so the spinach doesn’t stick to the pan and keep on the heat until the pinenuts go a golden colour.  You could alternatively toast the pinenuts in a separate dry pan, but that means more washing up.  Choice is yours!

Once you have nice softened onions with wilted spinach and toasted pinenuts, you can grate in your fresh nutmeg and season with salt and pepper.

Now break your eggs into your red wine vinegar infused boiling water and cook following instructions above.  Put the toast in the toaster.  Keep the spinach warm while the eggs cook.  Butter your toast.

After 3 and a half minutes, place your spinach on top of your toast.

Now scoop out your eggs and dry on kitchen towel.  Plop them on top of the spinach toast and enjoy.

Poached Eggs with Chorizo and Parsley for 2

About 50g of chorizo, chopped into small cubes

About a teaspoon of freshly chopped flat-leaf parsley

2 slices of nice bread

2 large free-range and/or organic eggs

Get your water on the boil.  Chop your chorizo and parsley.  Put a frying pan on a medium to high heat, with no olive oil.

When your water in the saucepan is starting to boil, add your chorizo to the dry frying pan to fry until it releases its lovely oils.  This will take four to 5 minutes.

When your water in the saucepan is boiling and you’ve added your red wine vinegar, add your eggs and cook following instructions above.

Toast your bread and butter when ready.

After 3 and a half minutes, scoop out your eggs and dry on kitchen towel.

Place on top of your toast and sprinkle over the chorizo (including the lovely oil) and parsley.

Poached Egg with Marmite on Toast for 2

2 slices of nice bread

2 large free-range and/or organic eggs


The easiest and the original way to enjoy poached eggs on toast, in my opinion.

Get your water on the boil, and add red wine vinegar.  Break your eggs into the water and cook following instructions above.  Toast your bread.

Butter toast when ready and add Marmite, as generously or as sparingly as is your wont.

After 3 and a half minutes in the hot water, place your eggs on kitchen towel to drain off excess water.

Place on Marmite toast and enjoy.


Saturday and Sundays should be accompanied by sweet, beautiful music that eases you into your day.  Shugo Tokumaru is just the man.

Shugo Tokumaru – Lahaha (on The Hype Machine)

Categories: Breakfast


  1. mmm marmite enough said! i made poached so bad recently the Other day that the yoke got completely separated from the white i blame Dublin 8 water!

    • Oh no! I seriously think our success at poaching in this flat is down to teh Dublin 1/7 water. It’s mad isn’t it?? Hope you can find a way to poach in Dublin 8 asap :)

  2. Try spinach with the marmite. I could eat it every morning and frequently do! Chorizo rocks aswell but when does it not? Great ideas

    • Marmite AND Spinach?! I can’t believe I’ve never thought of this before! Doing that next weekend. Thanks!

  3. What a variety of poached eggs. Lovely. I am afraid I cheat and do mine in the microwave. Your photographs are gorgeous.

    • Thanks Granny! I’m a bit afraid to move from our flat/area in case we move somewhere with water that isn’t poach-friendly. I swear it’s all down to the water, as I’ve never managed to make poached eggs anywhere else. Bizarre!

  4. love the poached egg post- but the question I have is… WHERE DID YOU GET THOSE PLATES?! :)

    • Hi Donal, actually those little white and blue ones were €1 each in All Rooms on Liffey Street – love that shop!

      The big blue one with the Marmite egg travelled home with me from a thrift store in Melbourne. I love it!

      I find the charity shops on Capel Street are really worth keeping a close eye on, there are about 4 or 5 there that get some great stuff in crockery wise :)

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