A Journey to My Perfect Sous Vide Egg - Goal #1 CHECK!
|the 13 minute at 75C egg was almost perfect but that white was still just a bit too runny for me|
I'm a bit obsessed with poached eggs and, to be honest, for most of my life, I never made them at home. They are fussy, the white are always all over the place, I either undercook them or overcook them half the time and I always have to drain off the water from the bottom of the bowl before I eat them. Never mind the headache of trying to make them for more than one or two people, keeping them all hot, holding them over in a water bath, yadda yadda. It's just easier to order them in a restaurant that specializes in great breakfasts.
With that in mind, it makes sense that the very first thing I made with my hand dandy Anova sous vide cooker was a poached egg. Actually, I made half a dozen poached eggsI had barely busted that baby out of the packaging before I was firing up a big pot of water. At first, I was cooking them at between 63C and 65C , which is touted as being THE perfect temperature for cooking the egg in it's shell.
Before getting this wonder gadget, I had to make them like this, using my crock pot, a thermometer, ice cubes and a large loss of hair. Even though I knew that it would be an amazing way to cook meat, fish and chicken, it was the elusive onsen tomago (the Japanese term for that perfect little bundle of poached egg that you often see plopped on top of your ramen) that was fuelling my desire.
|there is no way Shack would be eating that wiggly egg white|
I tried the eggs for one hour at 63C, 64C and 65C and each time, the only way I could get Shack to eat it was to crack the finished egg into a little bowl and then drop it into simmering water for a minute to firm up the whites. This certainly produced a great egg but I didn't want to have to sous vide the egg and then simmer it in a pot of water as well since the whole point was finding a method that would produce an endless number of perfectly poached eggs simultaneously with as little drama as possible. I would almost say that it defeats the purpose of sous vide but, honestly, the custardy yolk that you get with this method cannot be replicated by traditional poaching so I was kind of willing to take the second step if I had to, I just didn't want to.
What to do?
Well, clearly I had to keep reading, keep searching to find another combination of time/temperature. Even though I didn't really want to have to go through $100 in eggs to figure it out myself, I was just about to throw in the towel and just go for it whne I found this on This 75C Egg on Chef Steps and it sounded like it was, if nothing else, a good place to start anew.
With The Kid as my taste tester, I did three eggs in 75C (167F) water for 13 minutes. Because he prefers a dippy egg in an egg cup to a poached egg, I served him one in a bowl but I put the other in an egg cup and asked him for his thoughts.
He said that the egg in the egg cup was the best soft boiled egg he had ever had. He loved the thick, velvety yolk and that from now on, this is his preferred method for his dippy eggs. He liked the poached version too but, personally, I found the whites to still be a bit undercooked so I threw one more egg in for 14 minutes.
That extra minute was all that was needed to firm up the whites just enough but look at how soft and creamy that yolk remains?? The egg comes out of the shell a magic little package, leaving behind a thin film of white still clinging to the interior of the shell. Look at how perfect that egg looks? No undercooked bits of wiggly white ruining the perfect oval shape and yolks that are still soft and creamy. It was like Christmas.
All of the eggs I used were labled large and weighed between 63 and 66g and I cooked them straight out of the fridge. Room temperature eggs, or eggs that are significantly larger or smaller will require tweaking as far as the time goes.
So, first goal reached:
My perfect onsen tomago style egg poached in the shell.