These Perfectly Poached Eggs with Dijon Sauce are easy and delicious. Plus- you’ll learn how to poach eggs without vinegar, swirling the egg, or using kitchen gadgets!
I watch a lot of cooking competition shows with the husband, and whenever he hears someone tell a judge that their dish is prepared “perfectly,” he cringes.
“Don’t do it!” he cries, “don’t say it!”
Inevitably, the judge takes a bite and says, “Well yes, it’s good, but you promised “perfection,” and I’m just not sure it’s there.”
Therefore, it is with quite some risk, but nevertheless great confidence, that I present to you: Perfectly Poached Eggs with Dijon Sauce.
What is Poaching? What is a Poached Egg?
Poaching is a cooking technique where you cook something in liquid. Poached eggs are eggs that have been cooked in water.
Is it Easy to Poach an Egg? What Could Go Wrong?
Yes. Yes, poaching an egg is easy.
Or at least, it can be. There are two main things that can go wrong.
Dropping the egg into the water can cause the yolk to break.
Here’s the solution:
Gently drop the egg into the water from as short a distance as possible. You might even slightly tilt the pan to bring the water closer to the egg.
Poached eggs sometimes have unappealing, stringy bits along the edges.
Egg poaching gadgets can poach eggs without the strings, but it’s another gadget to keep track of, and to replace when it breaks.
Adding vinegar to the water and gently swirling is supposed to help hold the egg together, but it’s not a perfect solution. Why?
For one, you can taste the vinegar.
And two, it doesn’t always work– vinegar and swirling do not always make a perfectly poached egg.
What’s the solution? Keep reading.
How to Perfectly Poach an Egg without Vinegar or Gadgets
All you need is a mesh sieve.
Warning: I’m about to talk science.
The egg white is surrounded by a layer of loose albumen.
The albumen is the part that doesn’t “look pretty” when poached. In other words, it’s the weird white bits that don’t want to stick to the egg when it’s dropped in the water.
For the most gorgeous, most delicious– dare I say– perfectly poached eggs– crack your egg into a mesh sieve and the albumen will slip through the sieve.
Discard it– you don’t want it.
Once you’ve strained the egg, roll it gently into a pot of simmering water, and watch it poach!
Want more EGG recipes? Try these: Masala Omelette, Breakfast Crème Brûlée, Eggs Royale: Smoked Salmon Eggs Benedict, Scotch Quail Eggs
Perfectly Poached Eggs with Dijon Sauce
- 4 eggs
- ¼ cup plain yogurt
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- pinch salt, pepper
- green onion, diced
- Bring about 3″ water to boil in a saucepan. Reduce heat to a simmer. Do NOT swirl the water before adding the egg.
- Set a mesh sieve in sink or over a bowl, and crack 1 egg into sieve. Allow egg to drain for a few seconds, and then carefully pour egg into the water. Repeat for each egg. Cooking Tip: Keep in mind that you are not separating the egg yolk from the egg white while straining. When straining, simply watch for a portion of the egg white to slip through the sieve. Once it stops straining, you can move on to the next step.Mesh Sieve Tip: If you’re using s super-fine mesh sieve or a nylon sieve, the egg will take about 2-3 minutes to drain. A standard mesh sieve will only take a few seconds.
- Simmer eggs 3-5 minutes, depending on desired doneness. Remove eggs from water with a slotted spoon. Set eggs on a paper towel to get rid of excess water.
- To prepare sauce, add all remaining ingredients into a small bowl and mix together.
- Serve eggs hot with the sauce.
Beth @ Binky's Culinary Carnival
All kidding aside, they really do look perfectly cooked! 🙂
I read about it in Ruhlman’s Twenty .. It’s so great- we do it all the time now! And thanks- I don’t usually want to start my morning with a cup of butter lol
Great technique and beautiful pictures. Do you find any particular kind of eggs to be ‘prettier’? It seems that generic grocery eggs’ whites are much liquidier and the expensive happy eggs are more compact?
It seems to work great with any egg I’ve tried! I’ve tried it with the cheap ones from the grocery store, and with ones from the Farmer’s Market. Obviously the yolk tasted even better from the farm eggs!
Yay yes try this! You don’t have to fight with the shells 🙂
Dawn @ Girl Heart Food
What a genius idea using the sieve! I’ve also spun the water and added vinegar. I think I’ll be trying this technique next time! I love poached eggs and that sauce sounds delicious! So much healthier than hollandaise (but I do LOVE hollandaise too…how could I not with all that butter, lol).
Thanks! I’m in love with the sieve technique now haha. And yesss hollandaise is yummy tooooo haha
I’ve always heard good things about egg poachers! I just didn’t want another little kitchen gadget laying around 🙂 the mason jar lid is a great idea too!
IS there a video for this method? I don’t see how the egg wouldn’t just go through the strainer!!!!!!!!!!!!!
It doesn’t! I promise! Use the strainers with the tiny mesh holes- not a colander.
And once I figure out how to do video I’ll show you lol! 🙂
Caroline @ Pinch Me, I'm Eating!
I will have to give this a try! I tried Alton Brown’s method which used vinegar and swirling, and it worked pretty well but I thought the vinegar gave the eggs kind of a weird mouthfeel. And I LOVE eggs Benedict, so I really need a good technique for egg poaching.
I used to do the vinegar and swirl method, but I put too much vinegar in a few too many times.. This is so much harder to mess up lol
I vinegar mine since I started making these, because my mom told that was the way. I’ll be doing them by your way this morning and be back soon to tell you how it goes! Although it makes sense to sieve them in order to get rid of the white bit that doesn’t stick.
Let me know how it goes!!! They’re prettier this way too! 🙂
We made this and it was super easy! Poached eggs are one of my favourite ways to prepare so this one is a keeper!
Yay! I’m glad you got to try it!!
These work out so beautifully! Love poached eggs! That sauce sounds pretty darn delicious too 🙂
WOW WOW WOW!!! This is brilliant! I have never seen this method before but I love this idea (and the science behind it). I am definitely going to give this a try asap! I have a small sieve that would perfectly fit an egg, so I am thinking even dunking it into the water with the egg. Do you think it’ll work? This way I don’t have to slip the egg into the water from another cup. Then just pull the sieve out?
Yes I think that would work perfectly!!! Just dunk the whole thing in the water and roll the egg off. And yessss try it and let me know!
I’m a total kitchen science geek so this post was so fun to read! I’m totally going to try this (although I admit I’m more of an omelet girl) and that sauce sounds amazing! Have you ever tried the sauce on any other food? I’m thinking salmon…
Thanks Anne! And yes the sauce is awesome with salmon!
These turned out so good! And so cool that you included science into this!
My inner nerd was showing. Glad you loved!
Omg – this technique is amazing!! It’s sooooo easy! And the egg turns out just perfect. No egg white to cloud the water. No need to add any vinegar. No need to swirl anything. Absolutely perfect! Thanks!
Wahoo!!! I’m so glad you loved it! 😀
I simply can NOT boil eggs to perfection, my husband makes fun of me as I am usually rather skilled in the kitchen. So happy for this superb poached egg recipe!
Awww I’m so glad you found this helpful! Poached eggs are the way to go! 😀
so today I poached eggs. it was much easier than I expected and the server works great. I modified the sauce by sautéing the green onions with butter and added garlic then added lemon mustard and sour cream cuz no yogurt. to make a warm sauce. with good ham and good bread. awesome. thanks.
That sounds delicious! Thanks for letting us know you enjoyed it ☺
-Alisha at Champagne Tastes