How do you get a perfectly poached egg? I mean, without years of culinary training and practice. It’s one of those things that is very hard to achieve, which is why chefs are often asked to cook this in their stage before being hired on. Personally, I stink at it, so had pretty much given up on the perfect soft cooked egg with a runny center and subsist on over easy eggs in the pan instead. But not any more – not since I got a sous vide machine from Sous Vide Supreme last month!Let me just say up front that I stole this technique from The Food Lab. If you visit his post, you’ll find far more science, research and information than I could ever impart. But I did take away a few key points:

  1. Sous vide first, poach briefly second – takes away all of the stress about getting the egg to hold together in the pan – hurray!
  2. There are two types of whites (loose on the outside, tight closer to the yolk) and you can simply discard the runny looking loose whites – hallelujah, I hate those!
  3. You can even sous vide ahead of time and just reheat/poach to serve for a party – incredible!

After the sous vide (45 minutes, 145 degrees), tap the shell and break away some shell from one side (top photo), then gently pour it into a small bowl (this photo). See the difference between the loose and tight whites?Then pour it gently into water heated to just under simmering. Let the loose whites do what they want in the pan and then ignore them. After just 15-20 seconds, you can scoop the now slightly firmer poached egg out with a slotted spoon to serve it. I’m on the hook to offer up some recipes in return for the machine I was sent, so I created this great brunch item. The recipe serves 1, but you can scale it for a large brunch party easily in a large skillet. I’m so tickled with this technique that this just might become my new morning routine: preheat sous vide machine, make coffee, insert egg into sous vide, read email and catch up on Facebook for 30 minutes, make something to go with my eggs like has or toast, then finish the soft cooked egg off with a final water bath poach, and voila, that’s what I call breakfast!

Soft Cooked / Poached Eggs with Fingerling Potato Swiss Chard Hash
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 1 serving
  • 1 large egg
  • sous vide machine
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup thinly sliced fingerling potatoes
  • 1 handful baby Swiss chard, roughly chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  1. Preheat the sous vide machine to 145 degrees. Place the egg on the bottom grate of the machine and cook for 45 minutes. After 30 minutes of cooking, heat the oil in a small skillet over medium high heat and add the potatoes. Cook, tossing a few times, until soft and slightly brown. Add the Swiss chard and toss until wilted. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Bring a small saucepan of water to just below simmer. After 45 minutes, remove the egg from the sous vide machine and tap it on the side to slightly crack. Gently peel away a window in the shell large enough to pour the egg through and pour it into a small dish. Carefully pour the egg into the hot water and let it cook for about 20 seconds before removing it with a slotted spoon.
  3. Serve the soft cooked egg over the hash and sprinkle with salt and pepper.