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This is the easiest way to make a poached egg look fancy. It was created by Juan Mari Arzak, who’s like my Spanish uncle, godfather, and drinking buddy all in one. He’s one of the great chefs on the planet, but that doesn’t even matter when you’re talking about Juan Mari, because he’s also one of the best people on the planet. To know him is to love him.
This is his signature egg dish, and it’s amazing, because it’s such a strong concept—a repackaged egg—so simple and clean, and the resulting egg is so cool looking. He’s served it different ways over the years. I’ve had it in broth, as well as in the classic style—with txistorra sausage, breadcrumbs, and mushrooms duxelle. There’s no reason not to try this at home. Use it anytime you’d use a traditional poached egg, but when you want the dish to be much better.
- + plastic wrap
- + kitchen twine
- + eggs
Drape a large square of plastic wrap over a shallow bowl. It should extend well beyond the edges of the bowl. Brush the plastic with olive oil to keep the egg from sticking to the wrap.
Crack an egg into the center of the bowl. Sprinkle it with salt.
Gather the ends of the plastic wrap together and twist them close. You’ll end up with a bulbous balloon with a raw egg in it, and a loose cord of plastic wrap. Tightly tie a foot-long piece of kitchen twine around the plastic-wrap cord, just above the egg, sealing it off. Trim off the wrap above the twine. Repeat for each egg.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil, then drop it down to a simmer. Lower the eggs into the pot. Tie the twine to a chopstick or ladle laid across the top of the pot to make sure the eggs are suspended about halfway into the water—they shouldn’t touch the bottom. Simmer for 4 minutes and 20 seconds.
Remove the eggs from the heat and transfer them to a cutting board. Let the eggs sit for a minute or so, then carefully cut off the plastic wrap. Deploy at will.