Some things in life are deceivingly simple. This is one of them.
Do not be intimated by poached eggs. Even without a poacher, a nearly perfectly poached egg is quite simple to achieve. There are a ton of links and youtube videos out there, but I’ve found that the simplest and best way to poach a round egg is with a splash of vinegar and a gentle rolling boil. Note that while all water does boil at 212 F degrees, there are actually different types of boils. A rolling boil is one that is so aggressive that it cannot be disturbed or disrupted by stirring, or by dropping ingredients into the water. When the boil reaches that point, you’ll want to back off by turning down the heat. The boil will become more gentle, enabling you have more control in shaping the poached egg.
The bread used in this recipe is a Northern Chinese bread. It’s addicting. Pan fried, it several layers with pockets of scallion bits. It’s a savory sort of bread and adds quite a bit of depth to the dish from the saltiness. Unfortunately, I have yet attempted to make it.
Luckily for you, a woman by the name of Florence has tried it. Here’s her recipe. However, you can use just about any type of robust bread for this dish.
But back to this deceivingly simple yet gorgeous breakfast. It involves few ingredients with room for substitutions. Sriracha mayo is by no means a new thing. People often use it as a dip for sweet potato fries. But given that I subconsciously crave ketchup with just about everything, I felt that the traditional Sriracha mayo recipes I’ve tried lacked the ‘tomato’ element. Don’t freak out; I didn’t add ketchup. Instead, I added tomato paste. It added all the difference in the world.
However, if you don’t have Sriracha sauce, you can use garlic aioli, dijon mustard mixed with a bit of mayo, or wasabi mayo. Heck, use ketchup if you don’t have any of those. And add a piece of bacon while you’re at it.
Before I leave you with the recipe, I want to share with you a simple but very important lesson that I learned yesterday. Last night, I yelled at someone who I care deeply about for something very stupid. He was late and gave a terrible excuse (that he got lost on a road that he’s traveled on for years), which led me to criticize him. During the night, our group of friends discussed the recent Ohio high-school shootings and a mother’s response to her now deceased son’s killer. The grief-stricken mother was asked what she would say to the shooter and responded with-
“I would tell him I forgive him because, a lot of times, they don’t know what they’re doing. That’s all I’d say. I forgive him because, a lot of times, they don’t know what they’re doing. I taught Demetrius not to live in the past, to live in today and forgiveness is divine. You have to forgive everything. God’s grace is new each and every day. Until you’ve walked in another person’s shoes, you don’t know what made him come to this point.”
Those were some powerful and inspiring words. And in just an hour after hearing those words, I learned that the person who I yelled at wasn’t late because he was lost. He was late because he was buying a cake in celebration of my upcoming birthday.
Forgiveness and grace are two not-so-deceivingly simple things that I have yet to learn.
Poached Egg with Sriracha Mayo
- 1 egg
- Thick piece of toast
- Splash of vinegar
- Salt & pepper
- 3 tablespoons mayo
- 1 tablespoon Sriracha
- 1 teaspoon tomato paste
Get your toast ready by toasting it in the toaster for a few seconds. You want to make sure that you’re choosing a robust type of bread (ie sourdough bread) versus say a fluffy challah. In a saucepan, heat water until it boils. After it bubbles, turn the heat to low and add in the splash of vinegar. The vinegar will help the egg whites congeal. Then, carefully crack the egg in a separate bowl. Tilt the bowl and gently drop the egg into the sauce pan. Using a spoon, help the egg whites conform to an oval by wrapping it around the yolk. You won’t be completely successful, but you should be able to somewhat shape the egg whites to wrap around the yolk. Let the water boil for 2 minutes so that the egg whites are fully cooked but the yolk still remains runny. Make sure that the bottom of the egg does not stick to the pan. After, turn off the fire and drain the water.
Set up your toast as the first layer on the plate. Prepare the Sriracha Mayo by mixing all three ingredients together- the mayo, Siracha sauce, and tomato paste. Then, spoon a generous amount onto the toast. Finally, top with the egg. Season with some salt and pepper and garnish with greens if desired.