In this article we learn how to poach an egg the classical way, by tipping the raw egg directly into boiling water. Recipe by Ronan Boucher. Photographs Liezel van der Merwe

Poached egg salad with dressed rocket, pancetta and chorizo sausage

1 egg
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
5ml white wine vinegar
125ml (half a cup) of salad rocket
olive oil
25g chorizo sausage, diced or 2-3 slices of pancetta or Serrano ham, fried until crisp

  • Bring water to a boil in a small saucepan, enough to fill half of the sauce pan.
  • Crack the raw egg into a ramekin or cup and season with salt and pepper.
  • Reduce the water’s heat to just under boiling point and add a drop of white wine vinegar and a pinch of salt , stirring them in an anti-clockwise direction to create a swirling vortex.
  • Slowly turn the egg out into the swirling water. This will allow the yolk to be surrounded but the white of the egg and thus poach evenly, about 2-3 minutes (depending on the altitude). We are aiming for an egg with a tender, runny just cooked yolk.
  • While the egg is poaching, dress the rocket leaves with olive oil, salt and pepper.
  • Remove the poached egg with a slotted spoon, drain on kitchen cloth, then place the egg on top of the dressed rocket.
  • Place the crispy chorizo / Serrano ham / pancetta (which will add a spicy dimension and texture to the dish) on top of the egg and spoon around the rest of the dish.
  • Drizzle the oil from the frying of the chorizo / Serrano ham / pancetta over the leaves to add a little extra colour and flavour to the dish.

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