Boiling Water

The key ingredient in classics like eggs Benedict and this asparagus dish, a warm poached egg with a gooey yolk is easier to make than it seems. Just follow these five simple steps.

Medium saucepan
Slotted spoon
Ramekin or small bowl

Step 1: Let eggs come to room temperature (or at least warm up slightly after taking them out of the refrigerator). Fill pan halfway with water, or just enough water to cover an egg, and add a small splash of vinegar (about 1 Tbsp.). Bring water to a boil, then turn heat to medium-low so water stays at a bare simmer.
Poached Egg

Step 2: Crack the egg into a ramekin or small bowl, then very briefly pour it into a slotted spoon. An egg has two different layers of white, and you want some of the thin, outer white to drain away. This will prevent flyaway strands of egg white from forming during cooking.
Poached Egg

Step 3: Pour the egg back into the ramekin. Keeping the edge of the ramekin just at the top of the hot water, gently slip the egg in. Make sure the yolk is fully immersed—you can spoon hot water over the egg if necessary.
Poached Egg

Step 4: Cook 3 to 5 minutes, depending on the desired consistency of the yolk (3 minutes for a softer yolk, 5 minutes for a harder one). The white should be cooked through, firm, and no longer transparent.
Poached Egg

Step 5: Remove egg with a slotted spoon. For best results, place on a warm plate.