If you’re trying to avoid foods cooked in oil and want something a bit different from steamed foods, poaching is a great option, especially for a quick egg breakfast that is light and healthy without sacrificing flavor or a poached fish or meat dinner that will leave you enough room for dessert.
To poach food means to submerge it partially or fully in hot water at a temperature somewhere between 160°- 185°F/ 71°-85° C. It differs from boiling in that the temperature does not go beyond these temperatures, which would most likely burst or destroy gentle foods like delicate fish and thin pieces of meat.
The most common food to be poached is the egg, but vegetables, fish and thinly sliced meat are also great options for cooking with this method. Eggs are generally partially submerged, while meats and fish are usually completely submerged in water, with the resulting broth used as part of the meal served.
A few general rules for poaching
Water must reach somewhere between 160°- 185°F/71-85°C.
Small air bubbles will start to form at the bottom of the pan and just a few bubbles will break the surface of the water (i.e. it has come to a simmer), giving you an indication that the food is ready to be added to the pan.
The pan should not be crowded with food in order to give it room to cook.
Tools You Can Use to Poach
- Shallow or deep sauté pan
- Pan lid
- Fish spatula or other type of spatula
Simple Poached Egg Recipe is a healthy suhoor dish included in my cookbook, Summer Ramadan Cooking.