Rated 4.75 out of 5 based on 32 votes
- 250 g shimeji mushrooms
- 2 x free-range eggs
- 1 x garlic cloves
- 4 sprigs thyme
- 2 x thick slices sourdough bread
- 2 Tbls butter
- 1 pinch sea salt
- 1 pinch black pepper
- 1 splash olive oil
- 1 splash verjuice or white wine
- 1 Tbls white vinegar
As a former bacon lover who no longer eats it I’ve been working to perfect breakfast dishes that didn’t need it (a cooked breakfast without bacon? Yes, it can be delicious!!)
This is a simple dish however the nuttiness of the mushrooms with the earthy truffle flavour really doesn’t need much.
Put a saucepan of water on to boil for the poached eggs
Break into bite sized pieces then heat a heavy based saucepan on medium high. add in most of the butter, leaving a couple of teaspoons to spread on the toast later.
When it starts to go a little brown add a splash of olive oil to prevent the butter burning and then add the mushrooms. The browned butter will add to the nuttiness.
Cook mushrooms in pan until they have released their juices and the liquid has then mostly evaporated. I like to cook the mushies to the point where they’re almost crispy then add a good splash of verjuice. Cook until it has reduced and the butter, oil and verjuice have created a bit of a sauce.
Pick the thyme leaves and add to the pan right at the end with a drizzle of truffle oil – you don’t need much as it is very strong and were just looking to enhance the flavour of the mushrooms. You can turn off the heat and reheat them when the eggs are done or just put them on low.
I know it seems premature to do your toast before your eggs but you really want to serve this meal as soon as the eggs are ready so I always pop the bread in the toaster before I start the eggs. I’ll toast it until just before it’s ready and pop it back 2 minutes before the eggs are ready so I can assemble everything.
Once the water has boiled reduce to a gentle simmer (there should still be bubbles coming off the pan but only just) and get your eggs ready next to the pan.
Add the vinegar (no salt).
Using the end of a spatula or spoon swirl the really fast water to make a whirlpool then quickly crack your eggs and break them one by one into the water (break them as close to the surface as possible without burning yourself!). The swirling water will pull the white around the yolk and create a ball (or close to it). Put the timer on for 3 minutes (I leave mine in for four but by the time you’ve pulled them out it’ll be about 4 minutes)
BACK TO THE TOAST
Now your eggs are poaching put your toast back in for a minute or so to warm up.
Spread with butter then peel and cut the garlic clove in half and rub it over the toast to flavour it.
Reheat mushies if you need to then top toast with them.
As soon as eggs are ready remove with a slotted spoon and then pop on top of mushrooms.
Add a tiny drizzle of truffle oil and a few thyme leaves and salt and pepper to taste.
As a side note there are countless theories and methods on the ‘right’ way to poach an egg. To swirl or not to swirl the water (some argue this makes the whites spread)? Vinegar or not? Salt or not salt? Cling film to hold it together? I’m sure there is no one right way but I’ve tried them all and for me this method works the best.
What I can say though is the single MOST IMPORTANT step to getting perfect poached eggs (and one that I think there is almost unanimous consensus on) is to buy the very freshest eggs possible. If you can get a chicken to lay directly next to the pot you’re golden. Whenever I buy eggs I rummage through all the ones available – including going to the bottom of a stack – to find the latest use-by date. I honestly believe if you get super fresh eggs ever other step is almost superfluous so highly recommend making the effort (for the record I love Kangaroo Island and Green Eggs – true Free Range though for other states suggest you find a favourite close to you).
In regards to the other tips, here goes:
Vinegar – this helps the white coagulate so they’re less likely to spread. I use it as I don’t mind the very slight tang it gives and I figure unless I’m getting it straight from the chook’s bum this can only help.
Salt – while I’m not sold on the science I do not add salt – it apparently does the opposite off vinegar (sort off) by breaking down the proteins in the eggs and making the whites spread and go feathery. Either way I salt afterwards anyway so see no point in adding salt to the water.
Whirlpool – if you have fresh eggs and vinegar the whirlpool (or egg vortex) shouldn’t make the white spread. I like this method because it creates a ball where the yolk in in the centre totally surrounded by white. Some people prefer to lower egg gently into still water in a shallow pan. This also works but to me come out looking like a slightly pale and insipid fried egg with the yolk exposed.
Cling Film – some people create a little cling film pouch that they tie up and drop into the water. While this is supposedly the cheats version I actually find it more difficult than my method. The cling film is fiddly and you have to put quite a lot of oil on the film to make it work plus it’s time consuming. Not my cup of tea.
Water temperature – even the freshest eggs will take a beating from a rolling boil so make sure the water is just simmering when you add the eggs. Some bubbles are good as they keep the egg off the bottom but too many will make it come apart
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This looks the goods…. can’t think of a better start to the day than a delicious breaky that uses beautifully poached eggs. Love the use of the Shimeji rather than traditional mushrooms.
My favourite mushrooms at the moment. They’re darn delicious and getting easier to get it seems.
Tell you what would make this dish even more delicious? Bacon!
Great recipe and thanks for the egg tips, will certainly be trying those.
Haha, you sound like my husband (who would totally top this with bacon). But the flavour really packs a punch without it, I promise
I’ve always been scared of trying the water whirlpool to cook a poached egg, but I’m going to give this a go! Thanks for the helpful tips.
You’re welcome Amanda
great! simple and tasty
A fellow mushroom lover I see! Glad you like it
Yum o fantastic
I LOVE mushies, breakfast perfection at it’s best! yummy xox
Mushies – yes, a great bacon replacement
I like the look of this! I am going to give it a try this weekend!
And again… you made me hungry !! please bring us more of your recipes Sara !!
She is an amazing chef!
nice great snack
oh I love a perfectly poached egg and mushrooms are food of the gods …. can’t wait to have my mushroom cellar up and running … shame I cant eat bread, but a bed of water cress might make it work … thnx for the poaching tips
Helen, I’ve actually done this with a coconut bread I make! Still pretty good.
I can’t eat any bread … it is not a gluten thing although we live with that in the family too. It is a dough consistancy thing due to stomach and diaphram repair. my stomach cant handle doughs of any kind … I get to be creative as a result lol