Daniel Patterson's Poached Omelet 1.000

Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post; tableware from Crate and Barrel

Apr 16, 2014

Daniel Patterson is chef-owner of Coi in San Francisco, and he describes this recipe as a personal challenge to cook eggs in a way he hadn't tried before. The result is an incredibly fluffy and light scrambled egg.

Be sure to strain off as much water from the cooked eggs as possible.


When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 1 servings

  • Salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • Several gratings of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese


Bring a 2-quart pot of water with a teaspoon or two of salt to a low boil over medium heat.

Crack both eggs into a strainer held over a cup. Carefully transfer just the yolks to a separate cup. Discard the small bits of egg white that seems stringy (the chalazae); let the remaining, clear egg whites go through the strainer, pushing them through if necessary. Reunite the yolks with the strained egg whites; stir until well blended (as if you were making scrambled eggs).

Give the water a swirl with a spoon to create enough current to keep the egg whites from sinking to the bottom and sticking there. Pour the eggs into the swirling water. After the mass has risen to the surface and is cooked, 20 to 30 seconds, hold back the eggs with a spoon and pour off as much water as possible, then quickly transfer the eggs into a strainer to get rid of any remaining water.

Serve in a bowl. Drizzle the oil over the egg, then sprinkle the cheese on top. Season with a small pinch of salt, if desired.

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Recipe Source

Adapted from "Egg: A Culinary Exploration of the World's Most Versatile Ingredient," by Michael Ruhlman (Little, Brown and Co., 2014).

Tested by Sarah Meyer Walsh.

E-mail questions to the Food Section.

E-mail questions to the Food Section at food@washpost.com.