Packed full of protein, eggs are an important part of a healthy diet. The humble egg is extremely versatile, so you can make endless amounts of dishes with them.

You can enjoy them for breakfast with an egg-white omelette with grilled tomato salad, or scrambled eggs with smoked salmon. Include them in a classic brown fried rice or make them part of the main meal with our Asian vegetable omelette.

Before you can do all that though, you need to know how to cook them! Follow the tips below to help you boil, poach and stir-fry eggs.

As a tip, it’s best to store your eggs in the fridge, rather than the cupboard. But that said, you’ll get better poached eggs if you allow the eggs to return to room temperature before cooking.

Soft-boiled eggs

Place the eggs in a saucepan of cold water. Bring the water to the boil then reduce the heat and simmer (which means a slow, gentle boil) for 3–5 minutes. Remove the eggs from the saucepan and serve.

Hard-boiled eggs

The cooking process is the same as soft-boiled eggs, but the eggs should be simmered for 8 minutes. When the eggs are cooked, remove them from the saucepan and cool them with cold water. This stops them overcooking and prevents blackness around the yolk.

Poached eggs

  1. Pour about 5cm of water into a small saucepan, add 1 teaspoon of vinegar and bring the water to the boil. Crack an egg into a teacup or saucer. Gently slip the egg into the saucepan. Reduce the heat to medium, and gently simmer for 2–3 minutes or until the egg white is firm.
  2. Once the egg is cooked, remove it from the pan with a slotted spoon; lightly press the outside edge of the egg white to check that it’s firm and cooked to your liking. Place the egg on paper towel to allow the water to drain. Slide it onto a serving plate and serve with toast and baby spinach leaves.

Stir-fried eggs

  1. Crack an egg into a small bowl. Add 1 tablespoon of water and lightly whisk (which means to stir quickly with a wire whisk or fork). Spray a non-stick wok or frying pan with olive oil and heat over medium heat. Pour the egg mixture into the wok and swirl to cover the pan.
  2. When the egg is almost set, break up the mixture with a wooden spoon and stir-fry until cooked. This is a great way to cook eggs for fried rice or quick stir-fries.

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