One of the most frequently misunderstood culinary techniques is poaching. On the surface, it appears to be straightforward. It is, however, deceptively so.
When food is poached incorrectly, the result is often bland and homogeneous. However, if you do it well – even if you only have a basic understanding – the right flavors will be elegantly blended and supported by irresistible textures.
Let’s explore further how you can add the culinary technique of poaching to your extensive skillset.
What is Poaching?
Poaching is a moist heat cooking method that involves completely immersing food in a liquid and heating it at a low temperature. This method is popular for preparing delicate proteins including fish, poultry, and eggs, as well as various fruits and vegetables.
Poaching allows the proteins in the meal to break down without removing any of the moisture. As poaching employs a temperature that is even lower than simmering, it is critical to keep the heat low and the poaching period to a bare minimum to retain the food's taste and structure.
Advantages of Poaching
A definite advantage of poaching is the fact that it is a healthy alternative to frying. As the food is not cooked in oil, it is fairly good for you.
As well, the food you prepare with a poaching technique will end up being packed with moisture and tenderness. The low temperature that poaching consists of guarantees that you will not overcook your meal.
Without removing moisture from the meal, poaching can break down proteins. When done correctly, this enhances the inherent flavours of the dish while still preserving its structure. As a result, when it comes to overcooking, poaching is fairly popular.
Poaching food more evenly cooks it at a slower rate, resulting in smoother, more uniform textures.
Shallow Poaching Technique
Shallow poaching is a technique that entails buttering the inside of the pan and adding aromatics on occasion.
The food is only half immersed in the liquid of your choice that is placed into the pan. The liquid is then heated, but not to the point of boiling. Similar to stir-frying, the meal is then arranged on top of the featured aromatics.
If you are cooking tender and small servings, or sliced and cubed pieces of meat or fish, consider shallow poaching.
Submersion Poaching Technique
Submersion poaching is a technique that involves completely submerging the food in the chosen liquid.
Based on the pot you choose to use, you should be able to comfortably accommodate both the food, liquid, and chosen aromatics. You will want to make sure that there is enough room for the food to expand as it begins to cook.
A tight-fitting pot cover may also be beneficial to bring the liquid to room temperature as you are cooking.
Liquid vs Butter Poaching
Poaching normally refers to cooking meals in liquids such as water, stock, or wine, although any liquid, such as vinegar or fruit juice, can be used within reason.
While liquid poaching is the most popular method of cooking, butter poaching is a more refined option for cooking fish and shellfish.
Poaching can also be done with other fats, such as olive oil.
No matter the liquid you choose to use, make sure you add all of the ingredients to the saucepan while the liquid is cold, then gradually increase the heat without bringing it to a boil for an effective poaching method.
Start Your Culinary Journey with FIKA
If you are looking to expand your culinary knowledge or pick up a few easy tricks, you’ve come to the right place.
Here at FIKA Cookware, we believe that healthy cooking starts with healthy cookware. So we pride ourselves on bringing you multi-award-winning, eco-friendly, safe cookware that will make you excited to cook.
Test out your new profound frying techniques with FIKA cookware.