The Great Australian Cookbook

Learn how to poach an egg and make the perfect breakfast with acclaimed Three Blue Ducks chef, Darren Robertson.


  • A handful of herbs and flowers from the garden such as fennel fronds, parsley, basil, nasturtiums, chamomile flowers, baby sorrel, chives

  • Juice of 1 lime

  • 1 tbsp good quality olive oil

  • Salt and pepper

  • 4 free-range eggs

  • 1 sourdough bread roll, torn in half

  • 1 clove garlic, halved

  • 1 large, ripe avocado

  • 1 tbsp fermented cabbage and fennel

  • 1 cornichon or gherkin, chopped

  • Fermented white cabbage and fennel, aka kraut

  • 1 small white cabbage, such as savoy

  • 1 head fennel

  • 2 tbsp salt

  • 4 tsp of your favourite spices, toasted (fennel, coriander, cumin or mustard seeds work a treat)?

  • 2 x 900 ml jars, sterilised


  • 1.

    The kraut recipe will make a couple of jars, which is of course more than you’re going to need for the poached eggs on toast. But if you’re going to make your own kraut from scratch, it’s well worth making a decent amount!

  • 2.

    Remove the outer leaves from the cabbage, then core and shred. Core the fennel and slice it finely. Place the cabbage and fennel in a large bowl, then add the salt. Mix vigorously for 2 minutes and then set aside for 10 minutes to allow the water to leach out.

  • 3.

    Add the toasted spices, and give it another good mix. Taste the liquid. If it’s super-salty, add a little water. If it’s too bland, add a little more salt. Halve the mixture into each of the sterilised jars, ensuring there is enough liquid to cover the vegetables. Screw on the lid (not too tightly) and place the jars in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight, to ferment. Every 24 hours, gently loosen the lid to allow the gases to escape.

  • 4.

    Taste the kraut regularly, and once it’s reached your preferred level of ferment-y goodness (anywhere from two days to a week), store it in the fridge until needed.

  • 5.

    In a bowl, dress the leaves and flowers with a little lime juice, olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

  • 6.

    To serve, heat a saucepan full of water to a low simmer. Add a little lime juice and gently crack the eggs in, one at a time. Poach the eggs for about 2 minutes, or until soft-poached.

  • 7.

    Heat a barbecue or chargrill and place on the bread, torn side down, until toasted. Place the toast on your favourite plate, rub it with the cut side of the garlic and set aside.

  • 8.

    Peel the avocado, remove the seed and slice the flesh. Season with salt and pepper and place on the toast.

  • 9.

    Top with some of the fermented vegetables, then two poached eggs, the chopped cornichons and a small pile of dressed herbs and flowers.

  • 10.

    Drizzle a little extra lime juice and olive oil on top, and a little pinch of salt and pepper.

Nutritional information

Nutritional analysis per serving (2 servings)

  • Energy 545kj
  • Fat Total 36g
  • Saturated Fat 7g
  • Protein 20g
  • Carbohydrate 43g
  • Sugar 9g
  • Sodium 995mg

Note: The information shown is Edamam's estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist's advice.

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Darren's top tips for poaching eggs:

  1. Ensure your eggs are fresh. Eggs bought at the supermarket aren't often the most fresh, and while they're fine to eat, they are often difficult to poach. To check, pop your uncracked egg in a bowl of water and, if it floats, it's not fresh!
  2. Add some acid to your water in the form of vinegar, lemon or lime juice. It helps set the egg.
  3. If only cooking a couple of eggs at a time, use a deep, wide-bottom pan (as seen in Darren's video, above) and set the water to a "tremble", instead of boiling.

For more great recipes like this, get your copy of The Great Australian Cookbook here.

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