Poached Eggs Over Rice Recipe

An unassuming yet satisfying little rice bowl recipe - simply a reasonable serving of chard-flecked whole grain rice topped with a poached egg.

Poached Eggs Over Rice

Wayne and I traveled to Las Vegas for a couple days last week to attend his cousin's wedding. The trip was a decadent bookend to a champagne and sugar-dusted holiday season for me. So, here we are in the new year and I'm happy to be getting back to basics (and possibly even the treadmill). Today I'm going to share an unassuming little rice bowl recipe, something I throw together often for lunch. It's simply a reasonable serving of chard-flecked whole grain rice topped with a poached egg. Again, like we talked about last week it is one of those meals that fills you up without making you feel overly full, and I always feel great about an hour after I eat this.

For the rice bowl you see up above, I used a black Japonica rice. Other times I'l make it with Massa Organic's fantastic California-grown whole grain brown rice. I like the whole grain rices because they have their nutrients intact, unlike white rices. Whole grain rices tend to be more rustic, hearty, satisfying, and in my opinion more interesting to the eye than their refined counterparts.

I do similar bowls with wild rice (technically a grass), Bhutanese red rice, and the uber-petite and aromatic Kalijira brown rice. Each rice has its own shape, texture, flavor and personality, and it's fun to explore all the different varietals. For those of you who are particularly pinched for time, the pre-cooked organic brown rice sold in the freezer section at Whole Foods Markets allows you to throw this together in a flash.

I thought about finishing the rice bowl with a few drops of toasted sesame oil and a quick drizzle of shoyu, but decided it really didn't need it. Maybe next time.

Thanks for all your feedback last week on the lentil soup recipe. I'm so pleased that such a large number of you were interested and gave it a shot, and in large part liked it as much as I did. I've held off on sharing some of my more "everyday" type meals (and recipes), in part because there is often not much to them, and because sometimes they are a bit......er, random. I'll make an effort to put down the fork, pick up the camera, and share more on that front in particular. But expect a few misses along with the hits ;)...

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Poached Eggs Over Rice

You can use any type of wholegrain rice you like - just think non-white. There are many wonderful whole grain rice varietals out there to try - brown rice, red rice, wild rice - I used a black Japonica rice in the version pictured here. If I were sharing this with a friend or guests I might make the dressing a bit more elaborate (for example using the dressing from Otsu salad in Super Natural Cooking). As far as poaching the eggs is concerned, I've tried varying techniques over the years to achieve nicely poached eggs - recently abandoning the vinegar-water (as well as the whirlpool/ vortex technique) and instead opting for an approach more in line with the one highlighted in Michael Ruhlman's new book - utilizing a strainer to minimize flyaway whites.

1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 onion, chopped
2 pinches of salt
pinch of crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
3/4 cup organic extra-firm tofu (optional), 1/4 inch dice
1 small clove garlic, chopped
2 - 3 cups dark leafy green, deveined and finely chopped
2 - 3 cups pre-cooked whole grain rice (brown is fine)
4 good quality eggs

Fill a wide-mouthed saucepan with 3-4 inches of water and bring to a simmer.

Separately, warm the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in the onion, salt, and crusher red pepper flakes. Let the onions soften up a bit - a couple minutes. Stir in the tofu if you are using it - let that heat up and brown a tad. Now stir in the garlic and greens. Cook the greens for a couple minutes, until they collapse and soften up. Stir in the pre-cooked rice and saute until hot. Remove from heat, and set aside. Taste for seasoning as well.

Now back to the simmering water. You are going to use this to poach the eggs one at a time. Gently crack egg into a ramekin, carefully slip it into a mesh strainer over your sink - some of the whites will run through and strain off (if the mesh is too fine, you won't get the desired effect). This minimizes the fly-away whites you normally get. Now, carefully slide the egg back into the ramekin. Lower the ramekin down into the simmering water and let the egg slip out. Let it simmer there for a few minutes, past the point when the whites have become opaque. If you like a loose yolk, cook for less time. Remove the egg with a strainer or slotted spoon and either serve it atop some rice or set aside while you repeat the process with the remaining eggs.

Divide the rice between four bowls and serve each topped with one of the poached eggs.

Makes four servings.

If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it - tag it #101cookbooks on Instagram!
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Poached eggs over rice has been a recent favorite in our house. My absolute favorite rice is Black Japonica. It’s a bit hard to find, but so satisfying. Wehani is my second and that red Butahnese rice, probably third. I actually don’t know why anyone would rely on boring ol’ short grain brown rice, after tasting some of these others. Yum!


Such a fabulous variety of color in the dish. Great recipe if I can get the poaching right!


This looks like something my aunts used to make me in Thailand when I would visit…yum


Put a poached egg atop just about anything and I’ll eat it! This looks delish!


You have a great site! I think there’s nothing wrong with posting the simple everyday food! I think for so many that’s the hardest to come up with- quick healthy meals that offer some variety during the week. This reminds me a lot of Bi Bim Bop a bunch of sauteed/ marinated veggies on top of rice and topped with fried egg. YUM! I also liked the variation on the method of poaching eggs, I’ll have to try that.

Emma Nowell

Am not a grt cook,but with ua recipes am sure i’l b.


This was a comment meant for the precedent post, but I can’t seem to publish it, so I”m trying here… Hope youdon’t mind…
Many thanks for this great recipe. I made it last week, and it was really delicious. I love that kind of recipe: flavourful, healthy, so inspired (and cheap). This is my new base for green or puy lentils soups. And also the saffron yogurt topping inspired a great dip for a friends gathering over the WE!


That black rice is the best. When I eat it, I wonder what I was every thinking sticking to just white rice! And an egg on anything makes it better.


I do love a good rice bowl. And I love my eggs poached. Put them together and that’s one delicious meal.

one food guy

I’m not an egg person but this is great for my better half! He’s going to be thrilled, thanks as always for another great recipe!


This looks truly delicious and original. Great stuff.

Scott at Realepicurean

wow heidi, looks delicious! I’m not too great at poached eggs, but I’m gonna give this a shot:)


Hi Heidi,
I just finished a beautiful, quick, scrumptious lunch — very much in the spirit of the recent easy one-bowl balanced meals — that I made using two of your long-ago soup recipes as inspiration. Thought I’d share.
One miserably freezing Boston night, I was desperately missing California and wanted comfort in the form of a big hot bowl of spicy curried something. Both your Rajasthani Buttermilk Curry and Thai-Spiced Pumpkin Soup fit the bill. But, alas, I had no buttermilk or yogurt for the former, and not a drop of red curry paste for the latter. Solution: hybrid soup. The spicy mustard seed curry matched gorgeously with a pumpkin and coconut milk base.
Since thick, rich soups are a little overwhelming for me without some texture to them, I added freshly cooked quinoa, diced firm tofu, and fresh spinach toward the end. Tons of healthy protein (important for me since I don’t eat meat), flavor, fiber, and a good dose of greens. And a lovely pumpkin color, to boot. I made enough to last me a few days, and it keeps getting better each time I heat it up!
So I just want to thank you, not only for your wonderful recipes, but for giving me the confidence to experiment with different inspirations for healthy cooking. Having read most of your recipes and prepared many of them with terrific results, I can feel my intuition strengthening. Being spontaneous and taking risks is a whole lot more fun now that I’ve got the basics down. Who says cooking in college has to be bland and boring?
Thanks, and take care,

Katie Loncke

Hi Heidi!
Great site. I’ve been lurking here for a while;
I have to say, this recipe is inspiring and a great way to deal with leftover rice.
I am a gadget freak. Believe it or not, I actully have an egg poaching pan. My wife loves eggs benedict so much and I got tired of the whirlpool and vinegar methods.
Oh, and thanks for an excellent recipe!

Donald Orphanidys

Rice and poached egg is one of my breakfast staples. My mother is Japanese and I grew up in Japan. Many breakfasts consisted of steamed rice with a poached egg on top. Another breakfast regular was okayu. This was soft cooked rice with beaten egg mixed in at the last minute or with a raw egg buried in it, like Yoko described. A lunch fav is omuraisu which is fried rice, often flavored with katsup, with a thin omelete over the top. I still make all of these as an adult, especially when I’m homesick and need some comfort food. The only difference today is I use brown rice instead of polished rice. I know what I’m having for lunch today!


Hi Heidi! After a long time of just enjoying your recipes for the sound of them and the pretty photographs, this was so simple and unusual that I was inspired to cook. I was thrilled that my Whole Foods had Black Japonica in the bulk section — so cheap! And amazingly sweet but robust. I’m a convert. I made it with spinach instead of the chard, and it was homey and comforting. One of those dishes that has “heart”, you know? An instant favorite. Thank you so much, and please, continue with the plain and simple recipes. The more complicated ones are excellent too of course, but sometimes the essence of someone’s cooking is in their more basic things, and it’s so nice to have new, satisfying staples. Perfect for beginning a new year.

Amy F.

I love “everyday” meals! When I come home from work, I just want something healthy and fast. Speaking of eggs over carbs, I like overeasy eggs over pasta. You pop the yolks and add some garlic powder. It’s a lazy version of spaghetti carbonara.

Jessica "Su Good Sweets"

i agree with other commenters; i love these hearty one bowl meals heidi!
just a warning to gluten-free eaters: gochujang, the korean seasoning paste, would be a delicious addition to this adaptable recipe, but many commercial pastes sub in wheat flour for the traditionally used rice flour. just remember to check the ingredient label! 🙂
patty– i have that all the time! a typical fast korean meal. i have to disagree though, it is not unhealthy at all with the requisite array of banchan. heidi’s one bowl meal is certainly handy however.


Wow! Thanks for the egg-poaching tips. I’ve always just assumed it was practically impossible to really do and bought this tool that does it in the microwave. But I would much rather not do anything in the microwave.


Does the quality deteriorate if we cook and freeze our own rice? (just the rice)


Eggs and rice are a great combination! And I know you like to keep pre-cooked rice in your freezer, so I imagine it makes a very quick lunch. We do something similar with courgettes (zucchini) rather than chard, but stir the egg through & top with breadcrumbs & cheese. Known as “courgette crumble” to the family, and much welcomed.
Your recipe is definitely one to try! I wonder, would it be nice with wheat berries….

Mrs Redboots

One of my favorite student meals was a lot like this – brown rice, steamed broccoli, and a basted egg with melted cheese on top, all with a big dollop of sambal olek. I bet the bowl would be great with either melted cheese or sambal olek or both. this one’s a keeper for sure – i love the everyday meals on the site, because hey, i generally cook every day 🙂


I combined your two most recent creations Heidi, and had lentils (inspired by you, but not with all of the same ingredients) with a poached egg on top! This was after a particularly intense weight workout last night, and it took very little time to pull together. Plus, it has great protein, low carbs, and plenty of veggies!


great and tasty


Re poached eggs: I found a wonderful way to do them! Bed, Bath and Beyond have small cup-shaped silicon egg poachers (2 for $9.95) which are a god-send. Butter them lightly, break egg into cup, place in simmering water, cover and let cook till yolks are as you lik it. The silicone cups float and the eggs are perfectly shaped!!
I, like others, am pleased with your simple useful recipes for lunch. Please keep them coming!
I love your website and pictures!

Pat Kenney

this looks great! i wanted to share a tip for all you out there afraid of making a mess poaching eggs – i recently found a great way to do it with zero mess! crack your egg into a ramekin lined with cling-film (ceran wrap) and gather it up at the top to seal it. then drop it in boiling water as normal (no need to swirl) and in 3 minutes fish it out and peel off the cling! i always use this method now – it rocks! 😀


Tank you for the rice recipe, to my shame I only really use white rice, so this is very inspiring.
Could I share the way I poach eggs? I dont think there is a right or wrong way…
Success in this method relies on fresh-bought eggs that have not been put in the fridge yet.
Bring a medium-large saucepan of water to the boil and add a very generous splash of light vinegar (darker vinegar will leave you with a weird brown scum).
Turn the heat down so its only a gentle simmer, not a disturbing bubble. Have your egg and a metal slotted spoon at the ready.
Use the spoon to stir a whirlpool in the pan with lots of momentum, take the spoon out, crack the egg and with a swift and gentle movement empty its contents over the centre of the whirlpool dont drop it in from a great height!
The ‘vortex’ should keep spinning enough for the egg to take shape while setting. When it slows to a halt, make sure the water does not boil too hard, but you may want to turn the heat up and down bit to keep it only just off the boil.
The white will set quickly. Suggest you try it out for the timing of it, but its probably about 30 seconds.
Remove the egg gently with the metal slotted spoon and place on a plate to drain. You might have a few floaty bits in the pan that you might want to remove before the next egg, but I usually only remove the larger bits.
If the eggs are fresh you should have a fascinating ‘drop’ of white with a perfect runny golden centre with no raw whites, or ‘snot’ as I call it.
If the eggs you use aren’t so fresh, then the yolk will not want to be in the centre of the spinning and will separate and harden on its own.


I LOVE eggs and rice in many forms, and my favorite rice of late has been this gorgeous “black” rice. It’s texture and nutty flavor hold up phenomenally in dishes where you might never think to put rice. I use a mix of “black and brown” rice to make a hearty, vegetable laden rice salad with a dressing curried yogurt that’s just sooooo satisfying. I’m definitely going to try a variation of your eggs and rice soon and will be sure to post it. Thanks AGAIN for the inspiration Heidi!
And Julie in Baku: I’m a Bi Bim Bop junkie!

Asata, Life Chef

That rice looks so interesting.. I really want to give it a try. I’ve really only eaten varieties of white and brown rice.
thanks for sharing!


Thanks for letting me know my egg poaching language wasn’t quite as clear as it needed to be. I made a couple tweaks, and hopefully it is easier to understand now. -h


This makes me remember fondly the Filipino breakfasts I grew up with–eggs and rice were a staple!


Oh, that sounds so good– we have half a fridge of garden chard… perfect!

Emily/ Five Flowers

I have a similar dish up my sleeve that I make about every second when when a craving strikes. It’s my quick version of Korean Bi Bim Bop: I top brown rice with whatever veg I have in the fridge sauted and sprinkled with sesame oil and sesame seeds (such as shredded carrots, spinach, cucumbers and/or bean sprouts) topped with a sunny side up egg (less time than poaching – important when you have two toddlers) and a dollop of spicy kochujang paste. HEAVEN!

Julie in Baku

loving the simple recipes & also how the ingredients are somewhat similar to the lentil soup recipe–so now i can use up all my dark leafy greens with a few great recipes!


this looks just perfect — i love poached eggs. they sell black rice sushi at the place i go for lunch every day, but i’ve never seen it in stores! i’m going to have to look harder, because it’s sooooo good in the sushi!


What does straining the egg before poaching do?


One of my favorite Indian dishes is a spicy egg scramble with a lentil rice called kichiri. It is amazing. I can’t wait to try your egg over rice recipe – it looks great.


Please keep bringing us your everyday recipes. Your recipes inspire me, and the wisdom from the comments inspires me.


Looks like a lovely meal, I will try it soon. I made your lentil soup, and it is fantastic.
I don’t quite understand your instructions for poaching the egg though. What is the point of running the egg through the sieve? And am I running the eggs through the sieve and letting it run into the boiling water?
Thanks! I look forward to trying it out!


there are few things that can’t be improved by a poached egg on top..
looks absolutely wonderful

claudia at 'cook eat FRET'

I’m not sure I can poach an egg, outside of my grandma’s kitchen, that is, but I love everything I’ve tried from your site and, well, I try everything you post.


Eggs are certainly handy for a quick and satisfying meal. I’ve been experimenting with baked eggs recently. A good way of making breakfast/brunch for several people without panic.


This looks amazing! There is nothing in this world quite like a really fresh poached egg… I just discovered black Japonica as well, so I will have to try this.
Thank you!


Heidi, please DO give us your “random” everyday meals. . . . that’s what I come here for (especially your whole grain recipes, which I love). Sometimes their very simplicity makes me forget to turn to this type of meal, yet this is precisely the food I want to be eating most of the time. Your recipes, so beautifully photographed, are perfect reminders to eat healthfully on a daily basis. Thanks!


I adapted the Alton Brown recipe and bake mine (covered, of course) in my toaster oven. Much more efficient and eco-friendly than heating up the whole “big oven.”


This looks so good! Poached eggs and the delicious sauce they create are a favorite of mine lately, but I tend to think of the as just breakfast food. So thanks for this meal idea; it’s a much healthier alternate to the Spanish-style fried eggs I tend to turn to for lunch and dinner options.


I adapted the Alton Brown recipe and bake mine (covered, of course) in my toaster oven. Much more efficient and eco-friendly than heating up the whole “big oven.”


I agree… this is the way I usually cook at home, when I’m pressed for time with 2 kids hounding me for dinner and a paper to write. The simple recipes are usually the ones that turn into comfort food, that we can make off hand with what’s in the fridge or pantry. I’d love to see more of these!


I have never posted before, but I felt compelled to today. I can say with complete honesty that these delightful whole grain meal-in-a-bowls are the reason your site draws me in over and over. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve turned to your quinoa or rice salads. I try to make them these types of meals the bulk of my eating plan for the week, and your site is invaluable to me (as are the comments, which add even more variety!) Please keep them coming!
To Pavitra: I am very fond of Alton Brown’s Baked Brown Rice recipe. Comes out perfect for me every time.


This was my favorite breakfast as a kid. My Mom is Japanese. She would use leftover miso soup or veggies from a stir-fry the night before and combine them with cooked rice that had been simmered in broth to soften it. Toward the end of the simmering, she’d crack an egg into the rice and bury it, and then top with a bit of soy sauce or furikake. I would search for the egg like a little treasure in my rice bowl. When I found it, I’d break it and the runny yolk would flavor the whole bowl. Mmmm. She called it “Yarakai Gohan”, which literally translates to “soft rice”.


This sounds delicious! Everything I’ve tried from this site (and your cookbook), I’ve enjoyed immensely.
Just yesterday I was thinking of making something similar, minus the tofu, plus a light sorrel sauce on top (I love the combination of poached eggs and sorrel)
To Pavitra: Ever since reading one of Molly Katzen’s cookbooks (The Enchanted Broccoli Forest, I think?) I’ve been making brown rice her way: use 3 parts water and 2 parts rice. Bring water to a boil, add rice, cover with a tight fitting lid, reduce heat to low, simmer for 30 minutes (Do NOT disturb), remove from heat, let sit for 10 minutes. It makes perfectly fluffy brown rice every time (in only 40 minutes)!


Beautiful photo, Heidi!
Thanks for this everyday quick recipe. It’s great that I can get all the nutrients I need in a big bowl, besides, there are less dishes to wash, hehe…
To Pavitra: I cook my brown rice like this: Soak 1 cup brown rice for a couple hours. Rinse the rice in a colander, and add it to a large pot with 4 cups water. Season with salt and pepper. Simmer for about 30 minutes, until all the liquid is absorbed.
If you prefer, you can use vegetable stock instead of water. Good luck!


I agree! This looks yummy and just we need after the past few weeks. Please miss, may we have more?


To me, those random, daily recipes are the best finds. After all, that’s how most of us cook the majority of the time.


Heidi- Wow. This is the type of food I dearly love…….wonderful ingredients…..but not many ingredients……..and ease in completion of the recipe in a few minutes. I am a devotee, my dear.


This looks great! I really like the use of a whole-grain rice with chard, bean curd, and egg. In college, I ate a very unhealthy version – white rice with some soy sauce, sesame oil, a sprinkling of ground red pepper, and a fried egg on top (over easy) along with some dried seaweed and other side dishes.


Heidi, what is the best way to cook brown rice?


Wow, I came onto your site to find the lentil soup recipe that I’ve already made once and was going to make again for lunch today. Lo and behold I found another great lunch recipe that I’m making instead! Thank you, Heidi, I can’t wait to try this.


One of my favorite breakfasts when I lived in Japan was hot brown rice with a fresh raw egg cracked into it and mixed into it. The hot rice “cooked” the egg enough to make it good, but not enough to solidify it. Add a little shoyu and crumbled nori, and wow, it was delicious. Had it almost every day.
Yesterday my mom made fried rice with egg and chard which was also great. So, think you are on to something with this combination Heidi. 🙂


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