Bring a pot of water to a boil, then reduce to a simmer to reach poaching temperature, between 160–180°F (71–82°C).
Stir the water in a clockwise direction to create a whirlpool. Once the water slows down slightly, crack the egg into the center of the whirlpool. Let the egg cook until the white fully sets and the yolk is no longer runny, 3-5 minutes.
Remove the egg with a slotted spoon, pat dry on paper towels, sprinkle salt and pepper (optional).