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I embark upon today’s post in the full and certain knowledge that many of you already know how to fry a perfect egg (Note here, I am aiming for the perfect fried egg – sunny side up. No flipping involved.) If you are completely confident in your abilities, and never find yourself disappointed by a burnt egg white that’s too tough and tastes like chewing through a hairball, or tragically hard and chalky yolk, then pat yourself on the back and then move along – I can teach you nothing.
I myself didn’t realize until recently that there are so many articles & tutorials published on how to cook the perfect fried egg. Frying eggs was one of the first things I learned how to cook in the kitchen. It’s simple, easy & quick. I’ve never given it a thought what are the proper techniques for frying the perfect egg, I just did it. Over the years, I have developed my own preference for the perfect fried egg. I had to do some testing in the kitchen though in order to perfect my technique for frying a sunny side up egg and share it with you.
The great Fernand Point, who is considered to be the father of modern French cuisine, is said to have judged a chef, by the way, he fried eggs. Many culinary giants have shared their ways of frying eggs, some techniques are very different from each other, and some of them are unnecessarily complicated. In an attempt to simplify the process, I decided to share with you my way of cooking a perfect fried egg. It’s quick and easy enough to make a great breakfast in the morning, and guaranteed to hit the spot every time. So I’ll be sticking with this simple but effective method.
It seems that many people have different definitions of what the perfect fried egg is. Some like it with very crispy egg whites, others with crispy edges, some like runny yolks, others – set yolks. My perfect fried egg is perfectly set egg white (not crispy, but might have slightly crispy edges) and perfectly soft & runny egg yolk (not very runny but also not completely set). I have also included in the recipe below couple more ways how you can achieve crispy egg whites or set egg yolks if that’s what you like.
The technique for perfect fried egg:
- Cook on medium heat
- Cover with a lid
- Cook only for about 2 – 3 minutes depending on how you like the yolk.
How do you cook your perfect eggs, and what else do you serve them with apart from bacon?
What you need:
1 fresh egg, at room temperature
First, if you store your eggs in the fridge, then you should let them come to room temperature before cooking – if you start with a cold egg, then you’re more likely to end up overcooking the yolk trying to get the white to set. Very fresh eggs are best for frying.
Heat olive oil in a cast iron skillet (or non-stick skillet) over medium heat. When the oil is hot, carefully add egg to the skillet.
Immediately cover with a lid and let egg cook for 2 minutes. This helps speed up the process, which results in a perfectly cooked egg – a soft, but firm white, and a gorgeously soft & runny yolk.
Remove skillet from heat and serve immediately.
If you want crispy egg whites & runny egg yolk: Cook egg over high heat uncovered for about 1.5 – 2 minutes or until desired crispiness.
If you want slightly crispy egg whites & set egg yolk: Cook egg over medium-high heat covered for about 2.5 – 3 minutes or until desired crispiness.
Perfect Fried Egg
- 1 fresh egg, at room temperature
- 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- As ever, if you keep your eggs in the fridge, then you should let them come to room temperature before cooking – if you start with a cold egg, then you’re more likely to end up overcooking the yolk trying to get the white to set. Very fresh eggs are best for frying.
- Heat olive oil in a cast iron skillet (or non-stick skillet) over medium heat. When the oil is hot, carefully add an egg to the skillet.
- Immediately cover with a lid and let egg cook for 2 minutes. This helps speed up the process, which results in a perfectly cooked egg – a soft, but firm white, and a gorgeously soft & runny yolk.
- Remove skillet from heat and serve immediately.
- Use room temperature eggs. If your eggs are cold you can overcook the yolks.
- Use fresh eggs. Check if your eggs are fresh by placing them in a bowl of water. Fresh eggs will sink to the bottom but eggs passed their prime will sink.
- Use a mild flavored oil with a high smoking point. I like to use olive oil, but I would suspect that avocado and sunflower seed oil will both work well.
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