I'm not an egg snob, but I do strive for the perfect fried eggs every time I cook them. I emphasize the word "strive" as absolute perfection has been quite elusive for me.
Maybe you guys are experts but I'd say I'm more of a work in progress. For me the fun is in the journey not the results. Don't get me wrong, validation is important and rewarding but the hunt or pursuit is the thrill for me.
I like fried eggs cooked over easy, medium, and hard. It really depends on the occasion. For grounding purposes, I'll define the three as:
Over Easy: The egg is flipped and cooked for just a few seconds longer, enough to set the whites, but leaving a very runny yolk.
Over medium: Egg is flipped and cooked long enough to partly set the yolk in a way that nets a creamy yolk with the consistency of a partially boiled egg.
Over hard: The flipped egg is cooked long enough to fully set the yolk
My idea of perfect fried eggs includes crispy, not burned egg white edges, an uncracked and non-overcooked yolk, and a fairly neat shape. Nothing breaks my heart more than messing up the yolk.
Ain't no way to mend it other than starting over and getting it right. In my pursuits and practice, there are a few lessons/principles I've learned in making perfect fried eggs. Fried eggs are simple, but they ain't easy like Sunday morning! Consider these tips making your version of perfect fried eggs.
Perfect Fried Eggs Cooking Tips
- Crack your eggs against a flat surface instead of on the corner of your pan or skillet. This will minimize chance of you cracking the yolk as well as insure you don't get the dreaded egg shell shrapnel in your eggs.
- For neater shape, break eggs into a ramekin or small glass bowl first, rather than directly into the pan. Hold cup close to surface of pan and slip egg from cup into pan. The other benefit of this step is it provides for more even cooking and more control in terms of shaping the eggs. The egg tends to spread any which way when you crack it directly into the skillet.
- Next, throw at least a tablespoon of butter in there, rub it all around, and heat the pan on low. Once the butter is done with its dramatic foaming, it's time to add your egg.
- Heat matters, like a lot so choose wisely. Too high, and the bottom willcook really fast leaving the top like liquid resulting in tough chewy finished eggs. Go for nice and steady heat for more even cooking.
- Skillet matters too! Choose the right type - either nonstick or a cast iron skillet to eliminate any chance of sticking. If you have neither then be generous with the butter. Any size pan is fine for frying eggs. If you have the choice, use a pan that matches the number of eggs you're cooking: a small 8-inch skillet for a single egg, a larger 12-inch skillet if you're cooking brunch for a crowd a nonstick pan is going to be infinitely easier to work with.
- Skillet size also matters. The key is choosing a pan that will net less empty surface area (the more surface area the hotter the pan gets) so optimal size should depend on number of eggs you plan to cook. As a general rule choose an 8inch pan for two eggs and 5 inch for a single. I don't bother cooking more than 2 eggs at a time regardless of how many I'm cooking for.
- How long you cook your eggs depends on preference (over easy, medium, hard). The whites will set in a few minutes. I know many will cover the skillet to set the eggs and cook the yolk, but I'm a flipper.
- Top your fried eggs with your favorite salsa or sauce such as Zhug sauce which you can buy at Trader Joe's or make your own version using this homemade recipe. It's a delicious put on everything condiment that includes herbs, jalapenos, and olive oil.
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- 2 tsp butter
- 2-4 eggs
- Salt and pepper
- Zhug optional
- HEAT butter in nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until hot.
- BREAK eggs on flat surface in and pour into ramekin or small bowl. Add 1 egg at a time into pan and IMMEDIATELY reduce heat to low.
- COOK SLOWLY until whites are completely set and yolks begin to thicken but are not hard. SLIDE spatula under each egg and carefully FLIP it over in pan. COOK second side to desired doneness. SPRINKLE with salt and pepper. SERVE immediately.