Ahh, the fried egg. A timeless classic with so many beautiful variations.
A fried egg is one of life's simple delights, which can be customize to suit personal preference or mood. Sunny side up, over easy, well done. We love them all for different reasons and different applications.
One thing we won’t compromise on is using olive oil for frying. You might be thinking “What, no butter?” But once you’ve tried frying eggs in olive oil you might never be satisfied with any other fat. Not only does this method impart the beautiful earthy flavors and health benefits of olive oil but it will also help you achieve those crispy golden lace-like edges that egg dreams are made of.
Before we get started, there are 4 hot tips that we would love to share with you, to help you achieve your dreamy egg.
Pay attention to the eggs you’re buying! This is such an important step and something that is sadly often overlooked. When possible always opt for eggs from a local farm. Without doubt they will give you a rich, deeply colored yolk that just can’t be beat. The farmers market isn’t always accessible so if that isn’t an option don’t fret. You can get great eggs at the supermarket. Be mindful of packaging and opt for eggs that are certified humane and free range, organic rather than the cheaper options that come in Styrofoam containers.
Use the right olive oil – you must use a good quality extra virgin olive oil if you don’t want your kitchen smoking. What gives oil a higher smoking point is its polyphenol content, so choose a high-phenolic olive oil. This will also improve the flavor of your egg!
Choose the right pan. Nonstick is the way to go when frying an egg. If you don’t have nonstick, add a little extra olive oil to the pan when cooking and you should be fine. Though cast iron is great for many recipes, it’s not the best here so try to avoid if possible. You definitely want to give your egg some room to breathe, especially if you’re cooking more than one at a time. An 8” skillet is the perfect size for cooking one egg. For more than one use a bigger skillet.
Heat. Possibly the most important when it comes to achieving your desired egg. If the pan is too hot, the bottom and yolk will cook too quickly but will leave you with slimy egg whites on top. No one wants that. Aim for a nice medium heat and give your skillet a minute or two to heat up before adding the oil. You want some nice bubbling action as soon as the egg hits the skillet.
The Perfect Fried Egg
As many as you would like!
1 or more eggs
Approximately 2 tablespoons olive oil
A pinch of salt and pepper
Heat non-stick skillet over medium heat. Allow the skillet to heat up for a minute or two and then add oil to the pan. You’ll want enough oil to create an even layer in the bottom of the skillet. This will prevent sticking and also help you achieve those beautiful crunchy edges.
When the oil is hot and shimmering, add the egg to the pan and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Allow to cook for a minute or two, until the whites have begun to puff and set and you see those edges starting to form. Tilt and swirl the pan to ensure the olive oil is getting into all of the crevices. If you’re not afraid of a little splattering you can very carefully baste the whites of the egg with the olive oil that’s pooling in the pan. This will help you avoid those lingering raw whites but try to avoid the yolk.
Here’s where your personal preference comes in to play...
If you want sunnyside up with a very runny yolk, you’re looking at around 2 minutes total cook time. Remove the egg gently with a spatula and enjoy!
If you’d like the top of your egg cooked as well, you’ve got two options. Either cover the pan and allow to cook for an additional minute or two - allowing the steam to cook the egg
OR flip the egg and allow to cook for a minute or less on the other side which will result in a classic over easy egg. To take it to over medium or over hard, continue cooking just slightly longer and use a finger to gently poke the yolk area to assess how jiggly it still is.
Other tips for success:
- Try cracking the egg into a small bowl or measuring cup before pouring into the skillet. This can help prevent damaged yolks and little pieces of eggshell from falling into the skillet.
- If you have one, try using a fish spatula for flipping (if you choose to do so) and removing the egg from the pan. Fish spatulas are thin and flexible and less likely to break the delicate yolk than a traditional spatula.