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over easy

How to make the perfect fried egg rather than a brown crispy mess

Heat is the enemy of the egg.

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OH FRIED EGG. You fickle mistress.

So delicious, and yet so difficult to get right.

Never fear, we are here with a handy guide to getting the perfect fried egg every time. No burnt edges. No broken yoke. No straggly bubbly white making a bid for freedom. No sticking to the pan. No crispy mess. Perfect.


First of all, let’s get some of the lingo out of the way. If you’ve spent your life wondering what the blazes those Americans in the films have been on about when requesting their eggs ‘over easy’ or ‘sunny side up’ here’s a simple decoder:

Over easy

The egg is fried on both sides, but the yolk stays running. The egg is flipped as the edges of the white begin to set. You can also ask for eggs ‘over medium’ and ‘over hard’.

Sunny side up

The egg is cooked only on one side. The yolk is very runny and the white is just about cooked. Basting with oil or covering the pan can help the whites to reach perfection.

But what’s the best way to cook an egg? We consulted the experts:

fried Daisee Pics Photography Daisee Pics Photography

The oil

Delia Smith says bacon fat is the only way to cook an egg. This only really works if you’ve already got some rashers on the go though. Butter is always an option but Jamie Oliver plumps for olive oil everytime and swears by it.

The pan

What do you mean you don’t own a decent pan? We’re talking heavy bottomed, with a decent domed lid. Ask youmam for one for Christmas.

The heat

The higher the heat, the crispier and the bubblier the egg. What you’re looking to do is to heat the oil (enough so that it just covers the bottom of the pan) on a low heat for about two minutes.

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The cooking

Put the toast on first. Crack the egg and gently pour it onto the oil. If you break the yolk… just abandon the whole thing and go and lie down in a darkened room for a few hours to come to terms with it. It doesn’t matter if the egg doesn’t start sizzling and humming straight away. Heat is the enemy of a smooth delicious egg. Cover with the lid and leave to cook for about three minutes.

Season, and voila!

fried egg on toast analiem analiem

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