The start of a new year is a great time to check basic cooking techniques – even those as basic as frying an egg. I eat eggs quite often, and my favorite method, until recently, was scrambling. While I’ll always love scrambled eggs and think I’ve mastered that cooking method, I’ve found them less conducive to constructing a meal.
But fried eggs are another story. You can put a fried egg on almost anything – even just a piece of toast – and find yourself with a pretty satisfying meal. I mean, if Buzzfeed says so, it must be true, right?
The problem was that my fried eggs were inconsistent, and that’s exactly why I avoided making them. Sometimes they were overcooked and nearly burnt, while other times, I’d find them partly raw. And I’m not sure what the issue was because after consulting several cookbooks, it turns out that everyone has their favorite method for achieving the “perfect” fried egg.
It turns out that you can make a decent fried egg either with butter or oil. High heat or low. Preheating the pan or using a cool pan. Yikes. Too many options!
Luckily, after several successful repetitions, I found a method that works for me in Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution. I’ve also found this technique referred to as the Spanish method for frying an egg. It’s a gentle cooking method done in oil that results in a soft, silky egg that I’ll be so bold as to say is perfect. If you’ve found yourself disappointed with how your fried eggs turn out, I say give this a try.
Start by heating your frying pan to medium heat and giving it a good coating of olive oil. We want eggs to sit in the oil but not swim. Let the pan heat for a couple of minutes. Of course, farm-fresh eggs are always going to give the best result.
Crack your eggs into the pan. As the oil heats, your eggs will slowly start to cook. You don’t want to oil to be popping, so if this happens quickly, lower the heat.
When mostly white, spoon some of the oil over the top to help the egg cook evenly.
I’ve found that the time for the perfect fried egg is about 5 minutes. Maybe this will be less for you, or maybe more – it all depends on how you like your eggs.
Once you have found your perfect fried egg – and this method may not be for you – consider how you could use it to create a meal or make a boring dish to the next level.
On toast is just fine.
Or how about on a bed of greens?
Leftover cooked veggies?
But no one will blame you if you eat it all alone.
And don’t get caught up in the egg controversy. Most experts agree these days that eggs are your friend.