Are you in the over easy or sunny side up egg lovers club? I am. I love soaking up the yolk with heavily buttered toast. I think I could eat it every morning. If you don’t like runny eggs, then move along.
Achieving the perfect egg is not so easy. You can end up with a overcooked, non runny yolk, or runny yolks, but also runny white (yuck!), or a broken yolk (which is most tragic of all.) I have tried many ways to perfect the perfect Sunny Side Up Egg (it’s part of our website’s motto, so it’s kinda required.) I’ve attempted holding my breath, and flipping the egg, which often ends up in a broken yolk (and technically makes it an over-easy egg.) I’ve tried using lots of butter and basting the egg with the butter. This works, but it is way too much effort (and butter.)
This technique yields a perfectly cooked egg without any fuss.
The secret is combining frying and poaching. Using a super secret ingredient. The ice cube.
The first sneaky step to a pretty sunny side up egg is totally optional, but leaves you with nicer looking eggs. I always wondered why chefs and restaurants eggs were not all jaggedy but little perfect ovals. This is how.
Use a fine mesh strainer over a bowl and break one egg at a time in the strainer. Swirl it around gently.
You don’t want to use a strainer with large holes, because the entire white will strain through.
It is hard to see, but there is a more watery portion of the white that escapes through the strainer. That watery part of the egg white is what spreads out so much in your pan and makes jaggedy looking eggs. The thicker white holds together better. Newer eggs generally have less of the watery stuff. But not always.
Again, this is totally optional.
Next melt a small amount of butter in a non stick frying pan (about 1 teaspoon.)
Carefully pour the egg from the strainer to the pan.
Sprinkle a pinch of salt over the eggs.
Take 1 ice cube and place it in the pan, not on top of the egg.
Immediately cover the frying pan with a lid, it doesn’t even need to be well fitting. (All of this should be done on the heat, the lighting is problematic on my stove, so these pictures were not taken on the stove.)
Count to 30. Remove the lid. The white should be cooked and the yolk will still by runny. (If the white still looks a little translucent, then return the lid for another 10 seconds of steaming.)
Carefully remove the egg and serve.
You can do more than one egg at at time, if your pan is bigger. Use more butter, one ice cube per egg and work quickly. They might run into one another and be a little less gorgeous, but will taste the best.
You will probably want to quickly wipe out the pan between eggs if you are going to make a few in a row.
Thanks Emily for suggesting this technique, it has improved my life immeasurably. I hope it improves yours today.
Have a Sunny Side Up day!