Find sunnyside-up eggs a bit too runny, but hate an over-cooked egg yolk? Well, meet your new best friend, the over-easy egg. Both are fried eggs. The difference between the two is that you flip the egg over with over-easy eggs and give that yolk a little bit of extra cooking.
But there’s a delicate dance that comes with having that perfectly runny yolk that somehow manages to stay in-tact. Before we get to the details, I want to cover a couple of questions I frequently get about over-easy eggs first.
Can you eat over-easy eggs while pregnant?
Over-easy eggs, by nature, have undercooked yolks. Because of this, the FDA recommends pregnant women steer clear of them. Over-hard eggs (we’ll talk about those in a bit) are a safer and better choice.
Can you cook an egg in the microwave?
You can cook an egg in the microwave! If you are looking for a shortcut, this isn’t a terrible way to go. Simply spritz a bit of oil onto a plate or into a bowl and add an egg or two. Don’t forget to sprinkle the top with a bit of salt! Depending on the desired level of doneness, you can have a finished egg between 30-60 seconds. (Note: NEVER cook a shelled egg in the microwave, it can explode!)
While this one-and-done approach is suited for college dorms and hectic mornings, it lacks the flavor of pan-fried eggs. This takes us to the question that brought you here in the first place.
How do you make the perfect over-easy eggs?
First thing’s first. Your over-easy journey begins not in front of the stove but at the grocery store.
The very first step to perfect over-easy eggs is to know your grades.
You’ve probably seen it on the side of your egg carton and never wondered that much what it means: AA, A, and B. No, they aren’t grading the eggs based on how well they do at arithmetic. The AA means that those eggs are the luxury car of eggs. AA eggs have clean, unbroken shells, perfectly round yolks, and luscious whites. Why does this matter when cooking your over-easy eggs? Well, because of those pesky concerns about breaking the yolk, as well as the visual appeal, it’s best to spring for those AAs and skip the B-grade eggs.
Over-easy eggs are best made from a room-temperature egg.
It doesn’t matter if you are making poached eggs, sunnyside-up eggs, or scrambled eggs. If you’ve been storing your eggs in the fridge, it’s best to let them come to room temperature before you start cooking. This is particularly true with over-easy eggs, though. Cold eggs are more likely to get overcooked and suffer from that dreaded hard-yolk fate. But food safety is a consideration here, so check out this guide on how to bring your eggs safely to room temperature by Bon Appetit magazine.
Go easy when you get to cracking those eggs.
If you have been cracking your eggs straight into the frying pan, consider this a public service announcement. You should always crack your egg into a small dish or cup and THEN pour it into your frying pan. This allows you to correctly place your egg and better control the way it cooks (ideally, more evenly).
Use the right pan.
Over-easy eggs are infamous for being fabulously sticky. You want to get that coveted brown edge on your egg without the risk of ruining it once you take the eggs out. Choose a pan that is non-stick, has good conductivity, and will generate heat as evenly as possible.
What is the perfect over-easy temperature?
This is a tricky question. As these world-famous chefs throwdown on perfect fried eggs can attest to, opinions vary wildly. The truth is, there isn’t a perfect temperature for over-easy eggs. The answer lies in how attentive you are to the egg while it’s cooking, as well as how fussy you are about the details. If you are busy cooking other things at the same time, a low-temperature is probably best. If you are committed to moving the egg around and monitoring it, varying temperatures can produce over-easy eggs with crispy edges, frilly edges, and even caramelized edges. The choice is yours.
Butter makes great over-easy eggs.
While other oils work for over-easy eggs, there’s a reason butter is the traditional choice. A tablespoon or two will do just fine to make two eggs. Just use a spatula to melt it around the entire pan. When it starts to get a bit foamy, your eggs are ready to be placed. Don’t forget to add a dash of salt!
Do the over-easy wiggle-and-wait dance.
The challenge with over-easy eggs often comes when it’s time to flip the egg. How do you know when it’s the right time? Here’s a tip: give the pan a little wiggle. If the egg whites and yolk are starting to firm up, that’s a good sign it’s time to flip your egg. And when it’s time, you’ll definitely need to…
Use the right spatula.
For the perfectly flipped egg, you’ll need the perfect spatula. Use a nice, wide one that can pick up the entire egg.
Cooked your yolk a little too long? Don’t sweat it too much.
If your yolk got a bit overcooked, don’t worry. Some people even prefer their eggs this style. Just call it the over-easy egg’s older sibling, the “over-medium egg.” Has your yolk turned completely solid? Over-hard eggs are the fried egg equivalent to a hard-boiled egg. If you are worried about eating runny yoke, just follow all of the over-easy egg instructions we’ve laid out here. Once you flip your egg, leave it to cook until the yolk is completely hard.
Consider other seasonings.
While salt is a tried-and-true seasoning, you can get creative with seasoning your over-easy eggs. Chopped chives are a great choice, or how about Chinese five-spice? A dash of curry powder, dill, or thyme can elevate this most simple of egg dishes. And for true elegance, try a bit of truffle. One note here, though…
Add any of these other seasonings at the end.
Seasonings do best with just about any dish, not just eggs, if you add them towards the end. This helps their flavor not get compromised by the heat.
The Perfect Over-Easy Eggs
By now you should have a set of perfectly cooked, over-easy eggs. There are so many ways you can use them! From sandwiches to potatoes, bagels to baked avocados, pairing your perfectly cooked over-easy egg is half the fun. Get creative with it.
But if you find the egg is so perfectly done it stands on its own, I won’t blame you. With the tips above, the odds are your over-easy egg just might be the star of its own show.
Now that you’ve perfected your culinary skills in the egg department, you might be craving more. At The Austin Artisan, we love hosting private parties that include setup, clean-up, and a personal chef right in your own kitchen. We love cooking special dishes up and sharing a bit of culinary wisdom at the same time! If you’re looking for something unique to do for your next birthday, bachelorette, or anniversary shin-dig, contact us at (512) 436-2401.
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