During a recent session of mid-afternoon boozing, a friend of mine sheepishly admitted that she really wished she knew how to make sunny-side-up eggs that “look like the ones you get in restaurants.” Did she need special tools? What was the secret? Can you even make them at home? I was really happy she (got drunk and) asked! It’s so easy to forget after doing something about a million times that there are people who have never had to learn some technique or another, but really want to find out those “secrets.” Plus, a lot of the time, people don’t ask me cooking questions because they don’t want to sound foolish. That sucks! I love teaching people how to do new stuff. Watching people as they discover how to do something new and exciting themselves is the best part of what I do.
Back to the question!
Yes! You can make nice sunny-side-up eggs at home! Nope! No special equipment is necessary. If you want special equipment, you can invest in a tiny egg-sized non-stick pan, a cookie cutter, or even a salamander, which is that big, expensive piece of equipment that professional kitchens use to quickly broil dishes or melt cheese or toast various things and finish dishes or warm them up. Totally not necessary, though!
Until you’re comfortable with this process, I recommend cooking the sunny-side-up eggs over low heat. It’s simple and easy to control. It’s foolproof, really! It also gives you this big window of time where you can get distracted, chase down a kid or a dog, forget that you wanted toast and throw that it, toss a load of laundry in the machine, or take care of whatever quick emergency pops up. Because that’s the sort of situation most of my friends are currently finding themselves in, that’s how I’m going to write these instructions. As you get more comfortable, feel free to raise the heat a bit and take this from a 15 minute process to a five minute simple breakfast! Just don’t go higher than medium. You don’t want fried eggs with a bunch of brown on the bottom. All you’re going to do over higher heat is burn the egg on the bottom and leave the top raw. Plus, I’m a huge believer that taking your time with food will almost always make your food taste better.
So, here you go!
Super Simple and Ridiculously Nice Sunny-Side-Up Eggs
- 1-2 eggs (better eggs=better results. Always.)
- 1 tsp oil (I love coconut, but any neutral oil, or even olive oil is great. You'll be using low heat, so smoking point is not an issue. Flavor is! Pick one you like.) OR: 1 tsp butter, bacon fat, or duck fat. Seriously yummy!
- Equipment: non-stick pan. Smaller is generally preferable, but don't stress.
- Optional equipment: cookie cutter
- Heat the pan over low heat. The lowest setting.
- Add the oil and allow it to get warm. For real. Wait until your oil is warm. It will help to ensure that your egg doesn't stick.
- Crack the egg(s) and gently add to the pan. (Cracking the eggs against a flat surface rather than the edge of your pan will make it less likely that you break the yolk.)
- Keep the pan on low and just leave the egg(s) alone. Really.
- Over a very low heat, this will probably take anywhere from 8-12 minutes, depending on your stovetop.
- Check the egg. You're looking for the white to not be runny, but the yolk to still be bright and soft.
- Trouble spots? Take a little of the warm oil and spoon it over any places where the white still looks runny. (Want a solid yolk? Spoon the warm oil over the yolk until you have it the way you want it. Just don't do that at the beginning or you'll get that white film over the yolk.)
- Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- That's it!
- (Pro tip: don't like your edges? Use a cookie cutter to cut the egg out of the white to whatever size/shape you want!)
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