The yellow bull’s-eye of sunny-side up fried eggs is one of nature’s gifts to food stylists—it makes a colorful and instantly-recognizable image. For eating, though, the trick is to get the whites cooked through—no jiggly uncooked whites for me, thank you! That’s why I prefer over-easy fried eggs; there’s no way the whites aren’t cooked.
It is possible to prepare a sunny-side up egg to perfection (tender cooked-through white and runny yolk). Here are five tips to get there:
- Squash your impatience; go zen. Sunny-side up eggs need slow cooking over low heat.
- Use medium heat to get the pan hot. If using cast-iron, heat it dry, then add olive oil and butter (for nonstick, heat the pan with the fat in it).
- Turn the heat low and crack the egg in. If it splutters noisily, cool the pan off the heat briefly. Cover the skillet and cook the egg slowly, about 2 minutes. No browning. Check it. If the white around the yolk looks loose, cook it, covered, another 30 to 60 seconds, but check often, because you don’t want the thin film of white covering the yolk to turn milky white.
- Some pros recommend basting the whites with fat from the pan to help cook them through. That’s fine, but tilting the pan to scoop up some hot fat makes the egg slide, too.
- To make landing the egg foolproof, hold the skillet over the plate (hopefully with a piece of toast waiting for it).