“Cooking Fried Eggs“
It never ceases to amaze me when we go to a restaurant and order eggs how many people don’t know what is what. The questions that arise go something like this . . . “What is the difference between over easy and sunny side up? What is over hard?” And so on and so on. . .
So here is a pictorial tour of what is what. That way, when you order your eggs, you know what you’re getting.
Cooking Fried Eggs-Whole Eggs
A very important part of cooking eggs is first not breaking the yolk. If you crack the egg just above the pan so that it falls only a short distance, you will risk less chance of breaking the yolk.
Now, you are cooking fried eggs, you will get various degrees of doneness. For example, the above picture is “sunnyside up.” This is done by cooking fried eggs in the pan without flipping. This would be similar to a “rare” steak, its the least done of the egg cooking.
After sunnyside up you will be cooking fried eggs over easy, over medium and over well. All three of these will look very similar because they will all be flipped over (hence the preface “over” to each) before being served, but be different in the following ways. Cooking fried eggs over easy will have the egg yolk and the closest surrounding white uncooked and still in liquid form. Cooking fried eggs over medium (my personal favorite) will have the egg yolk in liquid form, but the white will be completely cooked. Cooking fried eggs over well will have almost the entire white and yolk completely done.
You also have the designation of over hard, that completely cooks the egg. For this one, you can just break the yolk (or just keep going if you initially broke the yolk) and cook the egg white and yolk until there is no longer any liquid texture.
Now, here is everybody’s favorite, scrambled eggs.
Cooking Fried Eggs-Scrambled
You will notice that I crack them into a bowl first and then whisk, this serves two purposes. First, if I cracked the egg into the bowl and a few stray pieces of shell just happen to come with it, no big deal, I just take them out. Second, if the eggs are all in the bowl, it makes them a whole lot easier to whip into a nice even consistency before I pour them into a hot pan.
Now, you could just pour the eggs into the pan after they are whipped but I like to add a little bit of cream or milk to the mix, I found that it helps them come out fluffier.
Now that we have mixed our eggs we pour them into a nice hot pan and move them around frequently to make sure that they cook evenly. Cooking fried eggs requires constant attention, so don’t walk away.
Now the big question when cooking fried eggs, when are they done? Well the answer to that question is another question, how do you like them? When cooking fried eggs and scrambling them is alot like cooking whole eggs, there are different degrees of doneness. So if you go to a nice diner and order up some scrambled eggs, they may ask you how you want them cooked, soft, medium or hard? The difference in these is very minimal, just know that soft is less dense than medium or hard. Most places don’t even ask anymore, once you say you want scrambled eggs the server will usually just put in “scrambled medium” on the ticket that gets sent back to the cooks. Its a nice middle ground and chances are you aren’t going to be able to tell a difference or even care for that matter. But just for the record, I like mine scrambled-medium.
Want to see the science behind cooking fried eggs? http://www.exploratorium.edu/cooking/eggs/index.html