My guide to cooking the perfect, healthy, fried egg – a properly cooked white and lovely runny yolk, without drowning it in oil.
I was in two minds whether to write this post. I mean, how difficult is it to fry an egg – heat some oil in a pan, crack an egg into it and fry until cooked – simple.
So why write it?
Quite simply, because it was the first thing I remember learning to cook (I did win first prize for my rock cakes at our village show when I was about seven, but I can’t remember how to make those now so I decided that they don’t count – my mum probably gave me quite a bit of help too).
I know with a lot of food bloggers their passion for cooking started when they were little, cooking at home with family. But I honestly can’t remember learning to cook anything before I was about twenty. Don’t get me wrong, I definitely remember cooking at home with my mum, but I just don’t think anything sank in. I suspect I’ve just got a terrible memory for recipes. One of the reasons I started this blog was to write down any recipes I’ve come up with myself, otherwise I forget them and end up missing out key ingredients when I try and cook them again.
When I was about twenty, I remember a friend, who worked as a chef at the time, explaining to me the secret of cooking a good fried egg – using a lid to circulate heat around the egg. This helps the top of the white to cook without overcooking the bottom of the white or the yolk. It was the first “recipe” that stuck in my brain (I say “recipe” it was more of a tip) so here it is…
The Healthy Fried Egg
- 1 Egg
- 1 squirt of olive oil spray
- Frying pan with glass lid - any saucepan lid roughly the same size as the pan will do, but glass is best so you can see when the egg is cooked
- Kitchen paper
- Heat the oil in the frying pan, once hot, use the kitchen paper to spread a thin layer of oil over the base of the pan
- Carefully crack the egg into the pan and cover with the lid - Usually when you fry an egg the oil can be splahed up to help cook the top of the egg white. When using a minimal amount of oil this isn't possible. This means that the white takes a long time to cook all the way through. By the time the white is cooked, the yolk is no longer lovely and runny and the white can be a little overcooked and rubbery on the bottom. Coving the pan with a lid circulates heat all around the egg helping the top of the white to cook more quickly.
- Leave the egg to cook for a couple of minutes, until the white is just cooked - The glass lid will allow you to keep a close eye on the egg while it cooks so you know exactly when to take it off the heat
- Remove from the pan immediately and serve, seasoned with a little salt - if you leave the egg sitting in the hot pan it'll over cook, even if the heat is turned off.