When you’re out for breakfast and order eggs, the waiter will ask you “how would you like them cooked?” Have you ever wondered just how many ways there are to cook an egg? While fried eggs alone can be prepared at least five different ways, preparing different styles of eggs isn’t too complicated.
There are four general ways to cook an egg; you can fry eggs, scramble eggs, boil eggs, or poach eggs. Since eggs are a great source of protein, why not take a chance and try cooking your eggs a different style than usual?
Sunny side up (aka dippy eggs) – crack the egg into your greased frying pan. Let the egg fry until the edges are browned, but do not flip. The yolk will be runny, and depending on how long you fry it, the white of the egg is completely or partially set. These fried eggs are called dipping eggs because of the runny yolk that is great for dipping toast into.
Over easy- crack the egg directly into your greased frying pan. Fry it until the edges brown, and then flip the egg. Fry just long enough to make a film on the top of the yolk. When served, the yolk and some of the whites will still be a little runny.
Over medium- crack the egg directly into your greased frying pan. This time you will fry, flip, and fried a little longer, enough to cook the whites done and brown the edges slightly. You’ll develop a thicker film on your yolk, but the inside is still runny. This is a good egg style for those who like dippy eggs with a solid white.
Over hard- crack the egg directly into your greased frying pan. Over hard is fried, flipped, and fried again until both the white and the yolk are completely cooked. Just tap the edge of your spatula into the yolk or poke it with a fork before turning it over. Be careful not to dribble the yolk when flipping.
Spanish fried: This has become a popular way to fry eggs. Crack your egg into a small bowl, then gently slide it into your pan of hot oil, and start scooping oil over the white and the yolk for about 1 minute. This fried egg result is: a runny yolk, creamy whites and crispy edges.
Hard: Crack the egg into a bowl and whisk the whites and yolks until mixed together. Pour the egg into your frying pan and keep moving the mixture around. Hard scrambled eggs are cooked all the through. This is the standard scrambled eggs at most restaurants; if you like your scrambled eggs well done and dry, this is your method.
Soft: Whip your eggs (with a little milk) in a separate bowl. Heat your pan no higher than medium, then grease it and pour in the eggs. Stay close with a spatula; turn and fold them repeatedly while they cook. Use the spatula to prevent them from spreading out and up the sides of the pan. If they spread too thin, they’ll over-cook before you know it. Continue to fold the eggs until they no longer look runny, but still look wet. Just add salt and pepper and these scrambled egg are ready to be eaten!
Gordon Ramsay style: (watch Gordon Ramsay make it here). Drop eggs into pan over medium-high heat, with one, thin pat of butter for each egg. Then start stirring with a spatula. Break the yolks, let them mix with the butter and whites. And keep stirring. If the pan gets too hot, lift it off the heat briefly. And keep stirring. Do this for about 4-5 minutes, until the eggs start coming together. Right before you take them off the heat, add a dash of milk or sour cream. Stir that in, then ladle the eggs onto toast and sprinkle with herbs (chive, dill, green onion) or salt and pepper. The result is some of the creamiest, softest eggs you’ve ever tasted.
Hard boiled: put eggs in pot, fill with cold water to cover eggs, bring to boil, let them boil 1 minute and then put the lid onto the pot and turn heat off. Set timer for 15 minutes and rinse well in cold water
Soft boiled: bring your water to a boil, gently lower in the eggs, set a timer for six minutes, then remove the eggs and drop them in an ice bath.
You can also buy one of those egg timers that you put in the pot with the eggs. The color of the timer changes when your boiled eggs are complete.
A poached egg is basically a boiled egg minus the shell. The white is cooked through, the yolk is warm and runny, and there are brown on the edges. There are two ways to poach an egg.
Heat your pot water just shy of a rolling point and add a dash of vinegar (as in tablespoon, not a half cup). Crack the egg into a tiny bowl. Swirl the water in your pan to create a whirlpool, then carefully slide the egg into the center. The swirling pulls whites altogether in the center. Leave it in the water for about five minutes, then lift out with a slotted spoon.
Again, heat pot water and add vinegar. Crack the egg into a mesh strainer to let the most watery portion of the whites drip out (to prevent danglers). Carefully decant the egg from the strainer into the water. Cook for about five minutes. Retrieve with slotted spoon.
As a bonus- Bottoms up:
The thought of drinking a raw egg (or two or six) might leave you feeling a bit queasy; however there are benefits. If you wish to try this method of consuming eggs, please be cautious of the salmonella risk. The best egg for raw consumption is a ‘pastured egg’. This means the chickens were not injected with hormones or antibiotics, they were not crammed together in a hen house never to see the light of day, they were not tortured by having their beaks removed, and they were free to roam a pasture. By nature, chickens are not strictly vegetarians; in the wild their diets include grubs and insects.
A study from Mother Earth News showed that pastured eggs are significantly more nutrient dense than conventional supermarket eggs. The pastured eggs boasted: 5 times more vitamin D, 2/3 more vitamin A, 2 times more omega-3 fatty acids, 3 times more vitamin E, 7 times more beta carotene.