For people who care about their food

How to fry an egg

A fried egg sunny side upIt’s easy.  Put the egg in a medium-hot frying pan and fry it in butter or oil.  Yep, that’s all you have to do.  It’s usually easier to crack the egg into a small bowl or dish first before putting it in the pan.

It’s amazing how much some people have to say about the simple process of frying an egg. Mrs Smith has a whole page on the subject. And there’s an eight-step process outlined on wikiHow.

Next in this series of articles we can look at how to make a cup of tea and toast some bread to go with your fried eggs.

Please comment!

17 Responses to “How to fry an egg”

  1. Ted

    8 step process? What a palaver. And if thats what the eggs look like at the end of it then Ill stick to boiled lol.

    As for the Delia article. Why does kitchen paper link to Irish stew and Lancashire hotpot? Maybe its an essential ingredient for Mrs Smiths recipes lol x2!

  2. Not Delia

    Hi Ted

    I must admit that I didn’t much like the look of the egg in the wikiHow picture either. I also confess that the egg pic in my own article is a stock photo rather than one I cooked myself. It just seemed like too much faff to take photos of a fried egg.

    ND

  3. Dawn Patrol

    Delia I fry my eggs in bacon fat (drippings). Love the favor and enjoy the tiny bits of bacon that find their way into the eggs. Top the egg with a dash of hot sauce, just to kick to kick it up. Great way to start any day.

  4. Not Delia

    Hi DP, oh yes, bacon fat is just great for frying things. When I’m stir frying squid, for example, I always like to have some bacon or bacon fat in the pan.

    There’s an awful lot of people these days who grill everything. To hell with that! A good fry up is much better. I love fried bread, mmmm, dipped in bacon fat.

    PS, I’m NOT Delia. 🙂

  5. Zentner

    I would say if you fry several eggs – I usually have three 🙂 – it is wise to crack each one into a bowl to check if it is not spoiled. It sometime provides an unpleasant experience to discover it after putting the last one in the pan. And notice, no word about that at Mrs Smith’s 🙂 But I usually prefer omelette. When is the article due? 🙂

  6. Not Delia

    Hi Zentner, I guess I will get around to doing something on omelettes soon, but I tend to intersperse the basics with other things like restaurant reviews and some snacks and cooking ideas.

    I’ve still got some unused content from Malta and I’m off to Singapore next month. Gotta play catch-up before I go on a new trip!

  7. Matt

    Ha ha, it surprises my how people are mysitfied when it comes to cooking eggs! Mention the work poaching and people get reeeaally scared 🙂

    When I fry an egg I like to get the oil really hot – you then get nice little bubbles around the edge of the egg and the odd little crispy bit.

    I love cooking eggs!

  8. Not Delia

    Hi Matt

    Cringe, I have to admit that I’m still trying to figure out how to make the perfect poached egg. I’ve read all about the different ways, I’ve practised, I’ve tried! But it still eludes me.

    I did notice you had poached eggs on your blog not so long ago. Perhaps I should go and follow the instructions there.

    Wish me luck!

  9. Mr Not Delia

    Ah yes, the wisdom of b3ta’s Ginger Führer. 😀

    ND did try the clingfilm method he recommends once, but it wasn’t a great success. She’s had better luck with Hugh Fearlessly-Eatsitall’s vortex.

  10. Not Delia

    But I still can’t make a really good poached egg! Waaaah! Why is that? Someone is going to have to show me a hands-on method. I mean literally, I’ll have to stand side by side in a kitchen with someone and copy their every move. I know enough good chefs so I’ll have to ask one of them. What an embarrassment – Not Delia, the one who spouts off about everything food-related, now has to come out and admit she can’t poach an egg. Blush!

  11. John Fingerfood

    Nah, it’s not working for me… Every time they hit the pan they either dissapear or explode!

  12. Ian

    Fried eggs in England and America are usually fried in a pan with very hot oil.
    They are typically over cooked, greasy, and therefore, difficult to digest and generally rather unpleasant rubbery affairs which are best avoided if you hope to live to a ripe old age.

    In France, eggs (very very fresh), can be cooked on a porcelain dish.
    Hot melted butter is put on the dish together with two eggs.
    Very hot butter is then basted on to the yolks and then a pinch of salt added.
    (Obviously, if you salt the yolks before, the butter basting will wash it off, SO, pinch of salt AFTER basting).
    The cooking is finished in a medium oven, around 180c.

    The egg whites, should remain soft, so just AS SOON as they start to turn a milky white colour, they are done.
    Remove from the oven and serve immediately.
    Lovely buttery soft cooked eggs, tasty and easy to digest.
    Easy you say. Yes, BUT, 5 seconds too long in the oven and your eggs will be over cooked and thus, ruined.

    One of France’s greatest chefs, Fernand Point, used to judge the merit of a chef by the way in which he prepared fried eggs.
    M. Point’s method was to cook the eggs, slowly in melted butter (which was not allowed to sizzle), therefore at a low temperature in a frying pan,
    Again, as soon as the egg whites turn a milky white and the yolks are hot, the eggs are done.
    It just remains to pour a little hot melted butter, seasoned with salt and pepper, over the eggs at the very last moment, and dish up (serve) immediately.

    Eggs which remain soft are much nicer to eat and much easier to digest.

    Regarding poached eggs. People always get in a state about doing this.

    All sorts of fancy methods including using a big pot of boiling water which you must stir with a big whisk to create a whirl pool into which you slide the egg. This is supposed to envlope the yolk in the egg white.

    I just use a shallowish non stick frying pan filled with lightly simmering water with a pinch of salt and a splash of white wine vinegar.

    Break your VERY FRESH eggs individually into a cup, one at a time, (this method stops the risk of getting a rotten egg amongst the others), and lower the cup on to the surface of the simmering water, gently tipping the egg in. I do no more than 4 eggs at a time.

    ***** Very fresh eggs will envelope the yolk as they cook.

    Allow the egg whites to begin to firm up, and then slide a very fine egg slice under each egg gently allowing them to float near the surface as they finish cooking. This takes roughly the same amount of time that it takes to cook a soft boiled egg, so about 3, or maximum 4 minutes, depending if you like them very soft or a bit harder.

    Eggs can be cooked in a great many exciting ways, en cocotte, moulded eggs, coddled eggs, hard boiled, Scotch Eggs, cold eggs, and then of course, eggs are used in all manner of sauces, creams, cakes, meringues,
    souffles, macarons, ice creams, and hundredsof other preparations.

    Always try to get your eggs direct from the farmer’s market where they will be extremly fresh.

    Lastly, I don’t know why, but I have formed the impression that people commenting on this website have some sort of problem with Delia Smith.
    I mean for a start, why call the website Not Delia ? If you don’t like what she does, just ignore it, and call yourself something else.

    Personally I think Delia has done rather well over the years writing loads of books and having numerous TV programmes and undoubtedly making a small (or large) fortune along the way.

    I have cooked huge Christmas dinners, with all the trimmings, often for 20 or more people. This includes making Mince pie mix and Christmas Cakes

  13. Ian

    Christmas Puddings, which, largely thanks to Delia have always turned out perfectly. The one thing you can say is that her methods and precise recipes guarantee a great result every time, even if it is the first time you are preparing a particular dish.
    My style of cooking leans towards classic French and Italian cooking, following chefs like Careme, Savarin and Escoffier, but I am also extremely keen on searching out traditional recipes prepared by people’s Grandmothers in the regions of France and Italy.
    If I am cooking English food with a French twist, I know I can rely of the likes of Raymond Blanc, or Michel Roux jr for great recipes.
    They have both held several Michelin stars for decades and they own two of the very finest restaurants in the UK.
    I put Delia up there with them, because I know her recipes work, first time, every time.
    So I just don’t get the Not Delia thing. Seems a bit puerile to me.

  14. Not Delia

    [Edit – oops, sorry. I approved your second comment before I’d seen your first one.]
    Hi Ian,

    Thanks for your comment. I tend to think of cooking as more of an art than a science. In which case, there is no “right” or “wrong”. It’s all about personal preferences.

    The “Not Delia” idea may seem puerile to you, but it’s only meant in fun because I am most definitely NOT Delia. She’s very successful at what she does and I applaud her for being so. If she had a problem with this little hobby blog, she could probably snap her fingers and that would be the end of me. Either she’s never heard of me or she’s not bothered. Why would she care?

    I admire the woman for her business acumen and success. I don’t have to like her style of cooking. Delia Smith has many fans, and deservedly so. Some people like precise recipes. I’m much more of a bung it in type. I don’t think I’ll be any kind of threat to Ms Smith. Live and let live. 🙂

    Kay

    My other blog is here:
    http://www.kaymcmahon.com

  15. Not Delia

    Hi again Ian,

    Thanks for your earlier comment and advice about cooking eggs. It’s very interesting.

    I don’t think anyone here has a problem with Delia Smith or her cooking. I doubt if anyone takes it all that seriously. Why call myself “Not Delia”? In a way it’s a back-handed compliment to her. If she was a nobody, then why bother? But she is renowned in many circles as being the queen of British cooking. Anyone in the public eye usually expects comments and sometimes criticism of what they do. It’s just a part of being a celeb.

    This world is big enough for the both of us. If I ever had the pleasure of meeting Delia in real life, I bet we’d get on really well.

  16. Ian

    Hello Kay,
    Thank you for the reply, and I’m glad my comments have been taken in the spirit in which they were intended. Your reply certainly makes things clear now.
    In terms of British cooks, I think Delia is pretty OK and her stuff works.
    Christmas, for example, is a veritable marathon which starts in September, making Mince meat for the pies, Christmas Pud, Christmas cake etc etc, and Delia makes the whole thing easy.

    I do confess to being a little disappointed with Delia’s team because I wrote to them last year having noticed that her web page on weights and measure conversions was a little off.
    One example was her conversion of 1oz to 25g, which should really be 1oz to 28.35g. The difference is almost 12% which is a huge margin especially if you are preparing desserts and cakes etc.
    The Delia team did not reply.
    In her early days she had a TV recipe for Bolognese. Spagheti Bolognese, which of course would have any decent cook in Italy throwing up their arms in utter despair. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D95rMYL1T2A
    In Italy, Spaghetti Bologniase does not exist.
    Italians are very particular about the sort of pasta they serve with their sauces.
    I am a little surprised that she has not had the video removed.
    So for Chistmas stuff I’m a fan, but I don’t use her for my main cooking interests.

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