What is over easy eggs?

What is over easy eggs
Photo Credit: wenping wang

What is over easy eggs? Eggs made “over easy” means that the eggs are quickly fried on both sides untill the whites are nearly set and the yolks are still runny. In egg lingo, "over" simply means flipping to the other side and "easy" indicates the runny consistency of the yolk. The entire cooking process only takes a few minutes and the end result is a wet yolk trapped under a thin film of whites.

How to make over easy eggs:

Over easy eggs are customarily cooked on stove tops but they can also be cooked in microwave ovens. Here are the methods for both.

On Stove Top:

Ingredients:
  • 2 Large eggs.
  • 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter.
  • Freshly ground pepper.
  • Salt.
Directions:
  • Heat butter in a non-stick skillet over medium heat untill it stops foaming. Tilt the pan to evenly distribute the melted butter.
  • Crack eggs into a ramekin or custard cup and carefully transfer them into the edges of the skillet.
  • Use a rubber or silicone spatula to keep the egg whites from running around the skillet.
  • Season lightly (optional)
  • Once the egg white begins to set, jiggle the pan to ensure no sticking.
  • Fry until the whites turn opaque, usually 2-3 minutes.
  • Still jiggle to ensure no sticking.
  • Slide a rubber spatula under the eggs and flip quickly but gently enough to land the yolks without breaking them.
  • If you're flipping the eggs using the pan, quickly move the pan away from you, in a way that the eggs slide, while simultaneously snapping upwards. The eggs should land as softly as possible. 
  • Count till 20 and then flip the eggs again.
  • Jiggle the pan, slide the eggs on a plate and serve.
Notes:
  • If you fancy flipping using the pan, make sure to use a skillet with sloped edges. You can practice flipping with lentils or beans to make sure you get comfortable with the method. 
  • If you're using spatula, always make sure it's a wooden, rubber, or silicone spatula. Metal spatulas can scrape part of the non-stick coating and ruin the cookware with time..
  • You can substitute butter with cooking spray, vegetable oil or olive oil.
  • Use medium heat to ensure the yolk remains runny.

In microwave ovens:

Ingredients:
  • 1 large egg.
  • 1/2 tablespoon of butter.
Directions:
  • Preheat a non-stick microwave plate for 1 minute and grease the surface with butter.
  • Crack one egg into the plate.
  • Pierce the middle of the yolk with a toothpick or fork to prevent steam build up and explosion.
  • Season as you like.
  • Cover the plate with a wrap, preferably plastic wrap, but you can use parchment paper or waxed paper, and fold back a little to corner to allow steam escape. The wrap will prevent possible splatter and ensure even heating.
  • Cook on medium power for 2 minutes. 
  • Check and inspect whether the egg whites are fully set.
  • If not, put back in the microwave and keep cooking with increments of 10 seconds, untill you get a fully cooked white.
  • Serve as desired.
Notes:
  • Microwave wattage will vary, so you will need to adjust the cooking time based on your microwaves power. Keep adding 10 seconds to the cooking time and observe when the egg white fully sets.
  • Remove the wrap carefully and vent the steam away from your hands and body. The hot steam can cause serious burns.
  • Microwave ovens will heat eggs rapidly and cause fast steam build up. If no piercing is made on the yolk, it will explode form the steam.
  • Make sure to only break one egg per plate in the microwave.
  • You can use vegetable oil, olive oil or cooking spray.

Serving over easy eggs:

Enjoy over easy eggs in a variety of ways; with buttered toasts to soak up the yolk, noodles, garlic chips, tomato paste, sour cream, yogurt, in greens, grains, pizza, sausages, fried tortilla, brown butter, with fruits, pancakes, couscous, baked, mashed, or fried potatoes, fried rice etc. or, you can simply yum it up as it is.

Other similar methods:

Over medium eggs: An egg cooked "over medium" means that it is fried on both sides, long enough for the yolk to turn semi-solid. This can be achieved by cooking the yolk-side in over easy eggs for longer than 20 seconds, untill the yolk develops a gooey consistency.

Over hard or over well eggs: An egg cooked "over hard or over well" means that it is fried on both sides, long enough for the yolk to fully set. This can be achieved by cooking the yolk-side in over easy eggs for more than a minute or till the consistency of the yolk resembles that of a fully hard-boiled egg.

Sunny side up eggs: An egg cooked "sunny-side up" means that it is fried only on one side leaving the yolk raw and the whites barely set (usually with crispy edges). To make sunny side up eggs, crack an egg into a greased pan over medium heat, cook for one or two minutes or just untill the whites around the yolk begin to set and the ones around the edges are crisp. Slide the eggs onto a plate, season and serve. If you like the whites fully set, pour little water around the edges of the pan, cover with a lid and let the steam cook the surface of the whites. The steam will create a thin white film over the yolk.

Scrambled eggs: To make scrambled eggs, crack eggs into a bowl and whisk to blend the whites and yolk together, add milk and a bit of seasoning if needed. Pour the mixture onto a heated pan (greased with butter) and stir constantly untill curds form and the liquid solidifies. Scrambled eggs can be served with shredded cheese or filled in tortillas, toasted bagels, or English muffins.

Basted eggs: Basted eggs are simply sunny side up eggs basted with butter, but their yolks are just a bit runny compared to those of sunny side up eggs. To make basted eggs, crack eggs into a butter-greased pan over medium heat, use 1 tablespoon of butter per egg. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper.  As the eggs cook, tilt the pan to collect butter on one side then use a spoon to baste the hot butter over the egg whites untill the whites set and the yolk is just a bit runny, about 4-5 minutes. Transfer the eggs onto a plate and serve with buttered toast, English muffins or as desired.
  • The basting helps cook the surface of the egg whites so there is no need for flipping, much like the steaming in sunny side up eggs. You can use vegetable oil or olive oil instead of butter.  
Poached eggs: Poached eggs are eggs that are boiled outside of their shells. The eggs are cracked into a ramekin or a cup and gently slid into a pan of simmered water and cooked until the whites have almost solidified but the yolks are still runny. Eggs can be poached "medium" or "hard" depending on the final consistency of the yolks desired.

Soft boiled eggs: "Soft boiled eggs" means that the eggs are boiled with their shells until the whites begin to solidify but the yolks are still drippy. To cook soft boiled eggs, bring a pot of water to a boil and gently add the eggs into the boiling water using a skimmer. Cook the eggs between three to five minutes. Remove the eggs and transfer to a bowl of ice water to prevent further cooking and preserve texture. You can use room temperature water, but you'll have to reduce the cooking time by a minute or so to preserve the final texture and consistence.

Medium boiled eggs: As with soft boiled eggs, but this time, the eggs are allowed to boil for longer than four minutes but no more than seven minutes. The yolk is semi-solid and the white is cooked all they way through.

Hard boiled eggs: As with soft boiled eggs, but this time the eggs are allowed to boil for longer than 7 minutes and no more than 14 minutes. The yolk is completely solid and the white is firm.

Note: You can achieve a variety of consistencies for both the yolks and whites by playing around with the cooking time, for either soft, medium or hard boiled eggs.

Eggs in a basket: To cook "eggs in a basket" simply means to fry eggs in a hole cut at the middle of a bread slice. To make "egg in a basket", [1] Use a neat glass jar or cookie cutter to cut out a shape at the middle of a bread slice. [2] Butter both sides of the bread. [3] Heat a tablespoon of butter in a griddle over medium heat untill lightly foaming. [4] Place the bread with the buttered side down on the griddle and fry untill it begins to brown. [5] Flip the bread over and fry until it is golden brown.  [6] Add butter to the hole in the bread and crack an egg into it. [7] Season as you like [8] Cook for two minutes and then carefully flip to the other side and fry till the whites are fully set. [9] Slide on a plate and serve as desired.

Note: 
  • You can use vegetable, olive or coconut oil instead of butter.
  • Cook for longer if you want a fully cooked yolk.
  • You can fry the "hole" from the bread for an added treat.

How safe are over easy eggs?

Over easy eggs made from eggs other than pasteurized ones are not entirely safe to eat. They could be infected with a harmful bacteria known as Salmonella Enteritidis (SE) which can cause serious food poisoning if consumed. Pasteurization means that the eggs have undergone treatment to destroy the salmonella bacteria on the shells or inside of the eggs and so they are safe to eat raw or under-cooked.

If the eggs aren't pasteurized, like those from your backyard hens, then there’s a low risk of Salmonella infection.

The only way to fully eliminate the risks, is by cooking the eggs to a minimum temperature of 145°F, for longer than 15 seconds untill the whites and yolks are fully firm. Then the eggs should be consumed promptly.

You can visit the "CDC" (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) [1] to learn more about Salmonella infection.

Note: Children, elderly and immunocompromised persons, like HIV and AIDS patients are more likely to have severe complications from the Salmonella infection, so only feed them eggs that are pasteurized or properly cooked. alert-warning

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