Fried Eggs Recipe - Perfect Fried Eggs

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Here are the absolute best fried eggs. This method is adapted from the ultra-meticulous French chef Fernand Point (1897-1955). The Point approach involves gently, slowly cooking the egg to retain its delicate purity. A technique that is somewhere between frying and poaching in hot butter. This technique makes one spectacular fried egg and demonstrates that simplicity and purity often yield the best dishes of all.

perfect fried egg

First let's talk about the perfect fried eggs. A French technique that very slowly cooks the eggs in butter. This method was developed by Master French Chef Fernana Point (1897-1955) at his three Michelin Star rated restaurant La Pyramide in the 1950’s. According to the book, The Perfectionist - Life and Death in Haute Cuisine, By Rudolph Chelminski, Fernana Point's favorite saying was: "Du beurre! Donnez-moi du beurre! Toujours du beurre!" Point insisted: "Butter! Give me butter! Always butter!"

In the first chapter, Luxe, Calme et Volupté, Chelminski details how Loiseau’s mentor, the infamous Chef Fernand Point would test visiting chefs with a challenge to show him how they fried a simple egg, declaring that the easiest dishes were often the most difficult to prepare. When, inevitably, the chef insulted the egg with the sizzling hot surface of a frying pan, Point would cry, "Stop, unhappy man - you are making a dog’s bed of it!" And then he would proceed to demonstrate the one and only civilized manner of treating an egg. Very slowly, very gently, and swimming in butter of course.

Following is Chef Fernana Point's recipe:

Place a lump of fresh butter in a pan or egg dish and let it melt - that is, just enough for it to spread, and never, of course, to crackle or sit; open a very fresh egg onto a small plate or saucer and slide it carefully into the pan; cook it on heat so low that the white barely turns creamy, and the yolk becomes hot but remains liquid; in a separate saucepan, melt another lump of fresh butter; remove the egg onto a lightly heated serving plate; salt it and pepper it, then very gently pour this fresh, warm butter over it. - Fernand Point

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Perfect Fried Eggs - How To Make Perfect Fried Eggs:

Now for the modern version (rather my version) of the above French technique or recipe by French chef Fernand Point:

Recipe Type: Eggs, Brunch and Breakfast
Yields: makes 1 serving
Prep time: 5 min
Cook time: 5 min


1 fresh large egg*
3/4 tablespoon butter
Salt and freshly-ground black pepper

* Use the freshest and best eggs you can find. When frying more than one (1) egg at a time, add eggs all at once. Crack eggs into small bowls and add them to the skillet.


Preheat the frying pan:

Place a small non-stick frying pan over the lowest possible heat on your stove (if using gas, you should barely see the blue flame).

Add the butter and let slowly melt, making sure it doesn't foam and is not sizzling. When all the butter has melted, crack the egg into a small bowl, dish, or saucer (taking care not to break the yolk and to remove any shell fragments).

gas flame on lowest heat
Using gas - you should barely see the blue flame.

butter in frying pan
Butter in the pan waiting to slowly melt.

egg on small saucer
Egg on small saucer.

Frying the egg/eggs:

Gently slide the egg out of the dish into the frying pan and cover with a lid. The lid traps heat and steam so that the egg cooks from above as well as below. Continue cooking approximately 5 minutes until the egg white solidifies from transparency into snow-white cream; the yolk will thicken slightly as it heats. How quickly the egg cooks is dependent on how low you have the heat. Do not flip the eggs but leave the egg sunny-side up and natural.

When your egg is done, slide cooked egg onto a serving plate. Sprinkle with fresh cracked pepper, salt, and serve.

egg in frying pan before lid
Egg in frying pan before placing lid on top

egg in frying pan with lid
Pan covered with lid.

perfect fried egg
After approximately 5 minutes, fried egg is cooked.
Time to remove from pan.

perfect fried egg with salt and pepperBasic Fried Eggs:

Heat a non-stick skillet (or a regular skillet greased with a small amount of butter, margarine, or cooking oil) at medium heat until just hot enough to sizzle a drop of water. Or use a regular skillet and add a small amount of butter or oil.

Break eggs and gently slip into the skillet. Immediately reduce heat to low. Cook slowly until whites are completely set and yolks begin to thicken, but are not hard (turning eggs gently to cook both sides or adding a small amount of water and covering with lid to cook tops of eggs).

Season with salt and pepper as desired.

Steam-Fried Eggs:

Reduce butter to just enough to grease pan or use light coating of cooking spray and/or nonstick pan. In a frying pan over medium-high heat, heat butter until just hot enough to sizzle a drop of water.

Break and slip eggs into pan. Immediately reduce heat to low. Cook until edges turn white, about 1 minute. Add 1 teaspoon water (for more eggs, decrease proportion slightly for each additional egg being cooked). Cover pan tightly with lid to hold in steam.

Cook until whites are completely set and yolks begin to thicken but are not hard. Remove from pan and season as desired.


Additional Egg Cooking Techniques:

Learn All About Eggs and How To Cook Them - Lots of interesting information regarding eggs.

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