Serving as both cooking medium and basting fat, olive oil, heated “until it ripples like the ocean,” is the secret to these ideal fried eggs. The oil is spooned over the whites at the end to cook them, yielding lacy-crisp edges and still-runny yolks. For maximum ease, feel free to scale it up or down accordingly.
This method for making fried eggs lies somewhere between the techniques for Spanish fried eggs and for classic sunny side up: The edges are crispy and golden; the whites are set, yet the yolk is still runny.
To achieve this contrast in textures, the eggs are cooked in a thin layer of rippling-hot oil. While this recipe is written for four eggs, it will work with any number. (Adjust the pan size and oil accordingly). Avoid touching the eggs until the bottoms and edges are lacy and crisp.
Once that happens, spoon some of the oil onto the whites until cooked through.
The yolk remains untouched, ready to be sopped up by toast or potatoes, or with yogurt.
Olive Oilfried Egg
• 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
• 4 eggs
• Kosher salt and black pepper
In a medium (10-inch) cast-iron or nonstick skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high until it ripples like the ocean. (This can take 2 to 2 1/2 minutes).
Crack the eggs into the pan. To minimize splatters and spreading, open the shell near the oil (not from high up), and slowly let the egg pour out of the shell. Leave the eggs untouched until the edges are golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes.
Gently tilt the pan toward you, spoon up some of the oil, and baste just the whites and edges of the yolk until the whites are set, about 1 minute. (Avoid the yolk so that it stays runny). Turn off the heat, season with salt and pepper, then transfer the eggs to plates using a spoon or slotted spatula.
Total time: 10 minutes, makes 4 eggs.