The first time I tasted eggs that were truly fried was in the streets of Thailand, where a lady with a mobile wok burner served me a plate of rice topped with phat ka-phrao (pork with holy basil). She handed the plate over, but held her hand up, indicating I should wait. As I held the plate, she added more oil to the empty wok, heating it up until it looked like it was just about to start smoking, before slipping an egg into it. The egg immediately started sputtering and spitting as she used her spatula to help the hot oil flow in waves over the top of the egg. Thirty seconds later, it was deposited on my plate with crisp, lacy edges, a tender center, and a runny yolk to mix in with my rice.
It was a revelation.
Why It WorksA fried egg that's truly fried.
- Using relatively high heat gives the eggs a crispy texture.
- Basting the eggs with hot fat allows them to cook on the outside in record time, while staying moist on the inside.
- 3 tablespoons (45ml) vegetable or olive oil
- 2 eggs
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Heat oil in a 10-inch cast iron, carbon steel, or nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. (A small drop of water dropped into it should immediately sizzle.) Carefully break eggs into hot oil, dropping them from right above the surface to prevent hot oil from splashing. Season with salt and pepper.
Tilt the skillet toward you so oil pools against the side of the pan. Using a spoon, baste eggs with hot oil, aiming at the uncooked portions of the egg whites and avoiding the yolk. Continue basting until eggs are puffy and cooked, 45 seconds to 1 minute. Transfer to a plate and serve.