Over-medium eggs are a beautiful thing. The whites are just firm enough on the outside to hold a slightly runny, golden yolk that oozes deliciousness. And with a few tips, you too can learn how to fry an over-medium egg perfectly every time! It takes only 5 minutes and it’s so easy to make!
How do you like your eggs for breakfast? Scrambled? Poached? Hard-boiled? Sunny-side up or over-easy? To me, over-medium fried eggs are my favorite. It seems simple enough, but most people would agree that it’s difficult to get the egg white perfectly set while the yolk is slightly runny.
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Frying eggs is one of the easiest methods for creating healthy eggs. So today I’ll share with you some simple tips to fry the perfect over-medium eggs.
What is an over-medium egg?
In diner lingo, there’s a lot of variations of fried egg lingo as well as many types of fried eggs. For an over-medium egg, the white is firm and the yolk is slightly runny and like a loose and jammy custard.
Unlike sunny-side up eggs, which are cooked on one side and never flipped, over-medium eggs are cooked on both sides. After the white is set on one side, it’s then flipped and cooked until the yolk begins to solidify a little bit. The “medium” refers to the doneness of the yolk, which is somewhere between “over easy” and “over hard” eggs.
Tips that work (don’t work)
Cracking an egg into a bowl first: I tried cracking the egg into the pan directly and into a small bowl first. Both methods cook the egg the same way, but cracking the egg into a bowl helps to keep the yolk stay in the center of the white easily, resulting a better-looking fried egg. If you’re in a rush in the morning, and don’t want to clean extra dishes, you can skip it.
- Verdict: optional, but I recommend it.
Fresh eggs: They have firmer and less liquidy whites which can hold the shape better, so use the freshest eggs possible. Older eggs in the fridge are perfect for making hard boiled eggs.
- Verdict: yes, definitely. Fresh eggs are the best.
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Thin spatula: To make the best over-medium eggs, a thin non-stick spatula is important. You’ll need to slide the spatula under the egg and flip it gently so the yolk won’t break.
- Verdict: yes, do it.
Use a fork to poke the egg white: Some people say that you can poke the white to let the liquid flow down while cooking the first side, but this could potentially scratch the surface of your egg white. I always avoid it.
- Verdict: Don’t do it.
Pick the right pan
It’s very important to use a pan or skillet that’s non-stick, which will guarantee that your eggs roll off easily. Pick the right size so that your eggs have plenty of room to spread out but it’s not too big (as you’ll need a lot of butter or oil to coat the bottom).
For two eggs, an 8-inch pan is the right size. If you are cooking for a larger crows, you’ll need something bigger.
How to make over-medium eggs (perfectly)
- Heat a non-stick pan over medium heat. (You may need to try a few times to find the right temperature.)
- Add butter or oil, and coat the pan evenly. It’s very important to make sure the pan is well-oiled so that the eggs don’t stick. (Spread the butter with a spatula if necessary.)
- Crack the egg into a small bowl.
- Once the butter is melted, add the egg into the pan gently.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Cook the eggs on the first side for about 3-4 minutes until the white is set and the corners just begin to curl.
- Flip the egg gently using a thin non-stick spatula. (Make sure the spatula is all the way under the yolk.)
- Cook for about 2 minutes, and flip once more. Serve warm and enjoy!
Pro Tip: Gentle heat is important for even cooking. If you’re uncertain about the temperature of your stove, start with lower temperature to avoid the crispy and chewy texture of the egg white.
When to flip the egg?
Probably this is the most nerve-wracking part of making an over-medium egg: when to flip? Here’s is the golden rule: wait until the outer layer of the whites are completely set while a half-inch of the whites surrounding the yolk are starting to set (see the photo above). It usually takes about 3 to 4 minutes depending on the power of your stove.
Pro Tip: Use a thin, flat and non-stick spatula to slide underneath the egg, making sure it’s centered under the yolk, then gently flip the egg over. Be careful not to break the yolk.
How to tell when it’s done
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You can check the yolk by gently pressing on the top of the egg with your finger. A runny yolk feels quite soft and jiggly. If it gives a little more resistance, your egg is ready.
How long do you cook an over-medium egg?
For a firm white and slightly runny yolk you’ll want to cook the first side for about 3 minutes, and flip and cook for about 2 minutes. The cooking time may vary depending on the power of your stove.
Pro tip: Make sure the egg is centered over the flames under the pan.
The differences between over-easy, over-medium, and over-hard eggs
There a four basic styles of fried eggs: sunny-side up, over-easy, over-medium and over-well. Sunny-side up is an unflipped egg while the other 3 are flipped eggs. What distinguishes them is the degree of doneness. You can order fried eggs at a diner based on your preference. Below is the guide showing you the differences.
StylesWhether the eggs are flippedTextureSunny-side upNoThe white is just barely set, and the yolk is still raw and howto-cook.com-easyYesThe white is set but the yolk is still howto-cook.com-mediumYesThe white is firm and the yolk is slightly runny, like a loose and jammy howto-cook.com-wellYesThe white is firm and the yolk is hard.
How to serve over-medium eggs
I love to serve them over buttered toast which can soak up all the delicious runny yolk. You can also serve them on English muffin with sliced tomatoes.
Other Egg Recipes You’ll Like
- Air Fryer Hard Boiled Eggs
- Sous Vide Poached Eggs