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A New 5-Minute Genius Egg Breakfast (Or Dinner!) For You

September 27, 2017

What can you do with just five minutes? Actually, way more than you think! Introducing Food52 in 5: your cheat sheet for speedy, delicious recipes, fun mini projects, and more.

We all have our egg routines—the frying method you picked up from your dad, the well-honed minute count on your preferred hard boil, your singular place on the fluffy-to-creamy scramble continuum.

But no matter how much we love and cleave to our eggs just so, they can get awfully boring sometimes, can’t they?

When was the last time you got a brand new egg routine? Not just an experiment, but an egg delivery method that was truly quick, repeatable, and satisfying enough to make it into the rotation (and displace the regulars)?

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This is your moment! Memorize this recipe, and it will reshape your mornings, or nights, or right now. It comes from Julia Turshen’s 2016 cookbook Small Victories, so called because each recipe contains a helpful, memorable takeaway that over time build to make you a greater cook.

The small victory here is ostensibly in learning how to make perfect sunny-side up eggs—whites firm and yolks evenly-warmed and free-spilling—simply by flicking a few drops of water into the pan and covering it to capture a bit of steam.

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Top Comment:
“Our mother only used vegetable oil for cooking (this was the 1950's) eggs, pancakes, chicken, etc. The pancakes were delicious with crispy edges, the eggs had nicely browned undersides, and the best fried chicken ever! I use oil and a bit if butter for flavor but must admit mom's were still the best.”
— BerryBaby

But another victory lies in the fact that it the whole meal takes all of five minutes, and everything for it is probably in your fridge right now. And there’s another small victory in putting to use the lingering herbs you bought for some other thing (and hated the idea of wasting)—or customizing your meal instead with spices or nuts or breadcrumbs, or maybe even better, milk crumbs.

And perhaps the biggest victory is in getting comfortable putting two breakfast standbys together that you might not have before—the cool, bracing pucker of lemon-spiked yogurt, with a sizzling, olive oil-slicked egg unleashed on top. The pairing is very similar to Çilbir, the traditional Turkish breakfast of poached eggs served over garlicky yogurt, with spiced butter often spilled over the top.

Turshen’s version cracks open the joys of Çilbir to even more people—foremost, to newer cooks, who usually learn to fry before they poach. But also to stubborn people like me, who have had every opportunity to perfect their egg poaching and still haven’t, simply because the fried ones are so good.

The recipe might look familiar if you spend time on Instagram, because Turshen’s “yogurt eggs” (as the kids are calling them) have been sunny-side-upping all over social media and blogs all year. “It’s always so fascinating to me which recipes catch on from a cookbook and it always seems to be the simplest ones.” Turshen told me. “I think the fact that they take about 5 minutes is the key.”

Photos by Bobbi Lin

Got a genius recipe to share—from a classic cookbook, an online source, or anywhere, really? Please send it my way (and tell me what's so smart about it) at [email protected]. Thank you to Instagram pulse-sensor and GQ Editor Marian Bull for this one.

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From our new podcast network, The Genius Recipe Tapes is lifelong Genius hunter Kristen Miglore’s 10-year-strong column in audio form, featuring all the uncut gems from the weekly column and video series. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts so you don’t miss out.

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See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • AntoniaJames
  • BerryBaby
  • George H
    George H
  • Marisa
  • Ali Worthalter
    Ali Worthalter
I'm an ex-economist, lifelong-Californian who moved to New York to work in food media in 2007, before returning to the land of Dutch Crunch bread and tri-tip barbecues in 2020. Dodgy career choices aside, I can't help but apply the rational tendencies of my former life to things like: recipe tweaking, digging up obscure facts about pizza, and deciding how many pastries to put in my purse for "later."


AntoniaJames February 20, 2018
I’m glad to see Food52 devoting some editorial real estate to this "what can you do in five minutes?" approach, which I’ve been evangelizing since the earliest days of the site. Several years ago, one of the editors picked up on this to write a short-ish feature on tasks quickly done in the morning, to make the evening meal easier. I created a quick list, just off the top of my head, of the many 2 - 6 minute tasks that I do to take advantage of small “pockets” of time when I’m home. To share it with anyone who might find it helpful, I’ve posted a link to this (still somewhat stream of consciousness) list of quickly completed tasks.

(This general idea is not original to me. I have been doing this in my office since reading David Allen’s “Getting Things Done,” which was published the year I started my own law practice. It’s one of the most useful business books out there. But I digress . . . .)

I’ve added this overarching suggestion to the linked Google Doc about a month ago:

When I plan / review my menus for the following week to lay out my prep activities for the weekend and weeknight evenings, I create a list of every small food prep or other task that will eventually need to be done. I put it on a medium index card, which I keep handy to consult whenever I have a few minutes of "downtime,” or to include in my longer prep sessions.

Also, there are quite a few good suggestions of 5-minute tasks in this Hotline thread started last month: I’m guessing that many of these ideas will be the subject of separate posts in the near future . . . . . . .

BerryBaby September 30, 2017
Our mother only used vegetable oil for cooking (this was the 1950's) eggs, pancakes, chicken, etc. The pancakes were delicious with crispy edges, the eggs had nicely browned undersides, and the best fried chicken ever! I use oil and a bit if butter for flavor but must admit mom's were still the best.
George H. September 27, 2017
Wouldn't call this genius.
Raystil September 29, 2017
Getting a little tired of the "genius" tag on......anything.
BerryBaby September 30, 2017
I agree. Genius and hack both can fade into the sunset IMO.
Marisa September 27, 2017
Looks delicious! Thanks for sharing the recipe! :)
Ali W. September 27, 2017
Another "small victory" in the original recipe is mincing the garlic to a paste and mixing it with the yogurt, which I think just takes it to another level. These have been my go-to breakfast egg ever since I got the book!
lydia.sugarman September 27, 2017
I just can't learn to like runny yolks unless they're incorporated into a recipe like pasta carbonara, but I really want to try this recipe. Maybe medium poached eggs like I use in Benedicts?
Kristen M. September 27, 2017
I hear you—I love an 8-minute boiled egg (boiled in the shell): the yolk is firm and creamy, not chalky, and I think it would be totally delicious here. Or your go-to medium poached, or just these olive-oil fried eggs cooked a tad longer at a lower heat. Lots of options!
lydia.sugarman September 27, 2017
Thanks so much, Kristen!
BerryBaby September 30, 2017
Why not fry just the whites? No need to use the yolk if you don't like them.
icharmeat October 19, 2017
I love the yolks- i just don't like them so runny. for me, the yolk of a perfectly cooked fried egg will flow somewhat slowly (picture a lava flow) when the yolk is ruptured. Here is another freakish egg thing for me: eggs taste better (to me) when they have cooled to "noticeably warm" but no longer hot.

Agree that crispy whites are pretty good if you can't eat yolks.