Egg

A Game-Changing Upgrade to Fried Eggs

September 12, 2018

I was reading Dinner: Changing the Game by Melissa Clark when I stumbled upon something, well, game-changing. In a recipe for Olive Oil–Fried Eggs With Scallions, Sage, and Turkish Red Pepper, Clark describes “fried sage leaves that get caught in the white.” So, fried eggs embedded with fried herbs.

Here’s how she does it: Sizzle sage leaves in olive oil, then “crack the eggs into the skillet on top.” Baste the whites with more oil, because why not? The crispy, crackly herbs become part of the eggs like a tattoo. Why have we never done this before?

Clockwise: dill, sage, parsley, chives, tarragon. Photo by James Ransom

We’ve gotten close. Julia Turshen taught us to olive oil–fry eggs and top them with fresh herbs. Christopher Hirsheimer and Melissa Hamilton showed us that one ingredient (smoked paprika!) can take your eggs from everyday to oh-wow. And Cat Peternell convinced us that fried herbs are the best herbs.

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Clark’s technique is just as easy and just as flexible. In fact, when I asked her if she ever riffs on the recipe, she told me: “Every time I make it, I riff on it. I rarely make the same thing twice!” She’s tried scallions, mint, and cilantro, but likes sage best “because it gets crisp.”

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Top Comment:
“Frizzled, crispy edge whites on fried eggs are something I really don’t like - toughens the white. But, the same idea can be used without having to fry the eggs (or herbs) so hard. Tarragon is my fav. You can also add fresh herb directly over the raw white as soon as the eggs are in the pan. Over or up, works for me. ”
— Eric B.
Comment

Like her, I started with sage—and then I couldn’t stop. I tried chives. I tried parsley. I tried mint and cilantro and tarragon and dill and thyme. Turns out, you can’t go wrong with ruffly-edged, runny-yolked, herb-crusted eggs.

Spoon some oil-encouragement on top of the whites. Photo by James Ransom

Here are a few ways to put this to good use:

  • Mint-fried eggs in a puddle of tomato sauce, topped with feta
  • Dill-fried eggs on heavily-buttered rice with many squeezes of lemon
  • Chive-fried eggs on a cheesy biscuit and don’t forget the hot sauce
  • Sage-fried eggs on leftover stuffing (looking at you, Thanksgiving)

MORE EGG INSPIRATION

What herb would you want to start with first? Tell us in the comments!

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20 Comments

natacha November 3, 2018
I tried it with fresh sage this morning! Why haven't I done this before now?! <br />They were delish- I will do it again soon!<br />
 
Author Comment
Emma L. November 4, 2018
Yay! So glad you enjoyed.
 
Eric B. October 28, 2018
Frizzled, crispy edge whites on fried eggs are something I really don’t like - toughens the white. But, the same idea can be used without having to fry the eggs (or herbs) so hard. Tarragon is my fav. You can also add fresh herb directly over the raw white as soon as the eggs are in the pan. Over or up, works for me.
 
lin September 30, 2018
Sounds unnerving..I think plain old eggs sounds really good, but each their own!
 
Beth September 28, 2018
Unfortunately my husband likes his yolks solid and I like mine runny. Also, I don't have fresh sage but I grow thyme, rosemary and basil on my porch. Can I use those herbs and just cook his eggs first so they're hard?
 
Nan G. September 28, 2018
I just cover hubby's eggs so they steam and get a lot more cooked than mine.<br />Even a lid just 1/2 way over his side of the pan will do this.<br />
 
Nan G. September 28, 2018
This sounds so good!<br />I will be trying it soon. And I LOVE that the article as well as the commenters are pointing out good pairings for the variations.<br />A variation I might try 1st is make the eggs in sesame oil with either Chinese 5 spice or Thai seasoning underneath, then serve over rice or noodles.
 
Sara C. September 28, 2018
I have done this for years and love it! I also love roasting up fresh crushed garlic under the egg and eat it in tacos or on toast with avocado and tomato. It also goes great on a hash. 🤤
 
Sara C. September 28, 2018
I have done this for years and love it! I also love toasting garlic under the eggs. Perfect in tacos or on toast with tomato and avocado
 
Author Comment
Emma L. September 30, 2018
You had me at "toasting garlic."
 
Benjamin L. September 28, 2018
How did no one realize they should have written "More Egg-spiration", the loss of a pun pains me so.
 
KateisGreat September 28, 2018
Bravo!
 
Author Comment
Emma L. September 30, 2018
Hehe!
 
Beth T. September 15, 2018
I do this with cumin seeds. I roast the seeds in a dry pan, then add the olive oil. Once the oil is hot, I add the egg. It is a great crunchy taste.
 
Author Comment
Emma L. September 16, 2018
Oo! I can't wait to try that.
 
Jude September 15, 2018
I would like tarragon with the fried eggs and a side of asparagus with béarnaise, and hash browns and buttered toast.
 
Author Comment
Emma L. September 16, 2018
Heck yes!
 
Zozo September 14, 2018
So preeeetty! I want to try the sage in butter to make it Brown butter sage eggs. Plus smashed pumpkin ricotta smeared on toast...
 
Author Comment
Emma L. September 16, 2018
!!!!!!!!!
 
Author Comment
Emma L. September 16, 2018
Must try this immediately.