5 Ingredients or Fewer

Roger Vergé's Fried Eggs with Wine Vinegar

December 31, 2013
5 Stars
Photo by Mark Weinberg
Author Notes

It might not sound as welcome at 9am as butter or maple, but a measured shot of vinegar is surprisingly perfect at breakfast (just think about hot sauce -- we don't reach for it because it's like ketchup, but because it's like vinegar.) The richness of egg yolk is tempered and shined up best by sitting next to a tart, cleansing foe -- the balance of soft and sharp acting like a good vinaigrette. Adapted slightly from Roger Vergé's Cuisine of the Sun (Macmillan, 1979) —Genius Recipes

  • Serves 2
  • 4 large brown eggs (6 if you enjoy them as much as Verge does)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 4 tablespoons good wine vinegar
  • Salt, pepper
In This Recipe
  1. Break 2 or 3 eggs, according to your appetite, into a bowl, taking care not to break the yolks. Heat half the butter in a 6-inch frying pan, and when it turns golden, slip in the eggs very carefully. Cook, puncturing any air bubbles which form in the egg whites with a fork. Don't worry if the eggs go crisp and golden round the edge. When they are cooked the way you like them, season with salt and freshly ground pepper and slide onto a heated plate. Pour 2 tablespoons of wine vinegar into the pan. Allow to reduce by half and pour over the eggs.
  2. Wipe out the pan with a cloth or paper towel and repeat the process with the remaining butter, eggs, and vinegar.
  3. From Vergé: This is a controversial recipe. Some people swear that the butter should not be allowed to colour; others cook the whites first on their own and then slide the yolks on top (having first salted the whites to prevent the yolks from being marked). Each way has its point, but in this book I have given the recipe I make for myself and my friends. Fried eggs cooked in this way are, incidentally, among the most irresistible of all dishes. Many is the time that I have suddenly had a longing for three fried eggs -- usually after midnight, when I am among friends, and guests who have finished dinner and are mulling away the evening with a liqueur. The sight of the eggs cooking is too much for them all, and they always end up by joining me. I know few dishes so powerful!

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Kevin French
    Kevin French
  • ChefJune
  • Vicky
  • Karen Brooks
    Karen Brooks
  • Threemoons
Genius Recipes

Recipe by: Genius Recipes

25 Reviews

Anonymous July 23, 2018
Has anyone successfully substituted olive oil? Obviously an easy switch. I haven't made them yet, but want to.
Threemoons July 29, 2018
Not sure...the butter really adds a depth of flavor. If you wanted to reduce the butter and go 50/50 with butter and olive oil, I have done that in the past and it was fine.
E. D. November 4, 2017
I enjoy cooking my eggs in Tarragon Vinegar. Gives it a lovely taste and aroma..... but I put the vinegar to cook with the eggs, and cover to seal it all in..... (sort of poached) uncovered for fried.
William M. March 27, 2017
Cook rice (preferably Japanese sticky rice). Fill a bowl with cooked rice. Add one or two raw eggs to the hot cooked rice. Splash on some soy sauce. Stir-mix vigorously. Eat.
Kevin F. December 29, 2015
So good. I want to try with Balsamic next.
Sharon June 11, 2015
Thanks for notifying us of Monsieur Vergé's passing. I discovered him, along with many other great French chefs, when I first subscribed to Gourmet magazine as a teen, way back in the early 70s. He was one of my many mentors. Very lovely obituary of a life well lived.
ChefJune June 10, 2015
Roger Vergé was way more than the author of this recipe -- good as it is. He pioneered what was then (back in the 80's/early 90's) a more spritely Provencal cuisine. Sadly he passed away on Sunday (6/7/15). I hope you'll become more familiar with his philosophy of cooking. Sadly you won't have the opportunity to meet him. Obit here: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/09/world/europe/roger-verge-a-founder-of-nouvelle-cuisine-dies-at-85.html?ref=dining#
Sharon April 23, 2015
I do a sort of Italian version of this I learned from Lidia Bastianich. She said a friend of hers prepared this for her once. She poured a generous amount of olive oil into a skillet, added the eggs and let them cook EVER so slowly until set. She then shook some branches of dried oregano over the skillet, sprinkling the tiny leaves lightly over the eggs. I finish with a few grinds of coarse salt & pepper. This was an UNBELIEVABLY delicious dish! However, I thought it cried out for a bit of acid, so I splashed it with a red wine vinegar reduction, as does Roger Vergé. Bingo! That sent it all the way to heaven! I eat this with toasted ciabatta bread to mop up the olive oil and vinegar. This tastes great any time of the day or night. So simple, yet so delicious. You MUST try it.
Vicky April 23, 2015
So good, the red wine vinegar just works!
Vicky April 23, 2015
I forgot this personal add-on; I cut a slice of rye bread in four sections. I drillze olive oil, salt and pepper both sides and toast until crouton crunchy. I place the croutons on the plate and pour the eggs and vinegar over. A full meal in minutes and you feel like you are in a French Bistro.
Karen B. February 21, 2015
This takes fried eggs to a new, great, level! And so easy.
Threemoons December 28, 2014
This is crazy brilliant. It is also the reason that I will bring out one of my new stocking-stuffer gifts, a Fred Flare Skull Fried Egg Mold:


I think that's what's for dinner tonight...
David January 31, 2014
Wow! What a great little snack that is! (Made it after my kids ate most of the pizza tonight, leaving me still a bit hungry.) Only caveat, is that I used a new Trader Joe's Pomegranate Vinegar, which was good, but a little thin. Next time I'll use a more robust vinegar.
kschurms January 14, 2014
I've been making these for breakfast for the past week now--and I don't plan on stopping anytime soon. Absolutely delicious!
Tom S. January 5, 2014
I don't quite understand the comment about first cooking the whites alone then sliding on the yolks and the salting of the whites to keep from marking the yolks. Anyone? Thanks.
luc November 1, 2017
I think it means that the salt won't show on the egg yolks?
Olivia January 4, 2014
What happened to the other half the butter? "Heat half of the butter in the frying pan" there's no follow up instruction on what happens to the rest. Does it go in with the vinegar? Is it used to finish the dish?
Double H. January 4, 2014
Use the first half for the first two eggs and then second half for the next two
Kristen M. January 4, 2014
Thanks Double Helping -- I just hopefully clarified that in step 2, as well: "repeat the process with the remaining butter, eggs, and vinegar."
Olivia January 4, 2014
Thanks! I made this and it was delicious.
Double H. January 4, 2014
Super easy and tasty. I used red wine vinegar.
ChefJune January 4, 2014
WOW! I've had that book for at least 2 decades and never noticed this recipe. Now I'll be making it for breakfast /brunch tomorrow! Go figure!!
ballentx January 2, 2014
Nice with aged balsamic vinegar
Frank B. January 1, 2014
I read about this years ago -- and have been doing it this way ever sense. Inspired!
Becky W. January 1, 2014
I just tried this with some sherry vinegar and it was DELICIOUS!