It's surprising how difficult it is to make a perfect fried egg, one with the white
closely surrounding a perfect soft yolk:
So today I tried an alternative: steam them. I used small Chinese saucers, buttered so
that the eggs wouldn't stick:
The steaming took a surprising amount of time to cook the whites, about 6 minutes. By that
time, the yolks were done too:
So that's another unsuccessful experiment. Is it worth continuing? The real question is why
the yolks cooked so much faster than the whites in comparison with frying. It must be related
to the thickness. More consideration is needed.
The real way of cooking them is in the oven, and in as many small plates as there are
guests. That's why, most of the time, eggs on the plate are such a failure in the
household, because this double condition is almost never observed.
But first: what's a successful egg on the plate? It's an egg with a uniform consistency
in all parts: the white just solidified enough to be able to pick it up with a fork, white
and creamy; the yolk still liquid, a little thickened, covered with a light white veil
which makes it reflect, from whence comes the old name “mirror eggs”.
Interestingly, the German word for fried eggs is
„Spiegelei“, which means
We specify cooking in the oven because if you make them on the stove, the heat only
reaches the egg from underneath, in too partial and also too direct a manner. Only the
bottom of the egg is warmed. The white hardens to a certain thickness and remains slimy
on the surface, while the yolk is barely warm when the white is cooked. On the other
hand, in the oven the egg is enveloped in all parts by the surrounding heat and is reached
in all parts at the same time.