How do you like your eggs?

We’ve all been there at least once – that moment when the waitress asks how you would like your eggs and you just open your mouth and go uurggh….

I remember my first time.  I was on a short break in Toronto and a group of us went to a diner-style cafe for breakfast.  I can’t remember what I ordered but it was ‘eggs & something’.  The waitress asks, How would you like your eggs?  My mouth starts to open but my brain has gone completely blank.

Being from the UK, the choices in my head were fried, poached or boiled.  I wanted fried.  But I knew there was more to it than that.  After all, I’d seen movies!  I knew there was an egg-lingo, phraseology, involved in ordering eggs in the US and Canada.  But could I think of any of them now?  No.  After looking like an idiot for 30 seconds my brain found ‘Sunny Side Up’ from some deep recess influenced by watching years of American TV back home.  It wasn’t what I actually wanted, but it was enough to get me past this awkward stand-off.

So for the benefit of any other egg ordering novices, here’s a quick rundown of some of the most common options.


Fried Eggs

Over Easy – An egg is fried on one side first and then flipped over for a few seconds.  In this very short time, a tiny thin cooked layer will form on the yolk side but the yolk itself will remain runny inside.

Over Hard – An egg is fried on one side first and then flipped over.  It will then be cooked on the yolk side until the yolk is completely cooked through.  So the yolk will not be runny.

Sunny Side Up – An egg is fried on one side only, it is not flipped over.  The white of the egg should be mostly cooked through but the yolk will remain runny and the layer over the yolk will remain clear, exposing the bright yellow yolk inside and leading to the Sun-based naming reference.

Omelette – Multiple eggs are beaten together and then fried in a thin layer.  Fillings can be added such as mushrooms, cheese, ham, peppers, and many other possibilities.  The omelette is then folded once or twice to create a multi-layered effect.

Scrambled – Multiple eggs are beaten together and then cooked in a pan which is not as hot as when frying.  As the egg mixture begins to cook, it is gently stirred and moved around to create a broken up, slightly crumbly effect.


Poached and Boiled Eggs

Hard boiled – An egg is cooked in boiling water while still inside its shell.  It is cooked for a period of time long enough to ensure that both the white and the yolk have completely set hard.

Soft Boiled – An egg is cooked in boiling water while still inside its shell.  It is cooked for a shorter period of time to ensure that the white is cooked through but the yolk at the centre remains runny.

Poached – An egg is cooked in boiling water after it has been removed from its shell.  A small amount of vinegar may be added to the boiling water to help the egg retain its round shape and to stop the white dispersing into the water.  A poached egg is generally cooked to ensure the white is cooked through but that the yolk remains runny.

Eggs Benedict – A poached egg is placed on an English muffin and topped with bacon or ham and a hollandaise sauce.


Related Posts:

  • No Related Posts

One Comment:

  1. You forgot “over medium” which means fried on both sides, firm whites and runny yolks. Over easy is fried briefly on both sides leaving the whites more like gelatine and yolks runny.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.