The secret to a great fried egg sandwich is… well, actually, to be honest there are many tips to making the perfect fried egg sandwich (excellent for any meal).
So I’ll show you!
First, gather your ingredients.
Pro Tip #1: Use Good Food to Make Good Food. It’s worth a little extra money and/or time because it will taste awesome and be healthy for you.
The minimum seasonings I use every time are:
Salt. Always use sea salt — this is Pink Hawaiian — because it has all the trace minerals in the same proportions as your plasma, sweat, and tears. Rock salt does not; that’s why they started adding things like iodine, and it can actually be harmful to your body.
Pepper. Fancy peppers are great, but even just a basic black pepper is good.
Paprika. For that little something extra. It has different styles, colors, and flavors depending on the country of origin, so experiment and find out what kind you like best.
Garlic powder. I add this to basically everything savory ever.
Parsley flakes. Like any leafy green, it’s better to get this Organic.
Also consider adding: onion powder, chives (fresh or dried), and whatever else you fancy. My mum taught me that the best way to tell if something will taste good in a dish is to smell it. If it smells like it belongs, add it!
Start by heating up a small pan over medium-high heat. I always cook in cast iron, and for eggs I like to use butter or macadamia nut oil. Don’t use a vegetable oil — they are terribly unhealthy, and break down with heat.
At the same time, start toasting your bread.
I use a homemade sourdough. Sourdough is the healthiest bread, because the fermentation process makes nutrients in food easily accessible to our guts. If you don’t have time or inclination to make it yourself, find a local bakery — it’ll be fresher and more delicious than the bread from a supermarket.
You’ll want to get your cheese ready now, too. Just a slice or two will be enough.
I always try to buy Tillamook or similar quality. The type of cheese you use is up to you — personal taste is everything in these matters — but make sure it’s a good quality brand. The taste of a bad cheese will ruin an otherwise perfectly good sandwich. And again, this is a great opportunity to find something that will actually be healthy!
Do a little research and make sure that at the very least, the cows producing the milk are grass-fed and pastured. It really does make a difference, and the cheese will taste so much better, and be better for you.
I use two eggs for a full sandwich — one, if I only want a half or something lighter, or if I have sausage to add to it. This time I ended up with a double-yolker, so it looks like three!
I use the edge of the shell to break the yolks. You can use the edge of the spatula instead, if you prefer.
A good test of egg quality and health is the color of the yolk. These farm-fresh eggs have dark orange yolks because the chickens are healthy, given fresh greens to eat, and have room to run around. Make sure to get eggs from free-range chickens, at the very least. Factory chickens are kept in extremely sickening and unethical conditions, and the health of the eggs reflect that. I never eat factory eggs, even when I can’t get them from a farm.
As soon as the yolks are broken, sprinkle your seasonings over the top. The amounts are up to personal taste. If you’re not sure how much to add, just remember that it is far easier to add more later or next time than it is to remove them!
Use the spatula to get an even spread of seasonings and yolk over all the whites, but not so much that it turns into a pan-scramble. Do this by only disturbing the top layer — leave the bottom of the eggs alone to set and cook.
With a hot pan to start with, it won’t take long for the eggs to cook. As soon as the bottom gets firm enough, start to gently push it from the sides of the pan. The runny top layer will spill onto the bottom — help this process by gently tipping the pan to each side as you use the spatula.
As soon as enough of the eggs are firm — like the above photo — turn down the heat to low and flip the eggs over completely. If you are using an electric burner, turn the heat down sooner, or turn it off now.
If the flip was successful, there will be only cooked egg on top. If not, just adjust the eggs in the pan until anything uncooked is touching a hot surface.
Immediately add the cheese over the top of the eggs — this is why you want to have it cut up ahead of time.
Cover the eggs and cheese with a lid. Turn off the heat, or remove the pan from the heating element on an electric stove.
The residual heat in the pan will finish cooking the underside of the eggs without over-cooking or drying them out, and the heat of the eggs trapped by the lid will start to melt the cheese.
By now, your bread should be toasted. Get it prepared with your favorite condiments. Mustard and mayonnaise are always classic, or you can be adventurous with a sweet/savory combo by using a jelly, jam, or marmalade with butter. Or come up with something totally new, that even I never thought of trying!
Dividing up the eggs with the edge of the spatula before transferring it to to your toast helps with getting even distribution. Don’t worry if the cheese hasn’t fully melted yet. The combination of hot eggs and warm toast should finish the job.
I always cut this sandwich in half to eat it. It fits my hands better, for one thing.
For another, it can get to be pretty messy…what with the cheese melting out of the edge and the overflowing tasty eggs…especially if you add lettuce or other veggies (which, while totally yummy, have the unfortunate habit of helping things slide off toast), or mushroom and onions, or a patty of sausage dripping with juices… Basically, what I’m saying, eat this with a napkin handy.
What I’m also saying is, there are a ton of variations and additions you can experiment with, to create a truly deluxe and unique fried egg sandwich. This is just a starting place. Have fun with it, try new things, and enjoy your food!