A perfect fried egg begins with an absolutely fresh egg and a heavy well-seasoned or non-stick frying pan, and cooking the egg over a fairly low heat. Excellent results are obtained using clarified butter or olive oil, or a mixture of butter and oil. If using plain butter, fry at a very low temperature or it will burn.
Put the pan on a low heat. When hot, add your chosen fat – but not too much, a tablespoon will be sufficient. If cooking one egg, use an omelette pan. If cooking several eggs, use just enough fat to film the whole pan thinly. Break them into a cup, one at a time, and pour them carefully into different parts of the pan. They should not splutter or curl up at the edges – this means the pan is far too hot. Cook until the white is just set but the yolk still liquid. Season and serve.
© 1998 Alastair Little and Richard Whittington estate. All rights reserved.