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Question about ordering fried eggs ...

ipsedixit Jan 9, 2009 01:48 PM

What's your definition of the following terms for ordering fried eggs?

Here's my very unscientific definition:

1. Sunny side up = white firm, yolk still liquid
2. Over easy = Sunny side up but "flipped" so yolk doesn't appear "yellow" but is still "runny"
3. Over medium = over easy but cooked until yolk is set, but still runny in the middle
4. Over hard = over medium but cooked until yolk is firm
5. "stepped on" = over hard but yolk is smashed

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  1. linguafood RE: ipsedixit Jan 9, 2009 02:10 PM

    Ha, interesting. I didn't know there were terms for anything beyond 'over easy.' I guess I generally have my fried eggs over medium...

    The more you know... (cue rainbow).

    1. manraysky RE: ipsedixit Jan 9, 2009 02:20 PM

      Those sound right to me! I've never heard of "stepped on," but I like it. I would have just said "break the yolk."

      3 Replies
      1. re: manraysky
        majorette RE: manraysky Jan 9, 2009 02:38 PM

        Ever hear of "dippy eggs"? I have friends from the Philly area who order them that way (with a side of scrapple of course!). I'm a strictly soft-scrambled girl myself, so I'm no expert, but I think it's the same as sunny side up.

        1. re: majorette
          marietinn RE: majorette Jan 9, 2009 11:28 PM

          My mom calls over easy eggs "dippy eggs". We're from Delaware.

          1. re: majorette
            lynnlato RE: majorette Jan 10, 2009 04:28 AM

            I'm a dippy egg girl from PA. Dippy, for me, is a sunny side up egg. You fry it in the pan w/ a lid for maybe 1-2 mins. just until the whites are cooked. It takes no effort to break the yolk to let the beautiful golden yolk ooze everywhere!!!

        2. scoopG RE: ipsedixit Jan 9, 2009 02:53 PM

          Sounds good to me. Like manraysky, I've never heard of stepped on. I do like to order my hash browns (not home fries) "burnt" - which means very, very crispy on one side.

          1. im_nomad RE: ipsedixit Jan 9, 2009 02:55 PM

            hmm I'd always thought over hard meant the yolk was broken...

            1. alanbarnes RE: ipsedixit Jan 9, 2009 03:09 PM

              I tend to agree with your definitions, but recently saw a sign in a restaurant that defined things slightly differently. AFAIR, these folks claimed that an "over well" egg is one that has been fried both sides until the yolk is firm; "over hard" means the yolk has been broken. But then again, the same sign claimed that an "over easy" egg is supposed to have a runny white, so credibility is an issue.

              Anyway, don't forget "basted" eggs - like sunny side up, they aren't flipped, but the top side is lightly cooked by spooning or splashing hot cooking oil over it (or sometimes by adding a little water to make steam and covering with a dome / pot lid / etc.).

              3 Replies
              1. re: alanbarnes
                johnb RE: alanbarnes Jan 10, 2009 06:30 AM

                My mother's standard technique was similar to your definition of "basted", but she just covered the pan the whole time--no added water. The white gets nice and creamy-cooked (partially set) that way, but the yolk is still runny.

                1. re: alanbarnes
                  Cachetes RE: alanbarnes Jan 10, 2009 01:18 PM

                  I had never seen the basted egg until I visited my husband's family (done by his family by taking the spatula and gently flicking the hot oil onto the top of the egg).. It has become a new favorite of mine, and to me is a very 'pretty' looking egg. It's a nice way to prepare the egg when one is concerned with presentation.

                  1. re: alanbarnes
                    Hue RE: alanbarnes Jan 10, 2009 02:19 PM

                    My mother always referred to that type as Southern Fried...used a tablespoon to collect the bacon crease and spoon over top of the yolks

                  2. JohnE O RE: ipsedixit Jan 9, 2009 03:29 PM

                    I think I recall Moe of the Three Stooges ordering a "sunny side DOWN. And DON'T turn it over".

                    1. Sam Fujisaka RE: ipsedixit Jan 9, 2009 03:35 PM

                      What do you call it when, " ... the whites are a webbing of cedar colored plastic, especially around the edges and taste metallic while the yolk is runny, almost cold and snot-like, and the overall taste is of burnt plastic and warm salty spit" ?

                      - From, "The Travels of Mas Akasijuf in America" circa 1970

                      5 Replies
                      1. re: Sam Fujisaka
                        MrsT RE: Sam Fujisaka Jan 9, 2009 04:23 PM

                        Eggs made by my mother-in-law?

                        1. re: Sam Fujisaka
                          Will Owen RE: Sam Fujisaka Jan 10, 2009 01:04 PM

                          That would be eggs cooked on a blazing-hot grill-top, like the ones my girlfriend and I had at a working-man's greasy spoon at five one morning in Jackson, Tennessee. You paid upfront and got your ticket, then got in line behind one of the stools. When your stool came vacant, you sat down and slapped your ticket on the counter. The cook would glance at it, break eggs onto the grill, slide a piece of toast and whatever meat and potatoes if any onto the plate, and then your eggs - exactly as fast as this is taking me to write it. You were expected to eat it at the same pace; after having escaped a tornado in Oklahoma City and then driving all night, that was not a problem for us.

                          1. re: Will Owen
                            Sam Fujisaka RE: Will Owen Jan 10, 2009 01:10 PM

                            Beautiful story. Why were there so many people at 5:00 am? And did it happen in black and white, i.e., how long ago?

                            1. re: Sam Fujisaka
                              Will Owen RE: Sam Fujisaka Jan 10, 2009 01:18 PM

                              That would be on or about the 1st of November 1974, in very nice color (Jackson is a pretty town, particularly at dawn). For all I know these were all guys getting ready for work in the railroad yards or wherever. Judy was the only female in the place, and I'm sure we were both the only folks who didn't have to jump up and go to work. We just needed to get to Nashville in time for lunch...

                              1. re: Will Owen
                                Sam Fujisaka RE: Will Owen Jan 10, 2009 02:15 PM

                                1974. Right about the last time I had one of those plastic edged cold in the middle fried eggs, back when Kathie, my first wife, and I mostly cooked but also sought out good independent restaurants in the Pacific NW, A bit before I left the States to live and work elsewhere - always to miss such eating in America adventures (although I've had much more than my share elsewhere).

                        2. c
                          chocolatetartguy RE: ipsedixit Jan 9, 2009 04:44 PM

                          You left out "nuke 'em," i.e. fry them until totally cooked. Actually at home, I prefer the whites barely cooked and the yolk very cooked.

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: chocolatetartguy
                            Stephanie Wong RE: chocolatetartguy Jan 9, 2009 06:45 PM

                            Just curious -- how do you accomplish that?

                            1. re: Stephanie Wong
                              ipsedixit RE: Stephanie Wong Jan 9, 2009 08:55 PM

                              With a Creme Brulee Torch maybe?

                              1. re: ipsedixit
                                small h RE: ipsedixit Jan 10, 2009 11:53 AM

                                Separate the egg first?

                          2. DockPotato RE: ipsedixit Jan 9, 2009 11:08 PM

                            "With a skirt" - sunny side up, runny yolk, whites firm but with crisp edges.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: DockPotato
                              Sam Fujisaka RE: DockPotato Jan 10, 2009 03:55 AM

                              You've answered my question above.

                            2. Karl S RE: ipsedixit Jan 10, 2009 07:50 AM

                              That's about right - I;ve heard all of those in diner parlance. There are two levels of over hard (just like two levels of hard-cooked eggs) - the first level is where the yolk is firm but still tender and orange, the second is where the yolk is firm and crumbly and yellow. If the first level could be analogized to "medium well", then I'd have a great name for something I am fond of.

                              One thing this list is missing is the delights of the deep fried egg - egg poach-fried in the European way, suspended in hot oil. Drain on paper and season - a delight.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: Karl S
                                Will Owen RE: Karl S Jan 10, 2009 01:09 PM

                                According to one French cookbook I have, oeufs frites are deep-fried like that; our 'fried eggs' are oeufs dans le poele...or something like that.

                              2. k
                                KevinB RE: ipsedixit Jan 10, 2009 12:51 PM

                                Way off topic - but microwaved eggs. I'm usually in a hurry in the morning, and I found a "clam shell" type microwave egg cooker. Break an egg into each side, poke the yolk so it won't explode, and nuke for 48 seconds (in my tiny little unit). Bingo - two eggs, yolks just a little runny (over medium is the closest), no added fats, no messy cleanup. I have to put the toast in first because it takes longer!

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: KevinB
                                  Caralien RE: KevinB Jan 10, 2009 01:24 PM

                                  that works in a coffee mug with a napkin on top too. Not the best eggs, but certainly FF and quick

                                2. m
                                  mpalmer6c RE: ipsedixit Jan 10, 2009 08:57 PM

                                  It can be catch-as-catch-can. I was once in
                                  a coffee shop where I overheard the
                                  manager telling the cook how to fry
                                  an egg. Another time, O ordered eggs over easy
                                  amd they arrived basically heated but
                                  miraculously hardly cooked at all.

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