Here’s How to Make Perfectly Fried Eggs, Every Time

An expert shares his secret to delicious, crispy eggs. (David Malosh/Courtesy of William Morrow)

If you don’t know this trick for the greatest fried eggs, let us help you crack the code: Carefully basting your whites with oil from the pan ensures that they set all the way through as the edges crackle and crisp away, and the yolk is left gloriously runny.

But what if we told you there was an even better way? Same method, more flavor. Nick Korbee, chef at Egg Shop in New York City and author of the restaurant’s bestselling new cookbook, bastes his fried eggs in compound butter. Here’s how.

They are, in his words, an “elegant accessory” to your basic breakfast. The best part is that you can make the butter ahead of the game, stock it in your fridge (it lasts about two weeks or can freeze for longer), and use it when you want to seem thoroughly impressive but lack the time or energy or ingredients to make elaborate flatbreads. Here are a couple of his favorite combinations, though there are more in the book (goji açai butter! mocha bacon butter! hot pickle butter!!!). The world is your compound butter.

The Egg Shop’s signature Herb Butter “will not get you stopped by the police at the airport,” Korbee writes. Ha! It’s their take on a beurre Maître d’Hôtel (AKA fancy French compound butter).

Grate 2 garlic cloves, zest 1 lemon, finely chop 1 shallot and add those to a bowl with room temperature butter. Then finely chop the leaves from 1 bunch of flat-leaf parsley and enough basil to get you ¼ of a cup. Throw those in, too, along with a pinch of salt, and mix with a rubber spatula until combined.

For tomato-caper butter, melt 2 tablespoons of your butter to sauté 2 marinated canned white anchovies and ¼ cup of brine-packed capers (not salt-packed). You want the anchovies to start to brown and the capers to become fragrant. Add a scant ½ cup of tomato paste and cook over a low heat for about 15 minutes. Take the mixture off the heat and let it cool. Pour it over the rest of your room-temperature butter, along with 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar and mix until combined.

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Emma Wartzman, bon appetit