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a fork cuts into a runny egg yolk on a fried egg

Fried Egg with Perfect Runny Egg Yolk

Rebecca Eisenberg
For a fried egg with a perfectly runny egg yolk, this simple two-step technique will ensure you get a soft, liquid golden center every time.
4.67 from 3 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 7 mins
Total Time 12 mins
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Servings 1 egg



  • 1 egg
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 pinch freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon oil (or cooking spray)
  • other seasonings (optional)


  • Prep the egg: Separate the egg yolk from the egg white using your preferred egg separation method. Set the white and yolk aside until ready to cook.
  • Heat the pan: Preheat skillet over low-medium heat. When a few droplets of water flicked onto the surface of the pan sizzle immediately, you’re ready to add the oil. When the oil shimmers and easily coats the bottom of the pan in an even layer, you're ready to add the egg.
  • Cook the egg white: Gently tip the egg white into the pan. Use a spatula to collect any watery bits and pull them toward the white. Sprinkle the egg white with a pinch of salt and a few grinds of pepper. When the egg white is mostly firm and no longer translucent (about 3-4 minutes), slide the spatula under the edges to make sure it’s not sticking to the pan and reposition it if needed.
    Adjust the heat as needed to maintain a low cooking temperature — there shouldn't be a lot of sizzling and popping happening here.
  • Add the yolk: Carefully tip the egg yolk onto the center of the cooked egg white. Be gentle and delicate. Tilt the pan slightly if needed to keep the egg yolk centered on the white. Season the yolk with salt and pepper.
  • Finish cooking: Cook the egg for an additional 2-4 minutes until the yolk has set in place and doesn't slide on the white if you tilt the pan. The edges of the yolk should flatten out slightly and slope downward without curving under.
  • Remove the egg to a pan, plate, or directly onto a piece of toast. Enjoy!


  • If you want to be even more extra, crack your egg white into a round 4″ cookie or biscuit cutter (sprayed with cooking spray) to get a perfectly circular fried egg shape.
  • The CDC and FDA both recommend pregnant women, adults older than 65, infants, young children, and people with compromised immune systems avoid eating raw (or undercooked) eggs.


Tried this recipe?Leave a comment and let me how it was!