The simplicity of a fried egg in olive oil

Fried eggs with Jamón | Cannelle et VanilleBasque Country | Cannelle et Vanille

We bought our tickets to go home for the summer.

A sigh of relief. Now life can go on because I know for five weeks this June and July I will get to be with my people. Where my heart is half of the time.

This got me thinking… “how has living abroad changed my palate?”

Let’s start by addressing breakfast, shall we?

Basque Country | Cannelle et VanilleFried eggs with Jamón | Cannelle et Vanille

I didn’t grow up with savory breakfasts. Bollos (brioche buns filled with buttercream) plus a cup of hot chocolate was usually what we had before school. Eggs where reserved for a mid-morning snack. I remember going down to my grandparents’ pastry shop and seeing my grandmother fry an egg in olive oil for my grandfather who was taking his first break after starting his shift at 4am. Fried eggs with charcuterie were a big hit.

And so my morning rituals have definitely changed since living abroad. I no longer crave sweets in the morning and eggs have become my staple. I might even eat too many of them, if there is such a thing. And I don’t discriminate against different ways of cooking them – all are welcome. It is true though that I aim for the perfect technique whichever cooking method that might be. If I order a soft boiled egg, I expect the yolk to be soft and runny. A hard boiled egg should only take 10 minutes at a simmer. For scrambled eggs, the heat should be turned off as soon as eggs hit the pan. And so on and so forth. Eggs are delicate and each method should yield a specific texture.

Below is how I fry my eggs in olive oil. Serve alone, with bread, with charcuterie… whatever makes you quiver. In this case, Jamón (cured ham) with a little vinaigrette with mustard and torn chervil).


Fried eggs in olive oil (served with Jamón and mustard vinaigrette)

Simple recipes like this require only the best ingredients so use fresh eggs from your local farmer if you can. Yolks are thick and lush. And good olive oil. And yes, you can fry in olive oil!

I like my fried eggs to have a slightly crispy bottom, fully cooked white and completely runny yolk.

Heat a non-stick frying pan over medium heat. You want the pan to be warm when you add the olive oil. For this, I just place my hand over the pan and feel the radiating heat. Add enough olive oil to cover the bottom of the pan and pool a little on the side if you tilt the pan (about 2 to 3 tablespoons). Crack the egg into the pan (I only cook 1 or 2 eggs at a time) and immediately sprinkle the yolk with a little bit of crunchy salt. As soon as the white starts to cook on the bottom, tilt the pan to one side and with a spoon collect some oil and baste the top of the egg with it. This will help the top of the white to cook but shouldn’t cook the yolk. When the edges are slightly crispy and the white is cooked, remove the egg with a spatula. And there you have it.

Here I served it with some Jamón and a little mustard vinaigrette I made with leftover oil. Add 1 teaspoon of coarse mustard to heated oil and tear some chervil leaves (or other herbs you prefer) into it, stir and spoon a bit over the egg and the Jamón.

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36 Responses to “The simplicity of a fried egg in olive oil”

  1. Rodney says:

    That is exactly the way I cook fried eggs. They are so good. Your photos are beautiful. Where is the beach?

  2. Yasemin says:

    OMG delicious!!! Beautiful photos too. Love the tip about spooning olive oil over the egg while cooking. Never thought to do that! I’ll be trying it this way next time.

  3. Thank you for this beautiful post. I believe the taste memories of our youth are amongst the best. They inform our life’s choices. My grandmother did not have a bakery, but it was in her kitchen that I learned the joys of cooking. She made the simplest dishes into elegant affairs primarily by the care and joy she took in preparing them. Arroz con pollo and braised white beans with lamb shanks were her specialties. It sounds like the times with your grandparents taught you well….Thank you for this. The eggs look delicious…And I am glad you will get to go home for the summer. Enjoy. D

  4. The touch of salt on the yolk is essential for me. Love the simplicity of this post :-)

  5. Totally with you on this. Simple eggs are heaven :)

  6. This sounds perfect! My grandmother used to make us soft boiled eggs with saltfish (or cod fish as its more commonly called). it was such a treat for us on Sundays. I’ll have to try this recipe. xx

  7. Trish says:

    I am still mastering the art of cooking eggs. I have never been a huge fan, but am finding that when cooked correctly, eggs are where it’s at! I’ll give this a try. Thank you!

  8. Eva says:

    I am so jealous. I want to go back home (Madrid) but the prices (from San Francisco) are prohibited to just go for two weeks. Enjoy it!

  9. Marie Vila says:

    …over rice! How delicious that sounds. I haven’t fried eggs this way for years. Time to do it again.
    PS – I am so excited I have to share that I have splurged on a ticket to Barcelona this June, to bake at my cousin’s reposteria in the countryside. Despues de tantos anos, estoy impaciente por ir!

  10. I could almost savour the eggs in my mouth while reading your recipe. I have done similar stuff before but not with runny yolk and olive oil. Love the idea and gonna try it out real soon.

  11. Rosa says:

    Simple, but oh so delicious and healthy! Lovely clicks.



  12. Carmen says:

    Creo q es la primera vez q veo en un blog escrito como hacer huevo frito…eso q tanta gente piensa q es facilisimo pero a la hora de la verdad un buen huevo tiene su tecnica. Yo tambien creo q como demasiados….huevo frito con pan !!!

  13. Giulia says:

    I love eggs…any which way. My goal is to work on perfecting my poached egg…still need to work on the swirling water and exact timing.
    I’ll be in San Sebastian and surrounding area from July 5 -12! I can’t wait to get back to Europe for a bit.

  14. Skye says:

    Sometimes the simplest things in life are the most enjoyable. Day after day.
    Funnily enough, when I was pregnant with our son, I had a boiled egg for breakfast every morning. With soldiers. Then, between one thing and another, I got out of the habit. But this has inspired to take up my morning egg once again… Might try a fried one this time…

  15. Miren Bego Idigoras says:

    Hola Aran aspaldiko!!
    Gure etxean, afari gozoena arrautza prijiduak, patata prijidu batzugaz eta piper berdeak, ogia ondo buzti arrautza gorringoan…… ummmm exitoa!! Platerak beti garbi.
    Poztuten naiz Zornotzara etortzea udan, ia ikusteko aukerarik dekogun.
    Itxaso datorren astean etorriko da hiru asterako, ikusteko desietan gauz.
    Espero danok ondo egotea, gorantziak eta basarkada handi bat.

  16. So happy for you, Aran! It’s so important to get spending time with your loved ones back home. This post is wonderful! Can’t wait to hear more about how living abroad has changed your eating habits and you as a person. Thank you for sharing.

  17. Frank says:

    I love eggs anyway but I’m gonna have to try them this way, thanks for sharing!

  18. Suki F says:

    That plate looks really tasty! I can almost feel the taste of that ham.

  19. I make fried eggs in olive oil every day (love Spanish olive oil – don’t cook with anything else) – they’re my favorite thing to put on a sandwich :)

    I currently live in Thailand most of the year and Spain a couple of months of the year. I love both countries passionately, but Spain is still where my heart is (and I’m not even Spanish :) so am hoping to be doing the reverse soon – most of the year in Spain and two months of the year in Thailand :) Both countries for amazing food, I might add :)

    And yes, awesome photos!!

  20. Annie says:

    Love this. It feels so good to take the time to make a simple meal really, really well, and to use the best ingredients possible for it. Thanks for the recipe!

  21. That sounds so simple and wonderful. I adore an egg for breakfast and I will try it this way!

  22. That sounds amazing. I’ve never tried eggs in olive oil, but now I must.

  23. I have some wonderful charcuterie to share with you, made at a mountain lodge!

  24. Brooke says:

    Love this post!
    Can you please tell us how you make your scrambled eggs? Thank you!

  25. Joan says:

    I went on a 15 day tour of Spain last month. Unfortunately, not enough time to appreciate this beautiful country. However, I fell in love with Barcelona, jamon, tapas, pallea and pintxos in San Sebastián. I’m glad I went, but next time I hope to spend a more leisurely time exploring Spain, the architecture, history, music, people, wine and of course the food. There is a fried egg on today’s breakfast menu.

  26. Kacie says:

    Loved reading this. Your site is looking extra gorgeous, did you change something? My mom is traveling back to Spain this summer for a month (she went a couple years ago) and it’s making me very envious!


  27. Elizabeth says:

    Meaningful breakfast and awesome connection. congratulations :D

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