When you break the egg on the pan directly [the situation when yolk is left intact], what measures can be used to fry the egg from one side only and also kill the bacteria on the non fried side?

Do I need to fry the bottom til it becomes "brown" which will ensure that heat has reached up to the top?

  • 2
    What germs would these be?
    – TFD
    Sep 12, 2011 at 9:08
  • 3
    If you cook your egg until the bottom of the eggwhite is brown, you have hopelessly overcooked it, making it tough and dry, with an unpleasant hint of sulfur.
    – rumtscho
    Sep 12, 2011 at 9:57
  • 1
    @Anisha Kaul: I would be hesitant to eat any undercooked egg in India, given the looser food safety standards vs. Europe and the USA. Get to know a farmer you can trust, or cook both sides.
    – BobMcGee
    Sep 13, 2011 at 4:57
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    @Anisha Kaul: Salmonella contaminates the egg while it is forming inside the bird. See this link for more information: How does salmonella get into eggs?
    – BobMcGee
    Sep 13, 2011 at 5:15
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    @BobMcGee That was very helpful, thanks. The only option then is to rear ones own hens. :D Sep 13, 2011 at 5:19

2 Answers 2


There are three ways I know of to cook the egg all the way through without turning it:

  1. Break the egg into a hot pan and turn the heat down, wait until the egg is cooked all the way through - this would probably be considered over-cooked sunny side up.

  2. Break the egg into the fat left in the pan, or the fat that has been put into the pan (there needs to be a lot of it), once the bottom firms up a bit, use the spatula to sweep the hot fat over the top of the egg, cooking it on top with the hot fat while the bottom cooks from the burner/fire whatever.

  3. Break the egg into the hot pan then cover the egg(s) or the entire pan with a lid and turn the heat down a bit; this will steam the eggs, cooking the top and the bottom at the same time - this is called smothered eggs.

All that being said, understand that undercooked and raw eggs are eaten regularly by many people; some examples are Caesar salad dressing, raw egg in milk shake (protein booster), steak tartare, sunny side-up eggs to name a few.

  • 1
    Yes, it will; the eggs turn out a bit like poached eggs on the top. I really don't care for them this way. Always order eggs sunny side up, I like the yoke liquid. This method leaves the top of the egg somewhat uncooked though.
    – Frankie
    Sep 12, 2011 at 12:42
  • 2
    +1 for method 2, I'd have mentioned this if you hadn't already. I first saw this being done when a friend in the UK made me a fried egg sandwich while I visited him. I thought it to be an interesting but uncommon method ...
    – takrl
    Sep 12, 2011 at 13:43
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    For method #3, you can get a faster steam if you add some water to the pan.
    – Joe
    Sep 12, 2011 at 13:50
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    My mum uses method 2. To me, the amount of oil required to do this is repulsive, but i can't really say that to her. Sep 12, 2011 at 21:30
  • 1
    Method #2 is called a "basted egg."
    – cope360
    Sep 17, 2011 at 18:20

I do not worry much about salmonella myself, but I know it is possible to pasteurize your egg first.

After this, fry your egg as normal and enjoy it just as you like it.

  • note: this will only reduce the risk. But then again the risk is already quite low, esp. if you take care to heat the eggshell before using the egg. You can never completely eliminate the risk, even if you burn the egg to a crisp.

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