The Real Difference Between Eggs Over Easy And Sunny-Side Up

Morning rituals are a thing of beauty. From the process of making your first cup of coffee to the way you like your eggs, how your morning unfolds is a sacred thing — especially if you are not exactly a morning person. If you know how you like your breakfast, but the meal doesn't always arrive on your plate the way you expect, it might be down to how you are ordering your eggs. It's surprisingly easy to get confused by the difference between eggs cooked over easy and sunny-side up. While similar, these two types of fried eggs are certainly not created equal. 

Apart from the cooking techniques being somewhat different, the variation in these two types of fried eggs has everything to do with the yolks. According to The Kitchn, one style of egg is superior for dipping toast, while the other stands up much better inside a sandwich. Sunny-side up eggs have the runnier yolk of the two, while eggs over easy have a slightly more cooked yolk. That's not to say over easy eggs wont run, just not nearly as much as sunny-side up will.

This is the difference between the cooking methods for sunny-side up and over easy eggs

To get the varying levels of runny yolks, chefs must employee slightly different cooking methods. First let's look at sunny-side up eggs. These are eggs that are fried, but never flipped over, allowing the egg whites to cook while keeping the yolk very runny. Often times, sunny-side up eggs are cooked until the egg whites on the top and around the yolk are just set. According to The Kitchn, the eggs might be covered while cooking to make sure the whites are fully cooked while keeping the yolks runny.

The second cooking technique is for eggs over easy. Making eggs in this style is done by flipping the eggs over, but keeping the yolk runny and intact, according to Eggs. The Kitchn says that essentially, over easy eggs are allowed to cook on the one side until the egg whites are set, and then flipped over to quickly cook the other side. They are usually not cooked for long at all on the second side, so the yolk remains runny. For less runny eggs, you can ask for them over medium or over hard, depending on how well done you'd like them.

So, if you're looking for really runny eggs, go with sunny-side up. Otherwise, order your eggs over easy, and move up to medium or hard for yolks that are cooked even further.