Pardon me while I blow your mind: Spherical Fried Eggs!
Feb 27 2011

I got an ebelskiver pan a year or two ago, thinking I’d make ebelskivers now and then, but really because I wanted to experiment with the funky pan. Sure you can make spherical pancakes in it, but what ELSE could be made in there? Cupcakes? Puddings?


Feel free to take a minute to put what remains of your life back together after this bombshell hit you. Cool, now that you’ve accepted your new spherical egg overlords, you’re probably wondering how to make some yourself. You’ll need an ebelskiver pan, eggs, and a wee bit of butter.

To start, separate an egg. Don’t be too exact though – you’ll want the yolk half to have some egg white with it. Put the pan on low heat and drop a tiny cube of butter in the center well. Once the butter has melted, swirl it around a bit, and then fill it with egg. You can either start with just egg whites, or start with the yolk and enough egg whites to fill the well. Let the egg cook enough to form a sturdy half shell, but don’t cook it through. The important part is that it be sturdy and easy to manipulate. If the egg whites aren’t cooked enough, they’ll break up a bit when you try to move them.

Once you’ve got a sturdy half-shell, you’ll need to turn (but not flip) the egg. I use a single, thin, pointed chopstick for this. Insert the tip of the chopstick between the egg and the pan and try to move the egg a bit. If it doesn’t want to move, then it might need to cook some more.

Use the chopstick to turn the egg enough to let the uncooked egg whites (if any) spill out over the side. Ideally you could turn the egg 90-degrees on it’s side, but I found this difficult at times – the egg would just slide back. Once you’ve turned the egg, add more egg whites to fill the well again. You should end up with a 2/3rd or ¾ths sphere (sort of pac-man like). Let the egg get sturdy again, and then turn again, adding the remainder of the egg. Easy peasy!

Actually, no. It takes practice and experimentation, and even then it’s easy to mess up. Luckily for me, the very first egg I tried was also one of the best. Replicating that success took some effort, though even when I made mistakes, I found a way to set it straight. Egg is just a bunch of protein-goo you need to wrangle.

Learn from my mistakes

Heat: One of the reasons my first attempt was successful was that the pan hadn’t yet gotten too hot. While it meant the egg took longer to cook at first, the egg was stronger. Also, it meant I could take my time as I turned and formed the sphere. A lower heat will take longer, but you’ll be able to recover from mistakes more easily.

Whites or Yolks First: I made good eggs whether I started with egg whites only, or started with the yolk and some egg whites. However, when starting with an egg-yolk two things happened. First, I found it harder to do the first turn of the egg. Without the yolk, the uncooked whites in the center would spill out and immediately start supporting the sphere. With the yolk in the center, I had to pour more whites in while I was also turning.

The other thing I noticed with the egg-yolk-first method is that the yolk was more likely to get overcooked. However, starting with the egg whites meant that the whites would get a little overcooked. Egg yolks need to reach a higher temperature than egg whites, so the whites turned a little rubbery. I dislike runny yolks though (I like them gummy instead), so I made most of the eggs with the yolk first.


Spherical fried eggs are the future. Don’t try and resist, even though they are far more labor intensive and taste about the same. Still, spherical fried eggs are WAY MORE AWESOME and can be eaten with chopsticks no less. That makes them worth the effort, even if they taste about the same.

Areas for future research

Next week (or whenever I stop being sick of eggs), I think I’ll research SPHERICAL OMELETTES. I suspect they’ll be a bit easier to manage, and instead of worrying about the yolk in the center I can stuff them with things.