Fried egg

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For the suspected meteor crater, see Fried Egg structure.
Fried eggs in a cast iron pan
Zucchini gratin topped with a fried egg, goat's cheese, and fried basil
Fried eggs served with Vegeta spice in Croatia

A fried egg is a cooked dish commonly made using a fresh hen's egg, fried whole with minimal accompaniment. Fried eggs are traditionally eaten for breakfast in English-speaking countries but may also be served at other times of the day.

Regional adaptations and specialities[edit]

Austria, Germany, and Switzerland[edit]

Fried eggs (Spiegeleier) are a crucial part of such traditional German dishes as Strammer Max (the egg is fried on one side with an unbroken yolk, and served "sunny side up" atop an open ham sandwich) or Hamburger Schnitzel / Holsteiner Schnitzel / Fernfahrerschnitzel ("trucker's schnitzel") – a similarly prepared fried egg served on a Wiener Schnitzel.

Fried eggs over (or side-by-side with) pan-fried potatoes is another common dish, sometimes served with spinach as a third component of the meal. Some German cooks break the yolk and distribute it across the surface of the white during the frying.

All of the above are typically lunch, rather than breakfast, dishes, although fried eggs themselves (like boiled or scrambled eggs) are a common part of a German breakfast.

Canada and the United States[edit]

North Americans use many different terms to describe fried eggs, including:

  • Over easy or over light — Cooked on both sides; the yolk is runny and the egg white is fully cooked. "Over easy" fried eggs are also commonly referred to as "dippy eggs" or "dip eggs" by Marylanders, by Pennsylvania Dutch persons living in central Pennsylvania, and by those living around them, mainly due to the practice of dipping toast into the yolk while eating.
  • Over medium — Cooked on both sides; the yolk is cooked through but soft and near liquid at the center. The egg white is thoroughly cooked.
  • Over hard, also known simply as fried — Cooked on both sides with the yolk broken, until set or hard.[1][2][3][4]
  • Over well — Cooked on both sides with the yolk fully cooked through and hard. Similar to a hard-boiled egg.
  • Sunny side up — Cooked on one side only, until the egg white is set, but the yolk remains liquid. This is often known simply as eggs up.[citation needed] Gently splashing the hot cooking oil or fat over the sunny side uncooked white, i.e., basting, may be done to thoroughly cook the white. Covering the frying pan with a lid during cooking (optionally adding a cover and half-teaspoon of water just before finishing) allows for a less "runny" egg, and is an alternative method to flipping for cooking an egg over easy (this is occasionally called "sunny side down" or "basted").


In Egypt, fried eggs are a common breakfast food. They are prepared plain, with vegetable oil or native butter or ghee only, or have one or more additions. These typically include tomatoes, various types of cheeses, beef sausage (both the thin fresh type, and the larger dried sucuk type), bastirma, or specially prepared minced meat with onions and spices; they may also be served with ful medames (slow-cooked fava beans). Less frequently encountered are "star eggs", a dish somewhat similar to a Scotch egg prepared by deep frying a breaded boiled egg in vegetable oil.


In India, fried eggs are most commonly called "poached", but are sometimes also known as bullseyes, as a reference to "bullseye" targets, or "half-boil" in Southern India, indicating that they are partly cooked, even though it's a fried egg. Some restaurants also refer to them as "egg fry" (over hard) or "egg half fry" (sunny side up). Bullseyes are a common street vendor dish in South India.

They are commonly served alone or as an accompaniment to a variety of dishes including dosa, paratha, or roti, with a variety of oils such as mustard oil and vegetable oil. During or after the frying stage, they are sometimes sprinkled lightly with condiments such as black pepper, chili powder, green chilis, and salt.

In central and northern India's English-speaking middle classes and mid-level restaurants, "single-fried" refers to sunny side up and "double-fried" to over hard. Street food parlance uses "half-fry" as a base term with "half fry bina palti" (un-flipped) meaning sunny side up and "half fry palti maarke" or "alti palti" (flipped) meaning over easy/medium/hard where the customer oversees the flip and says when.

Ireland and the United Kingdom[edit]

This traditional full English breakfast includes bacon, fried egg, black pudding, grilled tomatoes, fried mushrooms, hash browns (not traditional), baked beans, and sausages.

Fried eggs can be served on toast, or in a sandwich, with bacon, sausages, and a variety of condiments. It is also an essential part of the full breakfast commonly eaten in Britain and Ireland. Fried eggs are often served with ham or gammon steak as a popular pub grub meal. They are usually cooked without turning over. The egg is cooked on a high heat and hot fat is splashed onto the top of the egg. This results in a custard-like yolk with a cooked surface. May also be referred to as runny or hard.

Italy, Latin America, Portugal, and Spain[edit]

In Brazil, a runny egg placed over a steak with a side dish of rice and black beans is called a bife a cavalo, literally "horse-riding steak".

A similar dish, with the name bife a caballo in Spanish, is also common in Argentina, Ecuador, and Uruguay (called churrasco); fried potatoes and salad replace the beans and rice.

In Chile and Peru, a fried egg is included in lomo a lo pobre, Chorrillana, Paila de huevo, and several other dishes.

In Ecuador, a sunny side up egg is served over pan-seared cheesy mashed potatoes and sausage, called llagingachos.

In northern Mexico, huevos montados (riding eggs) are served with refried beans and fried potatoes (or french fries). Another common method of serving eggs in Mexico is huevos a la mexicana, which blends fried eggs with diced tomato, onion and green chili pepper; the amount of pepper added is often to order.

There are several other egg dishes in Mexico which combine different ingredients: motuleños (in Yucatán), aporreados (mixed with refried beans), and huevos rancheros (sunny side up eggs served over a corn tortilla, covered with spicy salsa). Also, in some parts of Mexico, fried eggs are served with a fresh tomato, onions, and cilantro salsa. Red chili is optional, as is a blended sauce.

In Spain fried eggs (huevos fritos) are a common dish. They are eaten alone, with meat, or with sausages. In this country, a fried egg served with boiled rice covered in tomato sauce is called arroz a la cubana in Spanish and the same dish is served in parts of Latin America, Italy (so-called occhio di bue, transl: ox's eye), the Philippines, and Portugal as well.

Poet Nazım Hikmet says, in an interview, that he stayed with a Spanish friend for a month and almost everyday ate fried eggs.[5]Spanish painter Diego Velázquez painted a portrait of an elderly lady frying eggs in 1618.[6]


Called "medama yaki" (目玉焼き, lit.: cooked like eyeball), fried eggs are usually made sunny side up. They may be served with salt and pepper, or soy sauce.


Called 'Gyeran Hurai (Egg fry)'. Eggs are fried in cooking oil, sometimes with a sprinkle of salt. It is common to put a fried egg on top of bibimbap or Kimchi bokkeumbap. Sometimes, rice dishes, such as bokkeumbap, are simply made by applying a fried egg on a top of a bowl of hot rice, drizzled with a spoonful of gochujang and sesame oil. Occasionally, salt is added to fried eggs, and served as Banchan, which refers to small dishes of food served along with bap. In Busan area, fried eggs are often served with Jjajangmyeon.


A Dutch uitsmijter spek en kaas: fried eggs with bacon and cheese

In the Netherlands, a fried egg (spiegelei) is normally served on top of a slice of bread (white or whole wheat), often with fried bacon, for breakfast or lunch.[7]

An uitsmijter is a dish consisting of two or three fried eggs, sunny side up. One version is fried together with ham and cheese (uitsmijter ham en kaas), or bacon and cheese (uitsmijter spek en kaas). Another version is placed on buttered bread over a generous slice of cold meat, e.g., cooked beef or ham, and usually garnished with a dill pickle. It is a common lunch dish served in many cafés, canteens, and lunch rooms in the Netherlands. Uitsmijter literally means "thrower-out", and it is also the Dutch word for a "bouncer". The Dutch name of this fried egg dish probably refers more to the fact that it is quickly made ("thrown out of the kitchen" so to speak) than to the similarly named doorman.[8]



The two most popular fried egg dishes commonly eaten in Russia are yaichnitsa (Russian: яичница), a generic term for pure fried eggs, and omlet (Russian: омлет), an omelet distinguished from simple eggs by addition of milk or other liquids.

Yaichnitsa has two main varieties, a glazoon'ja (Russian: глазунья), usually referring to the sunny-side up but generally meaning any variant with the unbroken yolk, and a scramble called boltunya (Russian: болтунья), which may have various toppings such as fried bacon, ham, salt pork or other cold cuts, fried bread or onion, or other vegetables added. A common way of preparing both types is to have multiple eggs cracked into a saucepan or frying pan and cooked without flipping. The whites flow together and individual portions are divided up after the whole pan-full has cooked.

Southeast Asia[edit]

Mie goreng topped with fried egg and vegetable
Yam khai dao: A spicy and sour Thai salad made with fried eggs
Fried Spam with rice and eggs is a common meal in the Philippines

Nasi goreng, one of the most popular dishes in Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore is often served with a fried egg, either setengah matang which is half cooked with still runny yolk or matang which is well done. In Indonesian, sunny side fried eggs is called telur mata sapi whichs translated as "bull's eye egg". Fried eggs is a popular topping for dishes such as mie goreng, either freshly prepared noodle or cooked from instant noodle Indomie Mi goreng.

In the Philippines, fried eggs are often cooked like a sunny-side egg but the yolk is half cooked by sprinkling it with salt and oil while being fried, giving it a distinctive pink-colored membrane. It is served in the morning with garlic rice and a choice of breakfast meat such as beef tapa, longaniza, fried milkfish, dried fish, tocino (caramelised pork), Spam, or corned beef, such as in tapsilog and its variants. In addition, fried eggs are eaten in a dish called Arroz a la cubana, which is seasoned ground beef with raisins, cubed potatoes, tomato sauce, and olives, along with white rice and fried ripe plantains. Fried eggs are also a main ingredient in the noodle dish Pancit Batil Patong, where a fried egg is topped over stir-fried noodles.

In Thai cuisine, when the words khai dao (lit. "star egg") are placed after the name of a dish, it means that one wants that dish accompanied by a fried egg. The very popular kaphrao mu rat khao khai dao for instance, translates to "basil fried pork on top of rice with a fried egg". Sometimes this is referred to as a "top egg".[9] Fried rice is also popularly accompanied with a fried egg, such as with khao phat Amerikan and khao phat (standard Thai style fried rice).[10][11] Another popular way of eating fried eggs in Thailand is to use it as the main ingredient of the Thai salad called yam khai dao.[12]

A fried egg served over white rice, topped with a dab of oyster or hoisin sauce, is also popular in east Asia. Fried eggs are also sometimes used in a Vietnamese breakfast roll.

Egg in the basket[edit]

Eggs in the basket
Main article: Egg in the basket

This American dish is usually made by cutting a circle or other shape out of a slice of bread, often using a drinking glass or biscuit cutter. The bread is fried until brown on one side and then flipped, and an egg is broken into the center and seasoned, usually with salt and pepper, and sometimes herbs. The pan is then covered, and the egg is cooked until the white is just set. The cutout center of the bread is often fried as well, and served alongside or on top of the finished egg.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Can someone please give an explanation of different egg preparations?". 
  2. ^ "Kitchen Riffs: Fried Eggs". 
  3. ^ Heather Solos. "How to Fry an Egg". Home Ec 101. 
  4. ^ "Eggs 101". 
  5. ^ Vera Tulyakova Hikmet (1989). Nâzımʾla söyleşi. Cem Yayınevi. 
  6. ^ Spanish painter Velázquez painted a portrait of an elderly lady frying eggs in 1618
  7. ^ van Limburg Stirum, C. Countess (1962). The Art of Dutch Cooking. London: Andre Deutsch Limited. p. 45. 
  8. ^ "Uitsmijter". The Dutch Table. 3 April 2011. Retrieved 2 September 2012. 
  9. ^ "Kra Pao Moo (stir fry pork with basil) for lunch". 29 September 2011. Retrieved 2 September 2012. 
  10. ^ "Khao phat Amerikan". Austin Bush Photography. 16 March 2011. Retrieved 2 September 2012. 
  11. ^ Kodi. "A "Farangs" trek through a Culture of Food and the Unknown- Thailand". Retrieved 2 September 2012. 
  12. ^ "Thai Fried Egg Salad – Yam Khai Dao (ยำไข่ดาว)". SheSimmers. 1 December 2009. Retrieved 2 September 2012. 

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