Fried egg
A fried egg is a food made from an egg
Egg (food)
Eggs are laid by females of many different species, including birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fish, and have probably been eaten by mankind for millennia. Bird and reptile eggs consist of a protective eggshell, albumen , and vitellus , contained within various thin membranes...

Frying is the cooking of food in oil or another fat, a technique that originated in ancient Egypt around 2500 BC. Chemically, oils and fats are the same, differing only in melting point, but the distinction is only made when needed. In commerce, many fats are called oils by custom, e.g...

 whole with minimal accompaniment. They are traditionally eaten for breakfast
Breakfast is the first meal taken after rising from a night's sleep, most often eaten in the early morning before undertaking the day's work...

 in western countries, but may be eaten at other times of the day.


The Chinese fry the egg on both sides, often lightly salted or with soy sauce. It can also be garnished with sliced spring onion. It is called (Pinyin
Pinyin is the official system to transcribe Chinese characters into the Roman alphabet in China, Malaysia, Singapore and Taiwan. It is also often used to teach Mandarin Chinese and spell Chinese names in foreign publications and used as an input method to enter Chinese characters into...

: , literal meaning "wallet egg"), and is commonly served as breakfast. Although they appear in lunch or dinner, scrambled eggs
Scrambled eggs
Scrambled eggs is a dish made from beaten whites and yolks of eggs . Beaten eggs are put into a hot pot or pan and stirred frequently, forming curds as they coagulate.-Sample preparation:...

 are more seen as a main course in meals.


Fried eggs are served atop the (distinguishing it from the ), and also sometimes on other foods such as pizza and , in which case it is referred to as (literally "egg on horseback").


Fried eggs are crucial parts of traditional German dishes like (served 'Sunny-side up' atop a ham sandwich) as well as served atop a , then called or (other types).
Fried eggs over fried potatoes is also common.


In India, fried eggs are most commonly called "poached," but are sometimes also known as bullseyes, as a reference to "bullseye" targets. They are commonly served alone or as accompaniment to a variety of dishes including roti
Roti is generally a South Asian bread made from stoneground wholemeal flour, traditionally known as atta flour, that originated and is consumed in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka. It is also consumed in parts of the Southern Caribbean, particularly in Guyana, Suriname, Trinidad and...

, dosa
Dosa or Dhosai is a fermented crepe or pancake made from rice batter and black lentils. It is indigenous to and is a staple dish in the southern Indian states of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, and Tamil Nadu, as well as being popular in Sri Lanka...

, or paratha
A paratha/parantha/parauntha is an Indian flat-bread that originated in the Indian subcontinent. Paratha is an amalgamation of the words parat and atta which literally means layers of cooked dough...

. Bullseyes are commonly prepared over pans smeared with a variety of oils such as mustard oil
Mustard oil
The term mustard oil is used for three different oils that are made from mustard seeds:*A fatty vegetable oil resulting from pressing the seeds,...

 and vegetable oil. During or after the frying stage, they are sometimes sprinkled lightly with condiments such as black pepper
Black pepper
Black pepper is a flowering vine in the family Piperaceae, cultivated for its fruit, which is usually dried and used as a spice and seasoning. The fruit, known as a peppercorn when dried, is approximately in diameter, dark red when fully mature, and, like all drupes, contains a single seed...

, chili powder, green chili
Chili pepper
Chili pepper is the fruit of plants from the genus Capsicum, members of the nightshade family, Solanaceae. The term in British English and in Australia, New Zealand, India, Malaysia and other Asian countries is just chilli without pepper.Chili peppers originated in the Americas...

s and salt. Bullseyes are a common street vendor dish in South India. Some restaurants also refer to them as "egg fry" (over hard) or "egg half fry" (sunny-side up).


Fried, "sunny-side up" eggs are a popular breakfast item in Japan. They are often called (目玉焼き), literally 'fried eyeball', supposedly comparing the yolk and white to the iris
Iris (anatomy)
The iris is a thin, circular structure in the eye, responsible for controlling the diameter and size of the pupils and thus the amount of light reaching the retina. "Eye color" is the color of the iris, which can be green, blue, or brown. In some cases it can be hazel , grey, violet, or even pink...

 and the white of an eye.

This is usually seasoned at the table with soy sauce
Soy sauce
Soy sauce is a condiment produced by fermenting soybeans with Aspergillus oryzae or Aspergillus sojae molds, along with water and salt...

 or '" (fruity Japanese Worcestershire sauce), or sometimes simply with salt, depending on the preference of the diner.


Eggs are fried in cooking oil
Cooking oil
Cooking oil is purified fat of plant origin, which is usually liquid at room temperature ....

, sometimes with a sprinkle of salt. It is common to put a fried egg on top of or . Sometimes, rice dishes, such as is simply made by applying a fried egg on a top of a bowl of hot rice, drizzled with a spoonful of and sesame oil
Sesame oil
Sesame oil is an edible vegetable oil derived from sesame seeds. Besides being used as a cooking oil in South India, it is often used as a flavor enhancer in Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and to a lesser extent Southeast Asian cuisine.The oil from the nutrient rich seed is popular in alternative...

. Occasionally, salts are applied to fried eggs and are served as , which refers to small dishes of food served along with steamed white rice
White rice
White rice is the name given to milled rice that has had its husk, bran, and germ removed. This alters the flavour, texture and appearance of the rice and helps prevent spoilage and extend its storage life. After milling, the rice is polished, resulting in a seed with a bright, white, shiny...



In Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

, fried eggs are a common breakfast food. They are prepared plain, with vegetable oil or native butter
Butter is a dairy product made by churning fresh or fermented cream or milk. It is generally used as a spread and a condiment, as well as in cooking applications, such as baking, sauce making, and pan frying...

 or ghee
Ghee is a class of clarified butter that originated in South Asia and is commonly used in South Asian cuisine....

 only, or have one or more addition to it. Such additions include tomatoes, various types of cheeses, beef sausage (both the thin fresh type, and the larger dried Turkish
Turkish cuisine
Turkish cuisine is largely the heritage of Ottoman cuisine, which can be described as a fusion and refinement of Central Asian, Middle Eastern and Balkan cuisines. Turkish cuisine has in turn influenced those and other neighbouring cuisines, including that of western Europe...

 sucuk type), pastirma
Pastirma or bastirma is a highly seasoned, air-dried cured beef in the cuisines of the former Ottoman countries.-Etymology:The name bastirma is from . bastırma is the gerund of the verb bastırmak , which means "to depress, restrain"...

, or specially prepared minced meat
Ground meat
Ground meat is meat finely chopped by a meat grinder or a chopping knife. It is called minced meat or more usually mince outside North America....

 with onions and spices. A less common type of fried eggs are prepared by deep frying in boiling vegetable oil, known as "star eggs".


In the Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

, a fried egg is normally served on top of a slice of buttered bread (white or whole wheat), often with fried bacon, for breakfast or lunch.

An is a dish consisting of two or three fried eggs, sunny-side up, which have been fried together with ham and cheese or bacon and cheese and served on a few slices of bread accompanied by a small salad and/or pickled gherkin
The gherkin is a fruit similar in form and nutritional value to a cucumber. Gherkins and cucumbers belong to the same species , but are from different cultivar groups....

s and pickled onion
Pickled onion
Pickled onions are a popular pickled food consisting of onions pickled in a solution of vinegar and salt, often with other preservatives and flavourings. In the United Kingdom they are often eaten alongside fish and chips or as part of a ploughman's lunch...

s. It is a common lunch dish served in many café
A café , also spelled cafe, in most countries refers to an establishment which focuses on serving coffee, like an American coffeehouse. In the United States, it may refer to an informal restaurant, offering a range of hot meals and made-to-order sandwiches...

s, lunch rooms and canteens in the Netherlands. literally means "out-thrower", and it is also the Dutch
Dutch language
Dutch is a West Germanic language and the native language of the majority of the population of the Netherlands, Belgium, and Suriname, the three member states of the Dutch Language Union. Most speakers live in the European Union, where it is a first language for about 23 million and a second...

 word for a "bouncer"
Bouncer (doorman)
A bouncer is an informal term for a type of security guard employed at venues such as bars, nightclubs or concerts to provide security, check legal age, and refuse entry to a venue based on criteria such as intoxication, aggressive behavior, or attractiveness...

. 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 that it has any connection to the similarly named doorman.


Two dishes commonly eaten in Russia are known as (Russian: , sunny-side up) and omlet (Russian: , omelet). A generic term for both dishes is (Russian: , Belarusian: ). Another way of preparation is to have multiple eggs cracked into a saucepan or frying pan and cooked without flipping. The whites flow together and individual portions (one or more yolks surrounded by white) are divided up after the whole pan-full has cooked.

Southeast Asia

Nasi goreng
Nasi goreng
Nasi goreng, literally meaning "fried rice" in Indonesian, can refer simply to fried pre-cooked rice, a meal including stir fried rice in small amount of cooking oil or margarine, typically spiced with kecap manis , shallot, garlic, tamarind and chilli and accompanied with other ingredients,...

, one of the most popular dishes in Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei is often served with a fried egg. A fried egg served over white rice, topped with a dab of oyster
Oyster sauce
Oyster sauce describes a number of sauces made by cooking oysters. The most common in modern use is a viscous dark brown condiment made from sugar, salt and water thickened with cornstarch, flavoured with a little oyster essence or extract and some versions may be darkened with caramel, though high...

 or hoisin sauce
Hoisin sauce
Hoisin sauce, or haixian sauce, is a Chinese dipping sauce. The word hoisin is a romanization of the Chinese word for seafood "" as pronounced in Cantonese.-Ingredients:...

, is also popular in east Asia. Fried eggs are also sometimes used in a Vietnamese breakfast roll
Bánh mì
Bánh mì or bánh mỳ is a Vietnamese term for all kinds of bread. Bread, or more specifically the baguette, was introduced by the French during its colonial period. The bread most commonly found in Vietnam is single serve and resembles a torpedo, therefore the term bánh mì is synonymous with this...

. In Thai cuisine, the words ' (Which can roughly translate as "star egg") after the name of a dish, mean that one wants that dish accompanied by a fried egg. The very popular , for instance, translates to "basil fried pork on top of rice with a fried egg". Sometimes this is referred to as a "top egg".

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. In addition, fried eggs are eaten in a dish called Arroz a la cubana
Arroz a la cubana
Arroz a la cubana or arroz cubano, which means Cuban-style rice, is a Spanish dish consisting of rice, a fried egg and tomato sauce.The dish is also popular in the Philippines and Peru....

, seasoned ground beef with raisins, cubed potatoes, tomato sauce, and olives, along with white rice and fried ripe plantains.

Spain and Latin America

Spanish painter Diego Velázquez
Diego Velázquez
Diego Rodríguez de Silva y Velázquez was a Spanish painter who was the leading artist in the court of King Philip IV. He was an individualistic artist of the contemporary Baroque period, important as a portrait artist...

 painted a portrait of an elderly lady frying eggs in 1618. In Spain, a fried egg served with boiled rice covered in tomato sauce is called arroz a la cubana
Arroz a la cubana
Arroz a la cubana or arroz cubano, which means Cuban-style rice, is a Spanish dish consisting of rice, a fried egg and tomato sauce.The dish is also popular in the Philippines and Peru....


In Brazil, a runny egg placed over a steak with a side dish of rice and black beans is called a , literally "horse-riding steak". A similar dish, with the name in Spanish, is also common in Argentina and Uruguay; fried potato
The potato is a starchy, tuberous crop from the perennial Solanum tuberosum of the Solanaceae family . The word potato may refer to the plant itself as well as the edible tuber. In the region of the Andes, there are some other closely related cultivated potato species...

es and salad replace the beans and rice. In northern Mexico
The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

, (riding eggs) are served with refried beans
Refried beans
Refried beans is a dish of cooked and mashed beans and is a traditional staple of Mexican and Tex-Mex cuisine, although each cuisine has a somewhat different approach when making the dish.-Ingredients and preparation:...

 and fried potatoes (or french fries). A common method of serving eggs in Mexico is , 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: (in Yucatan), (mixed with refried beans), and (sunny-side up eggs served over a corn tortilla
In Mexico and Central America, a tortilla is a type of thin, unleavened flat bread, made from finely ground maize...

, 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 Peru and Chile, a fried egg is included in , , , and several other dishes.

UK and Ireland

Fried eggs can be served on toast
Toast is bread that has been browned by exposure to radiant heat. This browning reaction is known as the Maillard reaction. Toasting warms the bread and makes it firmer, so it holds toppings more securely...

, or in a sandwich, with bacon
Bacon is a cured meat prepared from a pig. It is first cured using large quantities of salt, either in a brine or in a dry packing; the result is fresh bacon . Fresh bacon may then be further dried for weeks or months in cold air, boiled, or smoked. Fresh and dried bacon must be cooked before eating...

, sausages, and a variety of condiments. It is also an essential part of the full breakfast
Full breakfast
A full breakfast is a meal that consists of several courses, traditionally a starter , a main course, tea with milk, toast and marmalade or other preserves. Many variations are possible....

 commonly eaten in Britain and Ireland. Fried eggs are often served with ham
Ham is a cut of meat from the thigh of the hind leg of certain animals, especiallypigs. Nearly all hams sold today are fully cooked or cured.-Etymology:...

 or gammon
Bacon is a cured meat prepared from a pig. It is first cured using large quantities of salt, either in a brine or in a dry packing; the result is fresh bacon . Fresh bacon may then be further dried for weeks or months in cold air, boiled, or smoked. Fresh and dried bacon must be cooked before eating...

 steak as a popular pub grub meal. They are usually cooked without turning over, in the style Americans call "sunny side up", though the term is rarely used locally. 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.

United States and Canada

North Americans use many different terms to describe fried eggs, including:
  • A style known simply as 'fried' — eggs are fried on both sides with the yolks broken until set or hard.
  • 'Sunny side up' — cooked only on one side; yolk is liquid; the egg white is often still a bit runny as well. This is often known simply as 'eggs up'. Gently splashing the hot cooking oil or fat on the sunny side uncooked white, i.e., basting
    Basting (cooking)
    Basting is a cooking technique that involves cooking meat with either its own juices or some type of preparation such as a sauce or marinade. The meat is left to cook, then periodically coated with the juice....

    , 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 alternate method to flipping for cooking an egg over easy (this is occasionally called 'sunny side down').
  • 'Over easy' cooked on both sides; the yolk is a light runny and the egg white is not fully cooked. "Over easy" fried eggs are also commonly referred to as dippy eggs or dip eggs by Marylanders, by Pennsylvania Dutch
    Pennsylvania Dutch
    Pennsylvania Dutch refers to immigrants and their descendants from southwestern Germany and Switzerland who settled in Pennsylvania in the 17th and 18th centuries...

     persons living in central Pennsylvania
    The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is a U.S. state that is located in the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. The state borders Delaware and Maryland to the south, West Virginia to the southwest, Ohio to the west, New York and Ontario, Canada, to the north, and New Jersey to...

     and 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 of medium consistency and the egg white is thoroughly cooked.
  • 'Over well' — cooked on both sides until the yolk has solidified.
  • 'Over hard' or 'hard' — cooked on both sides with the yolk broken until hard.
  • 'Overcook' — cooked on both sides until the egg white and yolk have burnt, blacken and crispy.

Variation -- Egg in the Basket

This dish is usually made by cutting a circle or other shape out of a slice of bread, often using a drinking glass or cookie 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
Edible salt
Salt, also known as table salt, or rock salt, is a mineral that is composed primarily of sodium chloride , a chemical compound belonging to the larger class of ionic salts. It is essential for animal life in small quantities, but is harmful to animals and plants in excess...

 and pepper
Black pepper
Black pepper is a flowering vine in the family Piperaceae, cultivated for its fruit, which is usually dried and used as a spice and seasoning. The fruit, known as a peppercorn when dried, is approximately in diameter, dark red when fully mature, and, like all drupes, contains a single seed...

, and sometimes other 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.

This dish is known by many names, examples being elephant eyes, Egemo Toast, bird's nest, bull's eye eggs, cowboy eggs, egg-in-the-hole, eggs in a blanket, elephant egg bagel, frog in a hole, gas house eggs, moon eggs, Alabama eggs and Rocky Mountain toast.

Other fried egg methods

The 1918 Fannie Farmer
Fannie Farmer
Fannie Merritt Farmer was an American culinary expert whose Boston Cooking-School Cook Book became a widely used culinary text.-Biography:...

 cookbook says that fried eggs should be cooked on one side and then have molten fat spooned over the tops. An egg cooked this way is sometimes called a "basted" egg, but that can also refer to adding a small amount of water and covering the pan, in order to steam the top side.


'Sunny side up' eggs have experienced a decline in popularity in the US as fears of salmonella
Salmonella is a genus of rod-shaped, Gram-negative, non-spore-forming, predominantly motile enterobacteria with diameters around 0.7 to 1.5 µm, lengths from 2 to 5 µm, and flagella which grade in all directions . They are chemoorganotrophs, obtaining their energy from oxidation and reduction...

 egg poisoning have become more prevalent. Some restaurant
A restaurant is an establishment which prepares and serves food and drink to customers in return for money. Meals are generally served and eaten on premises, but many restaurants also offer take-out and food delivery services...

s have added legal disclaimers to their menus, warning against eating undercooked eggs, or have chosen to not offer the dish at all. (In some parts of the United States, such as Michigan
Michigan is a U.S. state located in the Great Lakes Region of the United States of America. The name Michigan is the French form of the Ojibwa word mishigamaa, meaning "large water" or "large lake"....

, this disclaimer is required to be present for all restaurants serving eggs.)
However, this style is still overwhelmingly popular in the UK due to the British Egg Industry Council
British Egg Industry Council
The British Egg Industry Council is an organisation set up in 1986 to represent the British egg industry. It currently has 11 member organisations including the British Egg Products Association, the National Farmers Union and the British Free Range Egg Producers' Association...

 who award the lions stamp to eggs that among other things come from hens that have been vaccinated against Salmonella
Salmonella is a genus of rod-shaped, Gram-negative, non-spore-forming, predominantly motile enterobacteria with diameters around 0.7 to 1.5 µm, lengths from 2 to 5 µm, and flagella which grade in all directions . They are chemoorganotrophs, obtaining their energy from oxidation and reduction...

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