the crispy egg

I have spent most of my egg-eating life doing everything in my culinary power to avoid getting texture of any kind on my eggs. Even the smallest amount of a wire-like edge to a firm-cooked white made me want to run, so when I’d cook eggs, I’d opt for any method that didn’t involve a frying pan. Hard-boiled? Good. Scrambled? Better. Soft-boiled, peeled and smashed? Oh yes. Poached? Yeah we can.

crispy egg, dropped into piping hot skillet
crispy egg, blowing up in the pan

And then a month or so ago I started following Frank Prisinzano, a restaurateur in my neighborhood on Instagram, a man that is unwaveringly obsessed with both eating and writing about crispy eggs. “The eggs should almost explode in the hot oil, the white should soufflé around the yolk” he writes, “the bottom should form a crispy crust hard enough that you can remove the egg from a normal pan with just a little scraping and shimmying.” You should eat it immediately, “like a steak,” showered with sea salt, pepper flakes, herbs or spices of your choosing.

crispy egg, ta-da

It had my attention, but I was still doubtful, and remained that way until the day he uploaded a crispy egg video clip that stopped me in my tracks. I watched it a dozen times (that I’ll admit to) in a row. I sent it to my husband and said, “WE MUST.” And I knew, I just knew, that I’d been infected with the crispy egg fervor and that it would be a long time until I wanted my eggs any other way. I mean, just look at this. My photos will do this no justice, thanks to what I call The Week Without Sun here in NYC.

the crispy egg
crispy egg, upskirt

This technique couldn’t be easier to master; you’re going to get it right the first time. You want a blazing hot pan, to which you’ll add a good coating of olive oil or cooking fat or your choice. It should get hot enough that it’s just starting to smoke before you drop in an egg or two and step back (it’s hella splattery, a hissing sputtering drama queen of a cooking technique) and watch it blow up in the pan. The white erupts in bubbles that form an almost doughnut-like ring around the yolk and within a minute, the edges will be brown. Don’t touch it! Let it go. Keep cooking it until the white part looks opaque; it’s very hard to overcook an egg when you’re aiming for a good crisp shell — the kind that crackles like a potato chip, yesss — underneath. Then, using a thin spatula* loosen it from the pan and put it on everything: latke waffles, fried rice, all the fritters, buttery herb-gruyere toast fingers, breakfast risotto, all of it. There’s no looking back now.

crispy egg runneth over
three-fer of crispy eggs

* Have we talked about flexible fish spatulas before? This is one of my Top 5 favorite kitchen gadgets. Buy one of these and you’ll never use a regular spatula again. It’s just thin and curved enough that you can slide underneath anything — pancakes, cookies, roasted vegetables — without disturbing them, and is large enough to give you a good foundation for lifting and flipping, even things like crepes. Amazon informs me that I bought this one in June 2010, but really, any metal one will do.

Egg variations, previously: Deviled, Asparagus-Stuffed, Baked with Spinach and Mushrooms, Poached, Smashed, Scrambled on Toast, Shakshuka-d, in Five Egg Sandwiches and my take on the deli egg sandwich

One year ago: Miso Sweet Potato and Broccoli Bowl
Two years ago: Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls
Three years ago: Apple Pie Cookies
Four years ago: Mushroom Lasagna
Five years ago: Date Spice Loaf
Six years ago: Balsamic-Glazed Sweet and Sour Cippoline
Seven years ago: Couscous and Feta-Stuffed Peppers
Eight years ago: Acorn Squash with Chile-Lime Vinaigrette

The Crispy Egg
Inspired by this video from Frank Prisinzano of Frank, Lil Frankie’s, Supper and Sauce restaurants in NYC

As for skillets, any kind will do. I used both a stainless steel and cast-iron here. The smaller the skillet, the less your egg will move around if it turns out that your stove, like mine, isn’t perfectly level.

1 glug olive oil or cooking fat of your choice
1 egg, any size
Salt, pepper, herbs, spices or hot sauce, or all of the above

Over a high flame, heat a skillet for a full minute. Add a glug of oil and let it heat until it just begins to smoke, another 30 seconds. Add your egg, reduce the heat to medium-high, and step back; it’s going to hiss and sputter and basically be the most wildly dramatic thing to happen at breakfast in a long time. Within a minute, it should get brown at the edges but don’t touch or move it. Let it cook until the white looks fully opaque, another 30 seconds to 1 minute. Remove from the heat. Shimmy a thin metal spatula under the egg, gently loosening any stuck parts. Transfer to whatever you’re serving it on (toast, latke waffles, fried rice, home fries, a plate), shower it with seasonings, herbs and spices of your choice and waste no time digging in. Repeat as needed.

Great tip from the comments: Many have mentioned that you can spoon some of the oil in the skillet over the cooking egg to help it cook more quickly on top, plus, it makes it even more bubbly. I’d definitely recommend this, especially as an extra layer of security that the white will be fully cooked. [Updated to note that I did this a couple mornings later, and whee! The whites were even more bubbly on top.]

Egg white variation: Let’s say you have a human, small or large, in your household that doesn’t like egg yolks. It turns out, crispy egg whites are pretty cool too, cooked with the same method described above. I think I’d especially love one on a sandwich.

Crispy sandwich egg: Flip your egg over for an additional 30 seconds or so, until the yolk is almost but not fully set. Be the envy of every other breakfast sandwich.

Multiple crispy eggs: I’ve done up to two at once and it works just fine. You’ll get a higher amount of crispy edge, however, if you fry them one at a time.

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356 comments on the crispy egg

  1. Ha! I’ve done this for years (I’m pretty sure the first time it was by accident). I love the crispy edges. I didn’t realize it was a cheffy thing.

  2. Beth

    This looks awesome! My struggle is that the yolk cooks while I’m trying to get the whites to cook. How do you achieve that perfect balance of un-slimey opaque whites yet soft and runny yolk?

  3. Oh my god, I can’t get enough fried eggs. It’s a regular meal on the weekends, and it’s just as good for dinner. The most important part of making delicious eggs – make sure they’re happy chicken eggs. The orange yolk of free-range, happy chickens makes all the difference.

  4. In Asian cultures, we always have a soft spot for these kinds of eggs.The white goes all crispy and bubbly while yolk is still runny. perfect in my books!
    Have tried deep frying your whole eggs in a wok? They always come out perfect too.

    1. deb

      Belinda — Yes, I’ve read that it’s hardly just an Italian chef’s thing, more on that soon, I hope — there’s a dish I’ve been dying to try with these. Haven’t deep-fried yet; I’m going to look that up next!

  5. Meg

    We have our own hens so, yea, we eat eggs. I do LOVE the edges to be crispy, but never imagined the bottom being crispy, too. We’ll try it.

    My mom used to do a thing where a moment after the egg went into the pan — with bacon fat — she put a little water into a pot lid and turned it over the egg. You could hear all the spattering! The egg yolk steamed to a pretty pink, the edges were deliciously crisp and the yolk was runny to perfection.

    How can someone not love eggs? Thanks for the tip about the spatula, too.

  6. Eggs are such a perfect food! Like your Thing with texture, I have a Thing with undercooked whites – it totally freaks me out. I always ask for my fried eggs to be flipped so I can ensure the whites are all the way done. I am really pumped to try this method this weekend — sounds like the ultra hot pan does the job fulling cooking the whites. Thanks!

  7. That’s so funny. I too was funny about my eggs; always had to have those repulsive white cords removed. To this day, there cannot be any runny white in my egg. Isn’t it funny how our tastes change?

  8. Jessica

    No one ever taught me anything about cooking while I was growing up, leading me to cook everything on high heat until I finally educated myself. My egg attempts always turned out like this, but I liked it. Along came Hubby, who is an egg maniac, telling me that those are overdone and improper. BUT I love it like this! Now I can make it, and when faced with naysayers confidently exclaim, “This is a Crispy Egg and is perfect just the way it is!”. Thank you, Deb!!

  9. Julie K

    Thanks for sharing!

    Does this work equally well in a cast iron pan and a stainless pan? I ask because the first two pictures are of eggs being cooked in cast iron and the last photo is of an egg being lifted out of a another pan. I ask because Eggs are often the only food that give me grief with my cast iron.

  10. Louise

    Have you ever tried frying an egg in a deep fat fryer? – Devine if you can get it right – a crispy ball of goodness with a soft centre!

  11. Teresa

    I’ve always eaten the eggs like that. My grandmother used to fry them in olive oil or sunflower oil (which I preferred) and I love the crispy edges!!
    But in Portugal, where I live, only the cheaper restaurants serve the crispy eggs. Don’t know why…

  12. Kerri

    I can relate to the version of yourself that wanted all of the boiled, poached eggs. Unfortunately, this egg is my worst nightmare. :)

  13. Amy

    I was going to ask about the spatula–I’ve been contemplating getting one, but was skeptical about its versatility–so thanks for preemptively providing information on your make/model and its various uses. And the egg white variation! I, too, have a little one who is averse to egg yolks, so this modification will be a must in our kitchen. Thanks!

  14. Jennifer M

    I love that this is now a SK thing! I feel so validated :-) I’ve been making crispy eggs like that for a while now – I sprinkle really good Parmesan cheese over the top just before it’s done – the cheese melts and adds to the crispy goodness on the bottom.

  15. My mom used to make eggs like this when I was a kid and I hated it. But now – I love everything about fried eggs, and this sounds even more amazing. I’ll be trying it momentarily…

  16. Margaret

    This looks delicious. My grandmother made eggs like this — to be served in a sandwich on white toast with ketchup and a side of chocolate milk. However, the only thing I can really think of is the “this is your brain on drugs commercial,” with the frying egg as I imagine the cooking process is fairly similar as displayed there.

  17. Sarah

    The taco joint just down the street from our house makes the best fried eggs…in lard. It’s out of this world. We live for their huevos rancheros on the weekends. I mean, LARD. Thank goodness it’s almost Saturday.

  18. James

    If you want a great crispy fried egg add some grated cheese to the skillet before you add the egg. Medium heat. The burned cheese tastes divine. Much better than burned egg.

  19. Vicky

    I love eggs like this! I one time made sunny side up eggs for my S-I-L that turned out like this. He thought they were burned, dumped them, and made his own! They have that induction cook top-ugh, and pans heat up quickly.


  20. Emily

    DAMMIT, Deb. I love eggs in all their permutations, so this was just not fair to see when I’m waiting for lunch!

    Anyway. Will be trying this as soon as possible.

    (and YES to the fish turners. I don’t use any other kind of spatula now. ESPECIALLY good for pancakes!)

  21. Debra

    I love all your recipes and have tried a few with great success so far. I found you whilst searching for a Russian apple cake one day. Thanks for the brownie recipe too, my son has been making these almost every day just lately. The thing about eggs though, am I the only person here who finds runny egg yolk gross? I have a real aversion to raw egg. Could you cook it long enough so that the yolk is cooked through, or would it become too tough? or flip it? Thanks for the great recipes! :D

  22. I’m not sure if it’s a Chinese thing or not but I always grew up eating these fried eggs with the crispy edge, and I loved it. Now…somehow as a grownup cooking for my family and myself, I find myself a member of the minimal-oil-now faction but you’ve now reminded me of how much I liked eggs this way. I like eggs all sorts of ways anyhow. And the fish spatula. I don’t know whether to thank you or be mad at you because now I really want one.

  23. Tori

    This is actually quite easy to accomplish. Cook your bacon first, then fry the eggs in the bacon grease. Crispy eggs that taste like bacon. Done. Yum.

  24. ohh no. Crispy egg whites scraping on my teeth, all metallic and that gives me the right wibbles.

    Whisked up eggs though, hitting hot oil and going all puffy but creamy? Yes please.

  25. Jerry

    Looks lovely, and reminds me of how my (Chinese) grandma always liked her eggs, in screaming hot oil in a wok on a stove that gets way hotter than any home gas stove in the US I’ve seen. As Belinda said above, cooked quickly and almost deep fried, and the yolk is beautifully runny over a bowl of rice, dressed with nothing but a circle of soy and some chopped chives. Pure comfort!

  26. The Splendid Table did a thing on frying an egg a few years ago. I searched the internet so you don’t have to: Turns out this episode was from Oct. 6, 2012, so it’s EXACTLY two years old. His method is clearly different, but yours reminds me of the one Melissa Clark writes about in one of her (perfect) cookbooks: olive oil, all the way.

    How cool are training wheels? My husband rides his bike to work every day (rain and snow be damned) and I know he’s just itching to get Lilli onto a balance bike as soon as we find a helmet that fits her head.

  27. Rupi D

    I love eggs like this- will def try to make them now that i know it doesn’t require loads of fat. Question Deb- the toast you are using, what kind and where is it from? :)

  28. TBerry

    I discovered this method by accident, too, as well as the ultimate fish flipper thing. But I digress: I land two of these wonders on a bed of sauteed capellini. I always make more pasta than I need, so, next morning, I fry up the leftover pasta (chop it first, because it’s impossible to cut once it’s crispy) with some onions or shallots. Plate the pasta, then layer on the eggs. I call it “Birds Nest”. Some cheese under the eggs: nirvana. Kids love it!

  29. Serial

    YES on the spatula (haven’t tried the egg). I hunted one of those suckers down after using it at a friends house, and it is now my most-used kitchen item. I use it almost as much as my best knife. And now I find it incredibly irritating to go anywhere near an egg (or, to be honest, to go anywhere near a skillet) without it.

  30. David

    Who knew this was a “technique”?!! My (southern) grandma always fried eggs in bacon grease, in a black iron skillet; she referred to the crispy edges as “lace.” She (and now I) used the spatula to flick some hot grease over the egg while it cooked. The whites will cook faster, and you’ll get a little set on the top of the yolk too. And you have bacon on the side!

  31. My friend did this last summer when we spent a weekend together on vacation. He used bacon grease and my life was forever transformed. I now use this process to add egg to a lovely salad.

  32. Lar

    EGADS! You used the wrong “your” in the recipe!! Sorry to point it out, I’m not used to seeing those kinds of errors on your blog :)

    And these will be dinner tonight. YUM.

  33. Cate

    YES! I love love love crispy eggs! I’m a poacher by trade (it’s just so easy and poached eggs go great on EVERYTHING), but when I feel the need to add a bit of decadance to my breaky (in the form of cooking fat, almost always butter) it’s crispy eggs all the way! Welcome to the crispy side Deb :)

  34. Drew

    Jose Andres calls this frying eggs ‘Spanish style’, although he goes a step further and actively spoons the hot oil over the top of the eggs until the whites pillow over the yolk.

    It’s fabulous.

    1. deb

      Drew — That’s a great idea. I will try it next time, which will be soon. I kind of love everything he does.

      Lar — Just a typo! Now fixed, thanks.

      Jennifer — Wait, why?

  35. María

    I’m a huge fan of your blog and no mistake, but this just made me laugh out loud. This is just how we cook eggs in Spain, like, always! These are huevos fritos “con puntilla”, fried eggs “with lace”, the lace being the crispy bits. ;) So glad that you Americans find it tasty, but so strange to think that someone finds it novel! :D Now you just need to find some great jamón ibérico to go with that…

    1. deb

      Maria — Ah! That’s such a better name for them. I love it. I want to hear all of the names for these kinds of eggs, in every language, now.

  36. Jenny

    When I started with a family about 10 years ago in the Dominican Republic they ate eggs like this everyday! They were so crispy it was almost hard to bite through )in a good way!)

  37. Sandy Lentz

    A glug! Everyone knows what that would be. But it prompts a bit of a rant….. How much, please, is a “bunch” of greens? Drives me crazy, especially in a recipe I haven’t tried before. I’ve not found you guilty of this, Deb, but please…weight or volume, not bunches!

  38. Steve

    Hm my Grandfather made his eggs this way, first cook the bacon, then put the egg in the super hot bacon fat. I must say that I am not a big fan of the texture, I don’t like the way the crispy whites feel in my mouth.

    I learned to cook because for breakfast my grandfather overcooked everything and my father undercooked everything (really runny scrambled eggs). For some reason breakfast was the guy meal in my family.

  39. Cat

    as Belinda@themoonblushbaker points out above, these kinds of crispy eggs are common in Asia. While traveling in Thailand, one of my favorite breakfasts was brown rice with a deep-fried crispy egg and a nam prik garnish on top. they are delish!

  40. Vickie S.

    My mom also used to cook fried eggs in bacon grease every single day of her life! What a trip down memory lane. Haven’t made them that way in years but I will now, glug included!

  41. Trevor Nawalkowski

    Sigh! We used to get in trouble for cooking eggs like this in cooking school or the country club. A hint of color and the egg hit the waste bin and there was the head shaking, disdainful looks accompanied by the occasional curse at our culinary ineptitude.
    But I could never understand that. As a kid, this was exactly the kind of egg we wanted and that our mother would cook every Sunday. It is the egg that is cooked the way eggs should be with the sugars browned, the yolk runny and depth of flavour and texture unbelievable!
    Thanks for re-affirming this method with mouth-watering pictures! Now to make lunch…

  42. Mike M

    This not a new technique. Eggs have been prepared this way in the Midwest for generations. My Great Grandmother prepared crispy eggs by frying them in bacon fat and my family still does it today. You can control the doneness of the egg by basting it in the fat. It just takes a few spoonful’s of fat over the top to harden the yolk. And the flavor can’t be beat! I find it curious the author was unaware of this preparation technique. I’m sure it’s been around since bacon was first paired with eggs. My Grandmother, who has been eating eggs this since was a born, celebrates her 101st birthday in about 2 weeks!

  43. I have always eaten my eggs crispy, from the time I was a little girl. My dad used to make them that way. :). I always assumed they were overlooked, but I didn’t care, that’s how I liked them. Glad there is an authority on the subject that validates me!!! Love your site…your recipes are divine.

  44. Kimberly

    Thanks so much for the detailed instruction! A nicely fried egg is such a wonderful, simple part of any meal. I also like that you discuss the changes in what you cook and eat as time goes on. You seem like a really open minded and gracious blogger — this is what makes me come back regardless of the actual recipes (which are also fantastic!)

  45. denise

    I made a hash of kale and garlic and some baby Yukon gold potatos for my dinner last night and made an egg to put on top but the egg was overcooked without being crispy.. going to try again tonight I’m sure with better results now.. thank you!

  46. I’ve been making, for decades, something I call ‘chickens in a basket.’ I take 2 slices of a good, hearty bread (these days I LOVE Dave’s Killer Bread; it’s organic, many kinds to pick from, but I like the one with the seeds), and I cut a hole in each slice, and slide that into my iron skillet with an olive oil/butter mixture. I keep the bread in for a minute or so to crisp up, and flip it to the other side before I add the egg to the hole. I like the bread to get crispy and the egg to get crispy, but the yolk to remain runny. Sometimes I like to add the egg, before the flip, just as long as I don’t over cook the yolk. Like yours above, you cannot keep it in the pan too long, or your yolks will cook all the way through. There is something magical about the yolk with the crisp toast, that already has butter on it! Yum!

  47. I love eggs cooked any way but an egg fried fast and crisp in olive oil is so delicious! I’ve also done it in bacon fat. It can’t be beat on a green salad, any kind of cooked grain, or even pasta. Or my favorite sandwich: sauteed greens, fried egg, provolone cheese on a toasted English muffin spread with a little mayo. So messy but so yummy!

  48. I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve tried getting my eggs like this. I cannot wait to try it!!! It would have been perfect last night with the latke waffles of yours that I made (which turned out AWESOMELY and I should have made extra).


  49. Rumi

    Haha Deb glad you like this! It’s been my go to breakfast for years now especially for days off!

    Suggestion: when the egg is still cooking on the pan, sprinkle some salt, add fresh cracked black pepper, a tiny pinch of turmeric and some chilli. Ideally add this at the start so it kind of incorporates in the eggs, and add grated cheese on top, which will be all melty in a minute :)

  50. Preeta

    Yes, as Belinda (and perhaps others) have already pointed out, this sort of egg is pretty much standard in many parts of Asia. I’m from Southeast Asia, where these eggs are to be found topping fried rice, “proper” noodles, instant ramen, etc. etc. As children, we used to eat them with untoasted sliced bread (for scooping and/or dipping), as a simple, mummy’s-night-off kind of supper. So I’m quite tickled to find this a trendy New York thing now, on the Instagram feed of an actual chef, no less ;-) .

  51. Lauren

    Anyone who hasn’t made that awesome egg salad in this blog is absolutely missing the best egg salad on the planet. I never make it any other way now… I am completely spoiled and have received MANY compliments on it and have given out Deb’s recipe and blog info every time. I will also make some of my “always favorite” crisp fried eggs, you never need to twist my arm to eat those!Never thought to add all the flavors on top though…’til now. Thank you everyone for the great suggested “toppings”.

  52. Alicia

    Haha I accidentally made one of these two days ago and while I usually hate any sort of that wiry edge (ew!) on my fried eggs, I had my crispy one over a big bowl of quinoa, feta and the like and LOVED IT! wooooo

  53. Catherine C.

    I will try this, for the sake of trying… however I, like you, have had a long-standing case of repulsion/fear toward browned egg. Growing up, my father mastered said browning every time he cooked eggs, which were “his thing” in the kitchen. Especially scrambled. Scrambled, and brown. *Shudders*. (Side note, this explains why I hated scrambled eggs for so long). Anyway, the crispy eggs admittedly look quite beautiful, perhaps there is hope for me yet!

  54. Topol

    I’ve found crispy eggs harder to make in a non-stick pan. Of course, I don’t like non-stick pans to get hot enough for oil to smoke …

  55. Crispy fried eggs are total heaven! I must confess that I love tearing off the edges and eating them with my fingers like fries. And there’s nothing better than runny centres to contrast the crispiness!

  56. Pat S

    This is the way my mother prepared eggs for my father. I hated them as a kid and still do. Soft scramble, soft boil, poached … that’s my speed. Don’t care much for hard boiled ones, either. :D

  57. ben

    yes, as Belinda said, this reminds me of how eggs are prepared by street food vendors throughout Southeast Asia. i love the crispy eggs over a heaping portion of pad thai!

  58. With a wok at my disposal, there will be a small puddle of oil in the middle (so it is kind of semi deep fried). The egg will come out perfectly shaped and crunchy on the edges. A dash of light soy, white pepper and a hint of sesame oil.

    Next, I put it on top of everything.

  59. Susan

    I grew up with this style of fried egg and I just thought my Mother wasn’t paying attention! I struggled to figure out how to fry them without the crispy edges until it looked like an orb of deep yellow floating in a pool of pure white; it took years! So, we’re back to this? Sorry, Mom, you were right. (sigh…as usual)

  60. Liz W

    I’m not a fried egg fan, but this crispiness is calling me, very intrigued and you’ve convinced me to try it very soon. Also, I love the appropriate use of hella, a favorite local word here in Oakland. As a native East Coaster, I never heard it until I moved here, so I’m impressed that you know it. If you ever visit San Francisco, be sure to come across the bay to sample some of Oakland’s glorious food offerings!

  61. This looks beyond delicious. I would be wanting to try it immediately but I’m so afraid of my smoke alarm! It’s right next to the kitchen and it seems like the second I heat anything to a high heat, it’s screaming at me. Pretty much goes off EVERY TIME I cook bacon (which probably should be a hint to me to stop cooking so much bacon). Still, I might need to screw up my courage and just try this anyway because it looks amazing.

  62. karen on the coast

    YES!!!!!!! Dinner!! Especially when I saw the picture with the
    three eggs!! What’s better than the crunchy edge of a crispy egg??
    Why, the crunchy edge of THREE eggs, natch! Brilliant…going cooking
    now, but will restrain myself to two eggs ;-))

  63. Pam P

    I always knew my grandma was cool and ahead her time :) This is exactly how my grandma always made eggs for us. After cooking bacon in her cast iron skillet, she left the drippings in the pan for cooking eggs violently as soon as the last strip of bacon was out. Mmmmm, I loved watching those whites bubble up! I am off to make one right now!

  64. My Greek grandmother made eggs this way whenever we were on the island as kids! We were never sure if it was intentional, or if she just really likes olive oil (probably a bit of both) but they’re delicious. I make them sometimes for nostalgia’s sake.

  65. My grandma made these, and just called them “fried eggs” We fought to get the crispest one. Have you noticed how nicely they fit on an English muffin ? Perfect quick breakfast.

  66. connie

    As a child, I wasn’t crazy about eggs. My father used to separate the egg yolk and white, and fry them in the trusty cast iron skillet until crispy. He prepared breakfast for the family on Sunday mornings and as he took the special orders for how each of us liked our eggs he would call mine “Moon Eggs”!

  67. Mandy

    Deb google … Kylie Kwong Mrs Jangs home style fried eggs … You will love this recipe … Kylie is a fantastic Australia restauranter and Chef owner of Billie Kwongs in Sydney , just had your recipe for my lunch … Delic ! Thank you for sharing

  68. Jen

    One of my Mom’s go-to lunches is the fried egg sandwich: fry egg as you describe. My Mom flips it at the end for half a minute to make sure the white is fully cooked. Sprinkle with garlic powder, salt, and fresh ground pepper. Place on toasted, well-buttered whole grain toast on top of a slice of Swiss cheese. The garlic powder part is perhaps not for purists but it’s so good I decided to stop being a purist for this particular sandwich.

  69. You had me at “egg”.
    My husband won’t even eat a sunny side up egg unless the whites are crispy on the edges… boy is he going to be excited if I can pull this off.

    1. deb

      Happyfoodie — Straight from the fridge is just fine. You might, because the pan is so blazing hot, especially if you’re using a small skillet on a gas flame (i.e. open fire!) find it easier to crack the egg into a small dish and just pour it in, so you’re not hovering over the hot pan for a second longer than needed. But it’s not necessary otherwise.

      Allison — Good idea. I’ll make a list!

      Maria — Whoops, sorry to confuse. One day, I used a stainless steel skillet from All-Clad, the other I used a 6-inch cast iron. The photos are a mixture of both.

  70. Amrita K

    This is exactly how I like my fried egg. On Sundays, mum used to grate half a boiled potato in a loose scattered layer on a hot buttery pan, shower it with pepper and salt, and when this browned and crisped, she would break an egg (or two) over crispy bits of fried potato in the now-super-hot pan. The best breakfast, ever.

  71. Absolutely love my eggs like this and have noticed it’s how they’re served in the cooler UK restaurants. The greasy spoon cafes (do you have that term in America? I don’t know) where you can get a cheap fried breakfast tend to serve the whites soft on the underneath and sometimes slightly undercooked on the top. I know which I prefer!

  72. Dawn H

    I,too, have always been like your former self. I will now have to try this method, but honestly, when you’re ready to return to your roots, the next time you’re out for breakfast, simply order your eggs “basted.” No bacon fat, lard or olive oil, just a little butter in a pan, crack the eggs, pour in a little water, cover with a lid. Perfectly cooked, smooth whites (no crispy edges at all) and lovely, hazy, runny yolks. These are the eggs of your former dreams! I learned this technique from my father-in-law 40 years ago and have never looked back! :-)

  73. Dahlink

    This brings back memories of my Grandmother Nan, who was transplanted from Texas. Her eggs were cooked in bacon fat. The eggs were crispy, but the bacon was limp and barely cooked. I had to beg her to put the bacon back in the pan to crisp it up!

  74. When my sister, brother and I had our cousin Sherry babysitting us (I hated the term……I was 8 and all grown up) she made us breakfast one morning with fried eggs (over cooked in her professional egg cooking career. She was 15 after all….) that were identical to these. I still remember the smoke rising from the pan, her look of panic as eggs hit the pan and the ensuing explosion. Moments later she scraped the eggs from the pan, placed them on two plates with toast, and served them to my sister and myself. Our little brother was only 2 at the time, and was watching from the safety of his high chair. He was eating/wearing pureed bananas. OMG……we never forgot those eggs. They were the “bomb”…. the absolute best eggs we’d ever had in our entire lives and…….. and remember…….I was 8! These forever became known as “Sherry Eggs” and went down in history as one of the finest babysitting moments in history. Today, when I feel a craving for these eggs coming on, I usually try to cook something the night before that will set the stage..(make a bit of a mess on the stove top) so that the splattered grease from the Sherry Eggs doesn’t ruin that special moment the next morning.

  75. Will Lewis

    Fried eggs in bacon fat brings back the days. Mom had a grease container on the stove for bacon fat. After making bacon and straining the bacon fat into the container, making eggs was one cast iron pan, two scoops (sorry Raisin Bran) of bacon fat, three eggs and let them fry. When edges began to brown, baste with bacon fat, salt and pepper. Serve them up with bacon, toast, jam and glass of cold whole milk (tastes like cream to me now)!

  76. The crispy egg recipe jumped off the page when I saw it. So funny though because after 45 years of marriagewhen I fry eggs if they crack or are the least bit too brown or crispy my husband gets them because I know like Mikey he will eat anything. I have never liked crispy eggs but may have to give it a try

  77. christine

    This is my favorite camping food – on a cast iron over the fire, after we’ve cooked the bacon so that the pan is covered in bacon fat and blazing hot when the eggs go in.

  78. This is how my Thai family eats eggs. I had completely forgotten about this until my husband came home yesterday and said “WE HAVE TO MAKE THIS.”

  79. Jessica

    Oh Deb. You say jump, I jump. You say make crispy eggs, I plan a breakfast brunch around it. You say buy a fish spatula, I have one en-route for delivery on Monday.

    Please do not abuse this power.

  80. Lisa

    I love crispy eggs, have made them since I was introduced to the concept by my aunt in Germany some 30 years ago. She also taught me that finely mincing onions and browning them in the pan before cracking the eggs into it, so they bake into the whites, adds a wonderful layer of flavor. Guess I know what I’m having for breakfast tomorrow! Thanks for this – and all your other – posts, I love this blog!

  81. I adore how excited you are about this egg cooking technique. It’s so telling of how much you care about making good food and sharing it with us. Thank you, Deb!

  82. Marilyn

    I just tried the crispy egg – – well, I made two. Absolutely fun, great way to start the day (a little drama!) – and delicious. I usually don’t like egg whites, but these were fantastic. Thanks for sharing this awesome wake-up-and-be-happy recipe.

  83. Jessica

    My Cuban grandmother has always fried eggs with crispy edges. Her technique includes basting the egg white by spooning hot oil onto it while cooking. It cooks the white while keeping the yolk nice and runny. Served with lots of salt over white rice is the most delicious comfort food!

  84. Rachel

    So this looks delicious. I love crispy and brown eggs (no mushiness for me!) but I can’t help but imagine getting burned from the oil… every time! Is there a trick? Something other than long oven mitts, I mean?

  85. McKenzie

    One of these over homefries will definitely be my breakfast tomorrow.

    Also, I don’t understand people who think everything causes cancer. Get you a good egg and some good olive oil and relax! If the people in the Mediterranean do this as their “standard” egg, I don’t think we need to worry much.

  86. nan

    As far back as I can remember I’ve never eaten an egg (unless it’s in something like a cake) but I’m a fan of anything crispy and this just might get me to try an egg at long last! But if I fail to muster up the courage I know the mister will love these – thanks!

  87. Terri

    If I’d read this post yesterday, today would have been my second day eating these eggs. I have never eaten an egg cooked this way! Fried eggs with attitude (and lace)! There will be some of these eggs on top of our ratatouille for dinner tonight!

  88. Ellie

    I’ve always loved the simplicity of crispy eggs, but have eaten them in hiding for fear of being chided due to all the of health warnings we’ve had for years about cholesterol and frying foods etc. Thank goodness eggs are seen as a healthy food – for what they really are. I like to heat up a dab of olive oil and then melt in a little butter before cracking the egg. I like the smokey flavor the oil and butter give off together.

  89. Colleen

    I have made these before, but never knew I was actually making something the right way, always thought they were an accident, but tasted great.
    Have you ever done a post on your top favorite kitchen gadgets?

  90. Leslie

    The images are amazing, and the technique is intriguing; however, I cannot emphasize how much I loathe browned egg whites with the hatred of a 1000 haters. It’s interesting to see how many people do love them though! Plus, more gleaming white egg whites for me!

  91. I too resisted any fried crispy egg until I made one by accident (this year!). It is now my secret since my husband teases me that I don’t like anything other than scrambled ;) Might have to let the cat out of the bag soon!

  92. Lisa

    Please don’t let your olive oil smoke – it’s really bad for you when it does! “When oil gets heated beyond its smoke point, it starts to break down chemically. It loses most of its antioxidants, releases toxic chemicals in the form of smoke, and becomes filled with carcinogenic free radicals.”

  93. sam-c

    Oh, I need to practice my technique. I’ve been a fan too of crispy edged egg whites myself, but I like the yolk to remain liquid-y. So when I’ve done this, for the past 20 years, I put the egg on the pan and then cut the yolk out, carefully remove it from the pan, and then let the white cook longer to get it crispy. Looks like I am doing something wrong!

  94. Anne C.

    I grew up in Malaysia, and this is the default fried egg across all cultures there,and found everywhere – in stalls, restaurants and at home. It is called Telur Mata Kerbau in Malay, translating to Water Buffalo Eye Egg, since the yolk in the middle of the whites makes it look like the eye of said animal, I suppose. I haven’t seen one up close (water buffalo, not egg). In Chinese, we call it He Bao Dan, which means Purse egg. Am not sure why…but when sometimes it ends up being folded when flipped too fast too soon, it does resemble a purse with a little treasured yolk in the middle.
    It accompanies everything, from coconut sambal rice, to fried noodles, to white rice, to banana leaf rice, to just by itself with sprinkled soy sauce and a shake or two of white pepper. I have seen batches of 20 eggs frying at the same time in a wok. When the oil is hot and abundant enough, simultaneous multiple egg frying is definitely doable.
    I miss this every time we go out to breakfast here in the USA, but luckily they are easy to make at home. I have found that the hotter your oil is (and the more oil you use), the faster it crisps up, and the easier it is to get set yet tender whites instead of rubbery whites that results from being left for too long in the wok. So I tend to use a high smoking point oil like canola or rice bran, instead of olive oil, though that works too, and I have seen it specifically recommended in Spanish cookbooks. My mom reduces the amount of oil needed, and exposure to too much heat at the bottom by flipping the egg over halfway.She uses a really thin edged but very sturdy spatula which I cannot find here, but with a little care, regular spatulas worked for me with this egg.

    Phew, who knew that I could write so many words about a fried egg?!
    First time commenter here but long time follower. Thanks for writing! Enjoyed many of your recipes.

  95. KatieK

    Ricardo, don’t know if something is wrong with your screen or mine–the photos I see have toasty, brown egg whites–nothing close to black.
    I’ve been making eggs like this for years; never knew they were anything special, it was just the way I liked them. Cast iron is by far the best kind of pan. I use a splatter shield to keep the mess to a minimum. Those crispy edges are wonderful–loved the “lace” description.

  96. Hmm, I don’t know. This is intriquing, but I also cannot stand that wirey edge on eggs. However, I like your blog so much I’ll give it a try! Unfortunately, I will have to make this when my husband is not home because he has an irrational grease / spatter phobia and will freak out if a tiny speck of grease touches the stove, let alone a potential explosion of butter or Pam. Actually, since the egg seems to cook so quickly, I”ll do it when he’s in the shower. Spatula in one hand, Windex in the other.

  97. Deb W.

    So funny I’m reading this today. I did this to my eggs by mistake yesterday when my pan was blazing hot after making two other batches of eggs over easy. I was fascinated by the bubbling and explosion and worried I would horribly overcook/ruin them! Mine was a great fried egg sandwich and I will fine tune it today after reading this post and comments. Thanks!

  98. Ami

    I love crispy eggs! Recently I’ve come up with a new spin on it, which is to fry an egg in plenty of butter on a high heat (but not in the explosive method used here!) and dot broken up slices of cheese (anything cheddar-like) on and around the egg. The bits directly on the pan will bubble, brown and crisp up. Crispy cheese..ahhh.

    On crispy eggs, I also love the Southeast Asian hardboiled eggs that are fried after they’re peeled for an all-over crispy outside!

  99. deb

    Re, wiry edge to eggs — I should have probably mentioned this in the post, since I discussed my distaste for that wiry bit, but the texture you get from cooking your egg this way is. It’s not a giant wiry edge, but has a base like a gorgeously golden potato chip (see photo #6, the “upskirt”); it’s all crispy crunch and no chew. I still have no fondness for wiry-style eggs.

  100. I was just talking about how I love my eggs cooked this way this morning, and then I saw your post! We’re on the same wavelength! The only difference is that I’ll cover mine with a tight fitting lid and the steam will cook the yolk and the top of the egg perfectly so no need for flipping!

    Great Post!

  101. Kat

    My Greek partner always makes eggs like this…. of course Greeks do anything in the kitchen with a lot of olive oil. Funny that New Yorkers suddenly think it’s a “thing”…

  102. Carole

    Deb, I’ve been following and loving your blog for years but never felt I could add anything to your recipes. Finally, after reading about crispy eggs which has been a family favorite for 40 years I would like to make a suggestion. I crack pepper right into the butter before I add the eggs. That way it gets a wonderful roasted flavor. Love your recipes and the simplicity of each I’ve tried. A favorite is the knishe recipe.

  103. Grabbermcgrew

    Deb I am so mad at you!! All my life I thought if you made your eggs like this you were not a good cook. Read your recipe this morning, cause voila it showed up in my email, and now I know just how many eggs I’ve wasted over the years! So I guess, thanks? ;)

  104. Yes!!! This is exactly how I make my egg. I like to use at least a tablespoon of olive oil heated just to the point of smoking, then drop in the egg as described above. My husband, he of the gelatinous egg white, thinks I’m insane. Fave accompaniment to crispy fried egg: toasted Ezekiel bread with layer of sweet butter.

  105. Jacquelyn

    I just had to try this for lunch today and it was delicious! I was concerned about burning the egg, but the texture was wonderful! I perched the egg on top of a little brown rice sautéed with garlic, spinach, some straggling green tomatoes from the garden and feta. This might be a new addiction!

  106. Terry

    My Dad used to do this in the grease after he fried bacon, he would splash the grease up onto the whites so they got all bubbly and delicious. Yummmm

  107. Priscilla

    We’ve always made eggs like this at home — I’m from India — and we just call it a bulls eye. The Western version of the bulls eye always seems terribly limp to me!

    This works best if your pan is really hot and if you use an oil with a higher smoking point than olive. I usually use sunflower or rice bran, since most Indian cooking does require a higher smoking point oil anyway. It’s also best to eat this kind of egg instantly, I think, while it’s still crispy. And I like eating it with soft, untoasted bread — that way, the contrast in textures is higher.

  108. Diem

    Love crispy fried eggs, but never bothered to figure out how to do it right. Thank you!! The simplest recipes are sometimes the best.

  109. Sometimes on weekends my dad used to make crispy egg sandwiches for lunch (if my mom was out of the house and therefore couldn’t remind him that he really should be eating a salad instead). This reminds me so much of him.

  110. Yay! Thank you!! I just sent the link to my husband and he said “this is like your favorite egg ever.”
    He’s right.
    Also, as an Oakland native, I am loving your use of the word “hella.”
    Egg frying time!

  111. LS Gourmet

    The first time I cooked breakfast for my husband (48 years ago), I made eggs they way my father did on Sunday mornings, bacon drippings and crispy. The SO gagged – his mother only used butter and her eggs were definitely not crispy. There was no way to compromise on this, to this day we each make our own eggs.

  112. Jessica

    So, I just did this and ate them over toast. It was a quick and yummy very early dinner (I was up at 4am!). These are perfect. The crispiness is so satisfying. And it was very easy (and also exciting when the egg and oil were sputtering about).

  113. pamela singer

    WELLLLLLLL crispy eggs are it..always have been in our family My Basque DAD is responsible along with his love for PIG but thats another story.. Recently we started eating the eggs with kalamati olive French loaves and some curry powder..
    Heavenly….we also love rosemary on DILL BREAD …..when the yolks spill gently all over the crispy bread and whites OH MY….heaven just pure heaven and what a way to jump start a DAY

  114. sarah b.

    i used to think i was frying eggs “wrong” because i couldn’t get them colorless and perfectly oval like in my delia smith cookbook – now i know my great-grandma’s way is perfectly acceptable :) hot bacon grease in the cast iron skillet left over from frying breakfast bacon, egg white crispy and bubbly, yolk just hot. butter some toast and you’re done!

  115. Gak! Gak! I have spent my entire life also avoiding the crisp on an egg. Not to be a pary pooper, but I think I will continue to do that. When I was 4 and 5 my Granma fixed breakfast for me. Now her eggs were really crisp. You ain’t seen crisp, honey, until you saw my Grandma’s eggs. I loved her dearly and I choked them down. Never ever ever ever ever again. I am laughing at myself. I am such a flexible eater, but this is one of the few times I draw a line in the sand.

  116. Carol

    I was so excited about making these for dinner tonight that I made my family wait for spaghetti carbonara. And the crispy eggs were perfect! Next time, I’m going to be a little more patient and let them get even darker. Best part was using the leftover oil and hot pan to make an omelette for those that don’t appreciate the crispy egg. Definitely need to make this again tomorrow…

  117. Ivy

    I love my fried eggs with crispy lacy edges and runny yolks too. My comfort food is this fried egg off the pan doused with soy sauce and ground white pepper with loads of rice.

  118. This is EXACTLY what I am like with eggs! My boyfriend will be eating his while I am still standing at the stove trying to make sure all the gooey white bits are gone! I love a good crispy egg!

  119. nancy k

    I loved this post…it brought back childhood Sunday morning breakfast memories. My dad always cooked eggs this way when we asked for sunny side up. He would drop the eggs in the already hot bacon fat and just let them go.I aways thought that sunny side up eggs were crispy and crunchy on the bottom and only learned they are not when I ordered one in a restaurant as and an adult.I plan to make crispy eggs for breakfast thsi weekend…yum

  120. Joyce

    I would always eat eggs this way on top of steamed white rice and ketchup for breakfast. Sounds strange, but it is a delicious quick breakfast!

  121. Gene

    Chefs might be bringing this technique back, but like others, this is the way Mom used to make them after frying the bacon, splashing the extra grease on top to finish cooking the whites. This morning I cooked them as you did in a cast iron pan (in coconut oil instead of bacon grease) and they were as I remembered. It’s always about the balance of flavors and textures for me. Clean-up too. My preferred method remains to break the yolk while cooking at med-low temp in butter, sprinkled with a little onion salt and seasoned pepper, flipped to set the whites and partially set the yolk, then placed on buttered sourdough toast (California or San Francisco type, not sandwich loaf). The yolks are still a little runny and the whites are completely set. It’s taken me over six decades to arrive at this iteration of egg nirvana (which falls into my breakfast rotation 3 or 4 days a week on average).

  122. Nathaniel

    I just made a couple of these eggs, and they turned out perfectly cooked, with a crispy bottom, puffed up just-set whites, and runny yolk. The best fried eggs I’ve ever had. I have never been happy with my fried eggs in the past, and I now I know why. But, now I will forever make perfect fried eggs, thanks to this post.

    I put them on some toasted Italian bread with salt, cracked pepper, and a bit of grated Romano, and then I realized I just created eggs-on-toast cacio e pepe. It was delicious.

  123. Nathaniel

    Also, I was shaking the pan a little bit and I noticed it was splashing oil on top of the whites.. I think that may have helped them to cook and set up faster. Good tip, it reminds me of J. Kenji Lopez-Alt’s tip for cooking steaks, of basting one side with the oil in the pan while you sear the other side.

  124. As someone with the exact opposite egg proclivities (i.e. poached egg = runny whites = instant upset stomach), I can get behind this egg 100%. I too have heard of the basting the egg with oil or butter technique, but for some reason (the steam method) I haven’t tried it. Looks like it’s time to go melt some butter!

  125. Tilly

    Nooo! Not crispy eggs. I sometimes make them by accident, if the oil is too hot, but I consider them a big mistake. Lovely tender whites and medium / half runny yolks is perfect for me.

  126. Alice

    A little soy dribbled on top is super yummy! That is how I always eat fried eggs. I also the fried egg with soy on top of congee. Break the yolk and mix it with the rice congee. Yum!!!

  127. Douglas

    When I cook my crispy eggs, I do the same as you but I cover the skillet. This not only reduces the amount of splatter but also cooks the top. However, it’s very easy to overcook the egg. Timing and listening to the sounds from the skillet are everything – when you begin to hear a ‘popping’, remove skillet from the heat and uncover.

  128. nora1

    i’m in my mid-30s and love cooking but it’s only recently begun to dawn on me that sometimes in the kitchen you just really need to be brave and *use heat*. as in, yes, you are going to risk burning the food and burning yourself and the experience of cooking may approach real life but the food might also taste that way. so, i tried these eggs and they demonstrated the principle perfectly. so yummy & on a different level. thanks once again smitten kitchen.

  129. Noemi

    We have our own hens, and we eat a lot of eggs– and this is far and away my favorite way to eat eggs now! Thank you so much for sharing this technique. It is so delicious! I have convinced some of my friends to try it, and they have also been won over.

  130. Anne

    This was FANTASTIC. I just made for breakfast (with a little cheddar, green onions, salt and pepper sprinkled on top). This recipe made me realize that I DON’T have everything necessary in the kitchen. Ordering a 6″ cast iron skillet and fish spatula today. Thanks, Deb!

  131. Kelly

    I read your previous comment about this being more than an Italian cooks thing. A number of Thai recipes require a crispy fried egg on top. I have been working to perfect mine as they are quite possibly my favorite food. Everything is better with an egg on it, right?

  132. Marilyn Hunt

    OMG! I grew up eating eggs prepared this way by my German grandmother. After milking the cows in the early hours on the dairy farm you were treated to fabulous crispy eggs with the most wonderful homemade bread toast slathered in homemade butter and jam. Nothing short of extraordinary. I just assumed everyone ate crispy eggs. Delish! So glad you enjoy them.

  133. Gina

    I love this! My mom does the best crispy eggs ever and I can’t never recreate and achieve perfection but I’m going to see the video and make better crispy eggs than her! :D

  134. Robert

    Thanks for this post…. brought back a lot of memories of my great grandmother (almost everything we ate there was raised or grown on the farm) …. She cooked bacon, eggs, biscuits and sometimes gravy every morning on her wood stove. Crispy eggs in a cast iron skillet…. when I looked at your egg picture, all I could see was my Grandma (ok, I also smelled bacon, eggs and biscuits with the faint aroma of wood smoke)

  135. Irene

    Want even better eggs? Do it in a carbon steel or cast iron wok (not non-stick Teflon crap), the rounder the inside the better, and yes, definitely scoop some oil over the whites and yolk area. This is how my family does it for 30+ years. Nothing new for us.Crispy omelets with scallions are also good this way, but easier to over cook.

    1. deb

      Kelly — Yes, I’m totally obsessed with Asian uses for them too. I hope to have a recipe along those lines to share here soon.

      ANJb — Yes, thanks.

  136. Jillian F

    This was a great breakfast this morning! I used an all clad skillet, vegetable oil and the fish spatula. I also spooned the oil over the whites and used a splatter screen. Absolutely delicious and simple. I had it on a slice of bread.

  137. Lindsey

    I love eggs and your blog (follower from day one). Recently, I have been working my way through the fabulous “Eggs on Top” ( Highly recommended. Andrea’s “Working Girl’s Supper” is particularly fantastic – whole grain bread, smashed avocado with lemon and basil, and a crispy fried lemon egg on top – made just as you described with a splash of lemon juice when you add the egg to the pan to add to the splatter :) Thanks for posting.

  138. Dean

    Worked perfectly! I cooked the egg is a small, well seasoned cast iron pan. The edges were crackling crisp and the yolk was warmed through but still runny. Served on top of some cooked potatoes and onions. A great way to start the morning. The key really is to have the pan and the oil good and hot. Yes, it spattered, but not as much as I feared.

  139. Hi! In Asia specially, we, Filipinos cooks egg in many different ways. One of these is the thing we called “tortang talong”.One of my favorites. First, you have to broil the eggplant. Once ready, flattened it with the fork. Then soak it in the scrambled egg. Fry it. Now ready to eat.

  140. I make eggs almost every day, but never thought about making them this way! I made the hubby’s friend (because he is afraid of jiggly whites) and mine with egg whites (because I’m pregnant) and they were delicious and so easy. A great new take on the standard old egg!

  141. Priscilla

    As a child I had braces. The metal in the braces reacted unpleasantly with the crisp edge of eggs (I call them the frizzles). I can’t eat crispy eggs to this day (I am now 75). Just an interesting note. Thanks for your wonderful recipes and photos.

  142. Kitt

    I have never cooked eggs this way – we enjoyed these eggs both mornings this past weekend and I am already looking forward to having them next weekend….eaten on toast and with a perfect sliced tomato on the side they were just perfect. Thank you!

  143. Lobo

    I put a cover on the pan. I cracked the egg into a small sauce dish. When the oil was hot, I quickly lifted the cover, slipped the egg in on the side away from me and quickly covered it again. This prevents getting burned by the splatter.

  144. Laura

    Deb, if you want to avoid the splattering problem try this trick when cooking your fried eggs with olive oil: shower the hot oil with just a bit of plain flour. It works!

  145. JO

    I am SO glad you posted this! I have been served crispy eggs at two friend’s homes and I was wondering what kind of egg revolution was going on! I give it 3 months before every menu has a crispy egg on it :)

  146. Yum! I love fried eggs! great way to add a little kick to so many meals. Thanks for the great tip to put some of the cooking oil on top of the egg while it’s cooking! Can’t wait to try it.

  147. Élena

    My chosen lunch of this summer: crispy egg dressed the Turkish way, with a spoonful of garlic yogurt and a drizzle of chili oil on top. Don’t forget brwad to mop up the remains.

  148. MIssy

    I’ve been making these all the time since this post (on toast, on bread with tomato sauce, on top of a salad) and love them.

  149. Julie

    I just made these, and although had some trouble with pan sticking, they were absolutely delicious and my new favorite way to eat eggs! Thank you!

  150. Julie

    P.S., I sent a link to this post to my sister. She texted me back saying, “I live the way that chick writes!” :*) “Me too!”, I texted her back.

  151. I am coming back here to tell you that I made crispy eggs this morning and they were so good!! The funny thing is I was all excited about telling my fiance about how I read about crispy fried eggs on smitten kitchen, and he said that that’s the way his family always makes eggs (He is Dominican). I am never going back to non-crispy fried eggs!

  152. amanda

    I made this tonight served over rice with coconut aminos. I used coconut oil for the fat. I was trying to replicate a classic kaya toast flavor. I guess I waited a tad too long so the oil really smoked while the egg fried. The egg didn’t burn but I managed to set off every smoke detector in my tiny house! I still think it was worth it because this was quite delicious! Now I just have to find a way to do this again with less smoke!

  153. Wendy

    Aha- THIS is what my grandma’s small cast iron skillet is for! Made them yesterday and loved them so much I had to make them this morning again. Thanks!

  154. I too have avoided crispy eggs for most of my life. My siblings and I dubbed the texture “plastic” and did everything we could to avoid eating plastic eggs. However, this looks like a slight step up from plastic. I might just have to give it a try.

  155. CarolJ

    Now that’s livin’! My first crispy egg after a lifetime (68 years) of only gently cooked over-easy. A revelation! I cooked some extra Yukon gold potatoes for dinner last night so that I could fry them today for lunch. When they came out of the pan, in went the egg. I followed the tip to spoon the hot oil over, and my eyes widened at the extra bubbles. A sensational lunch. Just fyi, I used high heat safflower oil and a de Buyer iron pan – I find it heats more evenly and is even slicker than my cast iron pans.

  156. This is almost exactly the manner in which my Mom cooked eggs for us (including the scooping of hot fat on top of the egg), except she did it with the yummy left over bacon grease. I know olive oil is a better choice (if you’re going to fry) but nothing beats the memory of that sweet, crunchy, bacony flavored egg white for me.

  157. I have been on a mission to get eggs right all summer (I too hate the overcooked crispy egg), and discovered this style a couple months ago when the kitchn had an article about them ( So many good things happening with these eggs! Fun to watch cook, delicious to eat, and they don’t stick! I haven’t made them this way in a while, but I might have to have them for breakfast tomorrow. Yum.

  158. Siobhan Troyer

    Nice, Deb. A recent issue of The Good Cook Illustrated set out to create a fried egg exactly like yours … Same method, but used half & half butter & oil, a non-stick pan, & slapped the lid on, like Meg’s Mom (but no water), then peeked until white was cooked. The photo in the America’s Test Kitchen recipe is just like yours, maybe not quite as brown. Ambrosia!

  159. Ann G.

    My husband grew up in Spain and he serves these crispy fried eggs over a pile of croutons made with peasant bread crisped in olive oil, and bits of chorizo. He calls them ‘migas,’ like the Mexican version made with fried tortillas.

    What a belly bomb, but so delicious!!

  160. Siobhan Troyer

    Had these tonight over a mound of crispy fried potatoes, decadent!
    On the subject of eggs, have you ever come across a dish called “Cock-a-doodle Soup”? My dad, (b. 1904) sometimes made this, & I suspect it came from his Mom, who immigrated from Ireland to Canada as a young woman. Googling turns up various chicken soup recipes, not @ all the same thing! Here’s my dad’s formula: Bring 8-10 oz. whole milk to a bare simmer. Break in one large egg. With a fork, break the yolk, & stir very gently to separate the egg into bite size pieces, keep @ a bare simmer until egg is just cooked, but very tender. Transfer to a mug, add a dab of butter, a pinch of salt, & a dusting of paprika, eat with a soup spoon. I think this is almost a sick-room recipe, or for anyone under the weather, it’s literally comfort food. Takes almost no time to make, gentle on the tummy, nourishing, … I loved it as a child! I’d be interested to hear if you or one of your ardent fans has ever come across it, &, if anyone tries it, enjoy! Might be nice with a bit of toast. Count me a fan too …

    1. deb

      Siobhan — That sounds very good, almost a little like the Greek chicken soup someone was telling me about this week — with chicken and also avgolemono. Paprika and butter sound wonderful in there.

  161. Rachel

    I just tried this. I was really worried about how hot the pan was after a minute of hearing, but went ahead and poured in the oil anyway. It caught fire almost immediately from the hot metal. I think it probably ruined my omelette pan. :-(

  162. Jen

    I’ve done this a few times now. I would say it’s not totally goof-proof: if you break the yolk pouring the egg into the pan, it doesn’t crisp as well. There is still crispiness, just not as much. I think it’s because the part where the yolk runs over gets insulated and doesn’t cook in a flash.

  163. Nathan

    Tried these this morning. Turned out great, and are surprisingly tasty! I put them on my whole wheat waffles and wow, was that ever good. Thanks! (as other commenters have pointed out, I also enjoy your writing and the fact that you measure your olive oil via the “glug”)

  164. Kate

    I put these on top of spaghetti squash, chorizo, and kale and it was maybe the most delicious thing ever. I’ve been following your blog for years and love every recipe I’ve tried!

  165. poornima

    Fantastic recipe! you are absolutely right in saying that you are likely to get it right in the first try… thank you for sharing this crackling egg recipe. just made one and enjoyed it.

  166. Ann

    This is Ann the RV’er. This is my husband’s new favorite egg recipe! On any given day, when asked what he would like for breakfast, the answer is “Smitten Kitchen Crispy Eggs!” FYI, as per one of the comments above, we break the eggs into a bowl first and then pour into the pan. Delish! Thanks again for all your hard work

  167. Molly

    I don’t usually comment on blogs, but I saw this post the other day and decided to try it. I’ve made a crispy egg every day since! Excellent breakfast over home fries.

  168. Tina

    omg yes!! I grew up eating these but I can’t find anyplace that makes egg like this. Its one of the best way to have a egg, ym!

  169. Alicia Greenrabbit

    This incredibly so old school,like Fanny Farmer classic. Now let me get back to my fried egg sandwich with mayo and pepper.

  170. Jennifer

    My stainless gas stove with cast iron grates is SUCH a pain to clean that I dithered about trying this for ‘just an egg or two’. I thought a flat bottomed wok, maybe? Starving for lunch and with this egg on my mind, I ended up using my miu deep fry pan – it has a heavy, flat bottom and I hoped the sides would contain the splatter – or at least most of it. It worked! I love runny yolks that are a wee bit emulsified, I tend not to like the whites too much – especially not if a. rubbery, b. slimy and undercooked, or c. crispy unto rubber-bandy. I’ve cooked eggs in the sous vide, in the pressure cooker, in the oven, poached in water, poached in little silicone cups, ……all of that and more – and these uber fried eggs are my favorite! The whites bubbled, puffed and fluffed like a soufflé and the yolks, bit creamy at the bottom, and poured forth pure golden goodness when pierced. And, I didn’t have to spend 30 minutes cleaning my stove afterwards! Yeah!

  171. Kate

    How did I just try this for lunch today? Amazing and delicious. Now I just want to add these to everything…black bean soup? Put an egg on it. Toast? Egg on it. Rice? Eggs. This is fantastic.

  172. buzz

    I can’t believe ANYONE is considering this “a thing” and needed a chef to expose them to it. This is the way fried eggs have been made in my family since ever. This is why it is called a “fried” egg. Anything else would be considered under cooked in my house. I feel sorry for you people that have never had a fried egg before.

  173. Tobie

    I grew up having my eggs like this. However, one difference is that my mother had only 1 pan that you could use for this–it was an aluminum skillet. I noticed she still had that pan when she passed away but it was missing it’s handle. I still cook my eggs that same way but in an iron skillet.

  174. I know one reader has mentioned it but this belongs on top of a heaping mound of spicy nasi goreng or served with some nasi lemak. Malaysia is redolent with these friend eggs atop dishes served for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I feel like you might enjoy it there!

  175. Katie

    I finally got around to trying this, but most of the crispiness got stuck to the stainless steel pan. Do you know where I might have gone wrong – not enough oil? too long in the pan? Thanks!

  176. deb

    Katie — Three things, one, you always want to heat your pan (fully, a full minute), heat the oil (fully, at least half a minute, more in this case because you want it almost smoking) and then add the egg. This is the “pro” way to make sure you’re using your stainless steel pan in a way that provides the best release. The second part is that if it was heated as I describe above, it might have just needed another minute to get more of a shell underneath. After this, a good thin spatula does help with the final separation. Hope that helps for next time.

  177. nzle

    Today I made The Crispy Egg with leftover rendered chicken fat, a move I highly recommend. (I also, um, showered it with fried onions from a can after placing it on (buttered) toast. I guess I was in real need of comfort food.)

  178. Anna

    how did you attain perfectly separate eggs as in your photo? in the video he seems to add two at once and come out with them attached; did you use multiple skillets at once (seems like one cast iron and one stainless are in your photos but you ended up with three eggs on your platter)? have any advice for doing three in a large cast iron?

  179. deb

    I cooked them separately because I like to use a very tiny skillet for these. You can put more than one in your pan at a time, but it will reduce the amount of crispy edges where they are conjoined. :)

  180. Dawn from the Frozen North

    I know I am a bit late to the conversation, but I tried these eggs on my egg hating son this weekend. He ate them. Woo hoo.
    I used bacon fat as I didn’t want to dirty another pan. At first, i found that the eggs were sticking, but it turned out that I was rushing the eggs along. If I left them alone a bit longer, they relesed beautifully from my cast iron skillet. Patience is a virtue with this dish

  181. Cirya

    Any suggestions for doing this in a rental with a slow-to-respond electric stovetop? So far, I’ve been heating one burner to high and one to medium high, starting the pan on the first and then moving everything to the second after adding the egg. But this pours out *a lot* of heat. Fine for the winter, but not so much in summer. Thanks!

  182. Natalie

    These eggs + the honey and harissa farro salad from your book = omg!
    Probably my favorite “put an egg on it” dish I’ve ever made.

  183. Asha Sanaker

    Who knew that the way I make my eggs because I’m a single mom with two kids, two cats and one dog who often subsists on fried egg sandwiches when the kids arent’ here because still, even without them, there is so much to do which keeps my from fussy food and also, WHY WOULD YOU NOT EAT THIS EVERY DAY?? My recent favorite is open faced with mayo, butter lettuce and fresh basil from my garden, and just the lightest slivers of sharp cheddar cheese, layering as so: mayo on good multi-grain, then lettuce and basil leaves, then cheese, then the egg so that the cheese softens but doesn’t melt completely. It is heaven on toast.

  184. Mihaela

    I made two crispy eggs today and on a whim fried some capers in the remaining oil, after taking the eggs out. I fried them for half a minute or so, then served them on top of the eggs. It adds a wonderful little savory crunchy feeling :)

  185. Julie

    Nope, this didn’t work for me at all. Not only did it fill my apartment with smoke, but my arm got splattered with hot oil, the egg burned on the bottom (black and not tasty at all), and the white didn’t even finish cooking before I had to take it out and toss it straight into the sink (would have been the trash but was afraid it would melt the bag). I guess it worked for most others, but I just want to warn some of your readers that this could go very badly. I guess it got TOO hot? I’m too afraid of trying again after being burned (literally) once.

  186. Sarah

    I was born and raised in the Philippines and crispy eggs is how I remember my childhood. Eggs are always cooked this way. If I am not mistaken, most South East Asian countries do the same.

  187. Sandy

    The only time I’ve been able to get eggs like this was in an old Eckerd pharmacy with a lunch bar. Ginelle, who cooked with the angels, would make these and, before your eyes, flip them for those of us who faint at runny whites. Yet, the yolks were still nice and runny.

    Now I can try my own. I was always terrified, before, and haven’t eaten any since Eckerd’s modernized and lost the lunch counter.


  188. Pamela

    Question: In order to have a hot yolk, but not cooked to dry, I imagine it helps to have the eggs at room temperature before cooking. Or does this smoking hot pan actually heat through the yolk?

  189. deb

    Pamela — It can help, but mine certainly don’t have cold yolks.. 2 to 3 minutes in a searing hot pan does indeed heat them. But they’d certainly get hotter if the eggs began less cold.

  190. KatieK

    Trying to make myself eat breakfast in this new year; not crazy about most breakfast food until mid-morning and by then, it’s almost time for lunch. That doesn’t do good things to my blood sugar. So, for three days now, I’ve done breakfast. Tuesday is was Deb’s scrambled eggs; the texture is so much better than what I was taught to do. So today it was the crispy egg; wow, the whites ARE amazing. As I like my yokes not too runny, I simply put a lid on the pan for 30 seconds to firm it up a bit. By far the best fried egg I have ever had. On a piece of whole wheat toast with freshly ground pepper, breakfast may not be such a bad idea after all.

  191. Leslie from Ontario

    Hi Deb,
    These look excellent – reminds me of the saying “brown tastes good.” When I eat eggs I seem to need more food to fill me up and my fav side for breakfast is your butternut squash salad with farro, pumpkin seeds and a salty cheese. Perfect any time of the day.
    Cheers, Leslie

  192. O.K. I was doubtful. I’d seen this some time back and told my wife about it. She also was (is) doubtful. So I tried it a few minutes ago. Sprinkled it with coarse sea salt and Mrs. Dash when done. Delicious! A wonderful discovery.

  193. Emily

    I have always liked my fried eggs crispy around the edges. But I also like corner brownies and the end of the meatloaf too. Had this tonight over a bed of kale sautéed with sherry. I have also eaten eggs over Indian dishes like dal and mixed bean masala. Equally delicious!

  194. Michelle

    That is a very Desi kind of egg preparation. Or at least all the Indians I know love this kind of egg. Definitely they prefer eggs well done. (having been in Pakistan, my experience tells me it is probablya defensive cooking technique). I remember thinking how unhealthy it looked-but kind of glorious at the same time Funny how those two things usually go together so naturally.

  195. Rose

    I just wanted to say thank you very very much for this recipe. All my life I’ve hated breakfast, and now I look forward to it every day. Yesterday I fried up a little cake of leftover mashed potatoes until it was crispy and put the crispy eggs on it; today I put them on bread that I’d soaked with olive oil and toasted in the toaster oven, and sprinkled a little chopped fresh thyme on top. They are fantastic any and every way. And they’re the only kind of eggs I don’t have to salt, which is great for my low-sodium diet–the oil and frying add plenty of flavor. I fry two eggs together and it works great.

    To get cooked whites and runny yolks, I pour most of the whites into the pan first, let them cook a moment, and tilt the pan so some of the hot oil runs over the top of the whites. Then I add the yolks and remaining whites. After 90 seconds, they’re perfect. I lift them out of the pan with a spatula, plate, and pour a last drizzle of oil over the top. Good olive oil is essential for the tastiest eggs.

  196. Lidia

    My Italian grandmother used to make us eggs like this fried in a generous amount of olive oil and served with crusty Italian bread. Amazing!

  197. My Sitoo (grandmother) used to make these for us. She had a special pan that we all fought over when she died. It was always, “Can you make me a Sitoo egg?” from my kids … as we all enjoyed the crunchy egg! Who knew it was a culinary “thing”? We just thought Sitoo was the bomb at making eggs!!

  198. Joseph Cercy

    I was the same way until a few years ago a friend made me a crispy fried egg. It changed my world and now I always make fried eggs like this.

  199. Dani

    Growing up with very ‘villagesque’ Greek/Macedonian grandparents, this was known as a buba egg and the only way it should be cooked in her eyes..hard to fail at! With butter, oil and salt it makes it perfect everytime!

  200. straightdish

    Going to try this. My edges always turn out to be tough, but if you can get potato chip like as you say, that will be interesting!

  201. Crispy eggs?!?!?!?! Oh man, in my family that is a sign of utter incompetence in the kitchen. It still makes my sholders get tense and my moral outrage meter go off the dial when I see crispy eggs. It’s, like, sacrilege. A crime against eggs!

    That said, if you are going to be a criminal, you might as well be a good one. So, go ahead, wreck your eggs, just do it in style.

  202. WOW. I just made this – for a huevos rancheros application. THANK YOU. You were spot on. The eggs were amazing, delicious, and unbelievably I DID get them right on the first try! I made two eggs at the same time, which worked really well, but it would have been really difficult to separate them neatly if I’d planned on sharing. Good thing I didn’t ;)
    The video clip was really helpful too – I know that was from a third party, but if you ever decided to upload your own occasional video clip I think it would be awesome!

  203. AliceJ

    I am currently experimenting with 2 things: homemade naan bread and homegrown sprouts. Can I tell you how perfectly this crispy egg tied these items into the breakfast of my dreams?? Thanks Deb – I always enjoy your take on food and clear instructions.

  204. Megan

    I just made the best egg I’ve ever eaten following your recipe. I put it on a bowl of extra Mexican brown rice with sliced avocados and it was delicious. Thanks Deb!

  205. Karin

    Mmmm, as soon as you talked about removing it with a thin spatula I thought of my fish spatula that you inspired me to buy! I like my eggs crispy, but never heard of this level of crispy, will soo be trying this tomorrow morning!!

  206. Ellen

    Oh, oh, oh! Now I must too! Why is the video so mesmerizing! I watched it too many times! My husband is the official egg-cooker around here because mine turn out “gross and crispy.” I feel so vindicated and I am now armed with an official method!

  207. Faye Chan

    That’s how we like to eat them in Asia. The best! Can’t ever understand why westerners eat sunny side eggs all pale and insipid. :-)

  208. Brandyn P

    I just made some of these for myself on a crispy toasted piece of buttered bavarian rye.

    So many people are afraid of this type of egg but I think they are delicious!

  209. libracat1951

    My whites did not puff up much ( farm fresh eggs); I used a nonstick pan tho. I flipped mine on a decadent pile of your onion-y dressing leftovers!! I was in WeightWatchers hell but SK heaven!

  210. Von Lau

    My grandparents had a diner in Texas. At home my grandpa always cooked eggs
    with this method. But it was in bacon grease (kept in a can on the stove) and he always basted the eggs. It probably sounds gross to many of you, but this is true southern cooking. You can also use butter if bacon fat isn’t your thing.
    The first time I made this for my husband, he was enthralled. He had never seen a basted fried egg before. You have to tilt the pan so the egg isn’t in the fat…a couple of scoops up onto the yolk and let it run off. Your egg is perfectly done.
    Thanks for the memory!

  211. Callie

    I accidentally made a very nice crispy egg today by cooking it in a ceramic pan (which is how I always cook my eggs) but by not using any oil or fat in the pan. Usually I do butter, but the ceramic pans are naturally non-stick so today, on a whim, I just didn’t put any butter in there. And it resulted in a VERY nicely crisp egg without having to worry about sticking to the pan.

  212. chris edwards

    This is a great dish, and it is also “great” with Cholula Sauce on the crispy egg “after”.
    Good on ya for sharing it all over!

  213. Lisa

    My mother used to cook her eggs in bacon fat (there was always a coffee can of bacon fat in the kitchen) and she would splash a couple spoonfuls of hot bacon fat over the top of the egg. Anything basted with bacon fat can’t be bad. You’d cook a little more of the white and still have enough gooey egg yolk to mop up with toast. Seriously good.

  214. Kath

    I finally, finally did this. It looked so fussy at first, so unattainably crispy, that I’ve been putting these off for a while. Now I’m kicking myself for not trying it before!

    I did not get this right on the first try (I was looking around for my fish turner and let the yolk go overdone), but it was perfect on my second try, and every try thereafter. Without fail, these cook up to be crispy, fluffy, everything you want — and they look like they belong in a food magazine while doing it.

    And now I want it on everything.

  215. L. Cecilia Packard

    Finally, someone who likes crispy fried eggs. Most breakfast restaurantes use a grifgle to cook their eggs and I usually end up eating only the yolk.

  216. Georgia Ley

    I grew up on crispy fried eggs cooked in bacon fat – the ultimate flavor combo (if you eat bacon). As described above, fat must be very hot. Use spatula to flick fat over the whites – will speed up their cooking, leaving the yolk runny. So good!

  217. Maryanne

    Had my first crispy egg two days ago for brunch in a trendy modern diner. Served alongside avocado toast with chili flakes (yes!) and a beautiful salad of arugula with potatoes and string beans. I didn’t know what it was on the plate as it was fried all around…kind of like a little bird’s nest of crunchy that ran beautifully when cut into. I imagine this was a deep-fried version?

  218. Lilyane B Soltz

    I would eat this in a minute – it’s exactly the way I like my eggs best (and have had them this way atop salads in small French bistros).

    But who will clean up my messy cooktop and get ride of the spattered grease?

  219. Carol

    I had an aversion to egg yolks that were not fully cooked. I mean, I would never have eaten a sunny side up or even an over easy egg in a million years. It just grossed me out. I do NOT eat runny yolks. Then I saw this post about a year or so ago, and some switch must have flipped in my brain. I tried making a crispy on the bottom, barely over easy egg, and that was it. I don’t want them any other way. Never say never.

  220. I do not know what to say really what you share very well and useful to the community, I feel that it makes our community much more developed, thanks

  221. Eggs are such a perfect food! Like your Thing with texture, I have a Thing with undercooked whites – it totally freaks me out. I always ask for my fried eggs to be flipped so I can ensure the whites are all the way done.

  222. Rosemary

    to avoid oil splattering onto your hands, I have found a trick: crack the egg very gently into a small bowl, and then use an oven-mitted hand to empty the bowl into the frying pan.

  223. Valentina Moreno

    This is a common breakfast in my country Venezuela, It is call “huevo frito” or fried egg, we eat them with arepas or sandwich bread, over a steak, rice or as an accompanied with our pabellón, Pabellón is a national plate that comes with white rice, black beans, shredded meat, fried slices of a especial kind of banana that we call platano, white firm grated cheese and on top in the center of the plate is our fried egg. The trick is: a small pan, about 1 cm high of oil and let be hot until star smoke, then hit the egg and break the egg as as you can of the oil an in very soft way. Let for 1 minute and star bathing with a spoon the oil over de egg 3 or 4 times, with a spatula take it out of the pan serve in a warm plate and sprinkle with salt.

  224. David Wiebe

    I LOVE this idea of crispy eggs – thank you!! One thing you may have forgotten to mention over which to put these eggs is your triumphant Potato Kugel!! We made that dish during Passover and it is a perfect recipe and instantly became a “classic” in this household. A generous dollop of salmon roe over the wegde of potato kugel made it a “masterpiece”!! Thank you so much!!

  225. I made these eggs this morning put them over a bed of fresh spinach and use some brown rice that was in my fridge it was absolutely the best breakfast

  226. Tracy

    Amazing how many comments there can be on how to fry an egg. That said, after years of coddling and poaching eggs, just this week I got a hankering for crispy fried eggs, and I knew just whom to consult for the perfect technique!

  227. Emma

    YES. This is almost exactly how I cook my egg every morning. Only difference is, I love pepper (nearly) as much as I love crunch, so I whisk up the egg (like scrambled) with my pepper and salt in order to evenly distribute a massive amount of pepper in the fried egg. You do lose the runny yolk, but if you’re crazy about pepper, it’s worth it.