fried egg salad Recipes

fried egg salad

Did you fall in love with The Crispy Egg? Did you, too, find yourself obsessed with the crackly lacy edges, the potato-chip like crisp underneath, the souffled egg whites, and the high melodrama of all of that hissing and sputtering? Did you go on a Crispy Egg Bender? Come, sit down. You’re among friends.

what you'll need
any excuse to use my julienne peeler

This is the next chapter in the crispy egg saga. It was intended for the next day, but I mistakenly got distracted with chicken pot pies, chocolate babka and fall-toush salads instead — my priorities are whack, I know. It came into my life when I went on the hunt for something more interesting to do with egg salad. I mean, traditional egg salad is oh-kay (although I prefer my take on it, with coarse dijon and bits ‘o pickled celery) but given all of the magical, wonderful ways you can cook and consume eggs, don’t you think the category of egg salad really ought to contain more clever intrigues than, say, curry powder and jarred mayo (shudder)?

assembling the salad

hot sputtering souffle egg
halved crispy egg
quartered double crispy egg
hot dressing + ready to toss

I found exactly what I never knew I was looking for in the Pok Pok Cookbook I’d purchased that month, unable to resist the (worthy) hype any longer. Here, the aforementioned crispy egg is flipped and fried again, until the yolks are cooked but still “molten” and the whole thing is a golden shattery cloud. Meanwhile, prep a salad — greens, onion, carrots, celery and cilantro are suggested but there’s no reason not to add or subtract items you already have around. And look, I realize at this point you’re probably thinking, “Okay, Deb, it’s a fried egg and salad. Are we really going to make such a big deal out of this?” I get it. I’d think the same. But I haven’t told you about the dressing yet, excuse me, the sizzling dressing. The mere suggestion of the ingredient combination — lime juice, fish sauce, chiles, garlic, hold me — was enough to stop me, and every dated, mayo-inflected notion of what egg salad could be, in my tracks. Poured over this salad and rough-chopped crispy eggs while still hot and tossed just enough to slightly wilt it, to be honest, I think I wilted along with it. It’s that good. It wants to be your dinner tonight.

fried egg salad

Also new: Yesterday, on the sporadically-updated Tips blog, I walked you through making your own vanilla extract. It’s insanely simple and budget-friendly, and so good, there’s no going back to store-bought. [Make Your Own Vanilla Extract]

One year ago: Warm Lentil and Potato Salad
Two years ago: Lentil Soup with Sausage, Garlic and Chard
Three years ago: Buttermilk Roast Chicken
Four years ago: Chocolate Peanut Spread
Five years ago: Cranberry Syrup + An Intensely Almond Cake and Tomato Sauce with Onion and Butter
Six years ago: Mushroom Bourguignon and Smashed Chickpea Salad
Seven years ago: Fried Chicken
Eight years ago: Leek and Mushroom Quiche and Grapefruit Yogurt Cake

And for the other side of the world:
Six Months Ago: Grilled Peach Splits + News! and Summer Squash Gratin with Salsa Verde
1.5 Years Ago: Hot Fudge Sundae Cake
2.5 Years Ago: Peach Pie
3.5 Years Ago: Charred Corn Tacos with Zucchini-Radish Slaw

Fried Egg Salad [Yam Khai Dao]
Adapted, just a little, from the Pok Pok Cookbook

I made several liberal interpretations here. I used readily-available celery, not Chinese. I used less than one chile because my husband declared it “plenty hot” only to find that we might not have minded the second one, since the other dressing ingredients mellowed it a lot. If you’ve got palm sugar and want to make palm sugar simple syrup (here’s the recipe online), you absolutely should, but I just used 1 tablespoon water + 1 teaspoon dark brown sugar instead. Finally, the salad is supposed to be tossed at the end in a hot wok with the dressing you’ve made, but I found pouring the hot dressing over the salad and tossing it to be an acceptable substitute. It only lightly wilted the ingredients, my preference. For the to-the-letter version, plus an almost unfair amount of delicious inspiration in one place (hello, fish sauce wings, papaya salad and grilled corn with salty coconut cream), I cannot recommend the cookbook enough.

Serves 2 to 6 4 (as part of a larger meal), but it also makes an excellent single-serving meal for a hungry human

Eggs
2 large eggs, at room temperature
Enough vegetable oil to reach a depth of 1/4-inch

Salad
1 cup lightly-packed torn green leaf lettuce (approximately 2-inch pieces)
1/4 cup thinly sliced yellow onion
1/4 cup thin or julienned carrot strips
1/4 cup coarsely chopped celery, Chinese or other, include leaves
1/4 cup lightly packed coarsely chopped cilantro, thin stems and leaves

Dressing
1 1/2 tablespoons lime juice (Key limes are recommended, but don’t fuss if you can’t find them)
1 1/2 tablespoons palm sugar simple syrup [see Note up top] or 1 tablespoon water + 1 teaspoon dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon Thai fish sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons (1 large clove) very thinly sliced garlic
2 fresh Thai chiles, preferably green, thinly sliced (more or less to taste)

Fry eggs: Heat a wok or small skillet over the highest heat. Once hot, add enough oil to reach a depth of a generous 1/4-inch. Once the oil is hot enough to smoke, carefully crack the eggs into the oil — cautiously, as they will splatter a lot — and decrease the heat to medium-high. The eggs will hiss, sputter and the whites should puff and develop translucent bubbles. Once they’re very crispy and a deep golden brown underneath, 45 seconds to 1 minute, use a thin spatula to flip the eggs, trying not to break the yolks but not fretting if it happens. Cook for another minute on the second side, until the yolks are set but still slightly molten (aim to have them a little less loose than mine, shown above). Transfer eggs to paper towels; you can cook them up to 15 minutes before serving. Discard oil and wipe out wok or skillet.

Assemble salad: Place all salad ingredients in a large bowl. Quarter the eggs through the yolks and add them to the salad.

Make the dressing: Place the lime juice, palm syrup or dark brown sugar and water, fish sauce, garlic and chiles in the same wok or skillet. Set it over medium heat and heat the mixture until it just begins to sizzle at the edges, less than 30 seconds.

Finish and serve: Pour the hot dressing over the salad and eggs. Stir gently to combine. If you’re feeling fancy, transfer the salad, liquid at all, to a plate in a low heap. Eat at once.

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102 comments on fried egg salad

    1. deb

      rose — It was a liiitle bit of an impulse buy a few years ago, this one, as I don’t use it very often and technically, an adjustable-blade slicer with a few different julienne width blades is more useful. But for long vegetables like carrots, cucumbers, zucchini, it really works well.

  1. Deanna

    I can’t believe I’ve been neglecting this book for so long! Through some magical, mysterious turn of events, I ended up with a preview copy that I still have yet to cook from. Time to rectify that situation. I’ll be making this for lunch.

  2. I bought this cookbook because of my slight obsession with green papaya salad. I haven’t yet made that salad, but did the grilled eggplant salad a few months ago. It was spectacular. And I didn’t share any of it.

    Do you have a Home Goods nearby? A TJ Maxx or Marshalls? I found palm sugar in the gourmet foods section of one of those. I’ve also found ridiculously cheap whole vanilla beans in that aisle as well — for those interested in yesterday’s post.

  3. This is exactly the sort of thing I love to eat. My favorite cooking experiences happen when I realize I can rearrange ingredients I use all the time to create a whole new way of thinking about something as basic as egg salad. (I’m not a fan of the mayo slathered version, but I love me some salad Lyonnaise with runny eggs and greens.) I checked Pok Pok out the library and had to return it before I really had a chance to dig into it. This makes me want to take another look. Thanks for the reminder!

  4. Yum. I’m in such a winter food rut. You can only put-a-poached-egg-on-it so many times. I’ll give this one a shot. Need to make a Portland pilgrimage soon to try out Pok Pok. Glad to hear the cookbook is worthy. Have you been to the restaurant?

    1. deb

      LC — I totally forgot about him! Aww. I think he sold this one (now, of course, available from Amazon). I’m not sure if it juliennes but it was supposed to cut french fries so maybe it does? I should really buy one.

  5. Anya

    I’m a longtime lurker und comments are usually not my thing.
    BUT – this salad is amazing! The fresh asian aromas paired with the crunchy vegetables, crisp eggwhites and oozing yolks. Yummy! So easy to make and you can use up that last carrot & bit of salad you have left over from yesterdays dinner :-) When im coming home from work and dont feel like cooking at all, I still manage to throw this salad together – its that quick and easy. We make it at least once every two weeks.
    Thanks for making me smile today after a hard day at work :-)

  6. Magical. That’s all I can say. Fried egg in a salad? Never have I heard of such a thing and I’m immediately in love. Pinch me! I’m over the moon. What a wonderful dinner and the kids will actually love it too. And budget friendly. Key limes in the dressing. Scrumptious, will use the rest of the limes for last weeks lovely pie!!!

  7. Seriously, what random assortment of things, when topped with a fried egg, doesn’t immediately become a crazy delicious and respectable meal? I haven’t made a crispy egg in a few months (moved across the country/new kitchen/certain recipes and techniques seem to have vanished from my memory), but I’m thinking that that the SPAM and pineapple fried rice that my hawaiian husband requested is going to be the perfect backdrop for a whole mess of crispy eggs.
    Also, I think I’d drink that dressing.

  8. Mandi McKeen

    “…with each bite the yolks and whites get tangled up like lovers legs on a chilly morning.” What a way that man has with words. And eggs!

  9. Kel

    I got the Pok Pok Cookbook for my birthday last year and love it. I poured over it, reading his prose as well as his recipes. This was one of my favorite things in the book – might have to bust this out for dinner some time soon.

  10. Dawn

    Yum! Will be making this very soon! Being in Pok Pok territory (Portland, OR), we are well acquainted with Andy Ricker’s yummy chicken wings – hey, you can get them at our airport as well.

  11. Ann

    Deb, this looks so good, magic happens when garlic is combined with lime and fish sauce! Have you ever had / made Burmese tea leaf salads before? Would be interested to see your take on them! Crunchy nuts + lime + fried garlic + fish sauce + fragrant tea sounds right up your alley! :)

  12. Otter

    I’ve defiantly been on a crispy egg bender since your original post. It makes a great addition to salads and I will totally give this recipe a try. Another great addition to crispy egg salads is building the whole thing on of a piece of garlic toast. Its like a crouton meets Eggs Benedict.

  13. Squishy

    Good day,

    just stopped by to let you know that your link to “the cookbook” is broken.

    I also love your recipes, tried many and they have always been delicious. Definitely gonna try this one, been looking for salad recipes to change things up between every day Caesar and Greek salads.

    Keep up the wonderful work.

    All the best.

  14. Liz W

    Looks delightful and zippy! I’m wondering if the amount of lettuce is correct–1 cup of lightly packed lettuce doesn’t seem like quite enough for 2-6 servings. But maybe I’m just a big-salad eater.

  15. Reneé

    I just cannot find words for how delicious this was. Please, everyone, go make this now. I had too many substitutions to mention – spinach not lettuce, lemons not limes, had no celery or cilantro, but STILL SO MANY TEXTURES/FLAVORS. p.s. I ate the whole thing by myself.

  16. Iris

    Just made it for dinner. Want to eat it all over again! Yummy! Definitely needed more greens. In any event, doubled the recipe – to serve two people. Used jalapeño (our Thai chilis were past their prime) and made one more substitution. Don’t like celery that much – so used fennel. Really great! My eggs were also a little over cooked. Tough to achieve brown whites and liquid yolks, but looking forward to next time!

  17. JP

    Gotta go down and start dinner instead of drooling over this recipe. I have never had anything like it before, but once I get to the grocery store, that will be changed! Love these simple week night recipes. As always, thanks Deb!

  18. Ahhh I’ve been putting off checking out that cookbook too… You’ve inspired me! This is the kind of Thai food I thought you only find in Thailand. My favorite part is the name… Yum = salad, khai dao = fried egg…except literally it means “egg stars.” That’s right, this is star egg salad.

    (Also that dressing makes a great dip/dressing/drizzle on pretty much anything…)

  19. The crispy fried egg definitely became a favorite in my house (OK, it’s an apartment and not a house) – it’s so good! Frying the egg twice does sound awesome, and you’re right about the dressing sounding amazing. I’ve been trying to make more homemade dressing and the like juice/fish sauce/thai chili combination sounds really good, both as a dressing and maybe a dipping sauce of some sort. Looks yummy, I can totally see why you’re excited about “just a salad.”

  20. Even though not the best for me, deep fried eggs that you can get in Cantonese restaurants is my absolutely Favourite way to eat eggs. The yolk is away runny 9 like yours) but This is so much better. Salad makes it an everyday food right?

  21. Is there any possible substitution for fish sauces?? I am vegetarian plus I have a frig and pantry full of seasonings and sauces and things I have used once for recipes. Any ideas? Thanks!

  22. deb

    Denise — I got it on Amazon a few years ago.

    Kathyn — Usually, I love adding them. But I didn’t weigh these and the measurements can definitely be eyeballed. For 1/4 cup, think fistful. For 1 cup, think two handfuls. And adjust everything to taste. I can give mls on the spoonful measurements, if that helps. Sorry to not have been more thorough.

    debio, Kate — There are a lot of vegetarian fish sauce leads on the web, including recipes. Personally, I might just go in a simpler direction, perhaps some soy sauce mixed with a tiny bit of miso and a few drops of toasted sesame oil. It’s not the same flavor, but it should give you a salty umami punch.

    Liz — Hm, I’m inclined to agree with you. That’s the lettuce measurement and the serving suggestion from the book. 6 would make for very tiny servings (though I think that number was imagined as part of a large spread of food); I’ll update with a smaller amount. My husband and I shared this for lunch but could have easily eaten it solo.

    Squishy — Thanks, now fixed.

  23. Looks divine. Surprised that you went with a yellow onion – don’t you find it too…oniony? While I have next to zero experience using it, I bet shaved daikon radish would be great here too.

  24. Geri

    This salad is perfect for us who eat our main meal at noon and always wondering what we will have for a light supper. Being retired we can eat heavy at noon and light at night sure rest better that way. Know this salad will be a great addtion to our menu. TY Deb.

  25. Terri

    Dang it! I just cleaned my cooktop and now I’m going to messy it up again with crispy fried eggs because this salad looks so delicious! Love the fish sauce substitutes as my hubby can always detect it and detests it. Would have posted this sooner, but I got sidetracked by your homemade vanilla post and I’m totally going to try it! Thank you for both great recipes! xxoo

  26. Debbi

    Those of us in Portland Oregon have had the pleasure of Andy Ricker’s company at Pok Pok for years. It is great to have these spectacular flavors and tastes spread to the east coast! Aren’t we lucky? Those wings are nothing short of spectacular and I am going to make this salad this week! Of course I find such genius on your pages, Deb. Love your post!

  27. Carrie Catanzaro

    This reminded me of a recipe for sautéed deviled eggs on salad, which is amazing!! See The Splendid Table’s How to Eat Supper for the recipe, but basically you melt butter and sauté left over deviled eggs (flipped upside down into the pan).. And then serve on a similar salad as listed above, with a nice mustardy vinaigrette. Heavenly. I can’t wait to try this one.. And now know Pok Pok also has to go on my cookbook shelf. Thanks!

  28. stephanie

    this looks so good. definitely on the lunch list! (which is also the “when i’m having dinner alone” list…a delicious list that i’m sad i don’t get to visit often, but also glad…and…nevermind. boys are sometimes typical, is all.)

    thanks also for the cookbook rec. slowly building & re-building less a collection but mini arsenal of ones i’ll use.

    and ps, i’m glad i’m not the only one who thinks “curried” mayo salads are gross.

    pps, making your chocolate pudding tonight. thank you and damn you, instagram.

  29. serena

    Use an oil that has a high smoke point (aka avocado oil, or refined coconut oil), this lowers the amount of LDL (bad cholesterol), add beneficial antioxidants, and reduce the amount of inflammation.

  30. anne

    Just a tip on this salad: if you don’t want to lose any of the egg yolk when cutting it in quarters, use a pair of scissors over your salad bowl rather than a knife and chopping board. Just make sure the scissors are clean :)

  31. OMG read this article an hour ago and realized I was starving. Next time I will use the proper ingredients but this time substituted lemon for lime and jalapeno for the Thai chili. Used 2 eggs and a couple of cups of lettuces. It was fabulous.

  32. Julia

    By far the best vegetarian replacement for fish sauce I’ve tried is a light amber-colored soy sauce variety usually called “thin soy sauce.” I’ve only ever used the Dragonfly brand, since that’s what was given to me by the very sweet owner of a Vietnamese restaurant I used to frequent. It has some of the funk of fish sauce, and doesn’t have the aggressive soy sauce flavor that darker soy sauce does. It works very well as a 1:1 replacement.

  33. Alisa

    But I thought you hated cilantro! Like me! Are you able to cover up the taste enough with this recipe? That seems like a lot of cilantro to me, but I’m trusting you!

    1. deb

      Alisa — Very astute. ;) I do, I mean, I can eat it, but it’s not my favorite flavor. I was mostly making this for my husband’s lunch — don’t get the mistaken impression, I’m not usually this doting of a wife, but I knew he’d love this recipe to the letter so figured I wouldn’t fudge the ingredients as I might have if just for me. I want to make something with Mexican-ish green rice soon, which is all cilantro — I’m a little scared.

  34. Deanna

    I just made this for dinner and it was perfect. As a cilantro lover, I’m sad I forgot the cilantro, but it was the perfect quick, single girl dinner on a Friday. So much faster than delivery!

  35. Mary Moss

    I whole heartedly went on your fried egg bender. Thank god it’s the weekend, so i can make time for this glorious specimen of a recipe.

  36. Colette

    Haven’t read all 60+ posts, so sorry if it’s a repeat question, but how much of a MESS should I expect when frying eggs this way. Looks great, just want to know the “investment” in clean-up!

    1. deb

      Colette — It’s definitely going to splatter on your stove, but that should be easy enough to wipe up. (I mean, if you do it shortly after, and not what I always do, which is ignoring the mess, hoping it will go away and then finding it much harder to clean up later.)

  37. Erin

    Made this for a late breakfast, early lunch today and it was amazing! First time with a crispy egg, too, and my husband and I are hooked. We didn’t have cilantro so I’m curious to try it with that. And added some other offs and ends from the fridge. This will become a regular. Also – I used agave out of laziness and it seemed fine. Will try and make the palm sugar syrup next time!

  38. Caryn

    Made this for lunch today. INSANELY delicious!!! I subsititued coconut oil for the vegetable oil (higher smoke point and much, much healthier), scallions for the onion, and added chopped peanuts. Definitely going into regular rotation for me.

  39. Tony

    I’ve been following you avidly for some time now. Love your work; very readable with a quirky, amusing, endearing writing style. I’m 70 and was taught to cook eggs this way by our family’s cook when I was about 10. She said coconut oil was the only oil to use and she was right. No other oil comes close in terms of flavour (in my view) and I still cook them this way in a small “hopper pan”.

  40. Patcha

    I just had this for dinner and it was lovely! If you enjoyed this salad I highly recommend the the thai sweet and sour fish. The sweet and sour sauce is very similar to the salad dressing, except the sugar is caramelized in the pan and with the addition of tamarind pulp.

  41. Er muh gerd… Frantically scribbling down ingredients to get to make this salad. My boyfriend and I have been lustfully eyeing the Pok Pok Cookbook for months now. I am now even more urgently ushering him to buy it >:)

  42. Laura M

    Dear Deb,

    First of all, you’ll want to delete the spam in the comment directly above (currently #71).

    Secondly, to Colette (#70): frying the eggs this way causes no mess at all! I’m one of the Deb’s “fried egg addicts” — I’ve made them about 25 times now — and when the pan is as hot as it must be, the egg instantly “sears” (if that’s the right word for an egg), and all of it comes out of the pan in one swoop. This recipe, however, calls for the eggs to be flipped, and so it isn’t as “neat”. But I didn’t have any leftovers in my cast-iron skillet, and you certainly wouldn’t if you were to use a Teflon-type pan.

    Thirdly, my 15-year-old niece and I made the recipe last night! We loved it, but my husband didn’t. I realize made one mistake: I had my niece simply pour the contents of the dressing from the stovetop onto the salad, without consideration for quantity. It turned out to be overdressed. So… while it seems obvious, pour on the salad dressing as you normally would any salad dressing, a little at a time, tossing it to see if it needs more before adding the rest!

  43. Meg

    I want to suggest seeding the Thai chilis. I did not, and we each got a few bites that left us speechless. I think the heat would have been perfect had I removed the seeds and pith. Other than that, this salad was a HUGE hit!

  44. Laura M

    P.S. I composed this 24 hours ago but it didn’t get sent, and so my “firstly” is (naturally) obsolete.

    Deb, I’m really surprised to hear you say that the eggs are going to splatter on the stove. When I crack the egg(s) directly above the frying pan, there is no mess… at least none that I’ve never noticed. It’s hard to tell with the original video (http://instagram.com/p/sVuK9sqLRS/?modal=true) but I don’t believe he created a mess either!

    By the way, I ordered the fish spatula you recommended, and I love it!

  45. deb

    Laura — That’s awesome that you’re getting no mess, but I’m surprised too! It’s a huge splattery thing for me, every time, not the landing in the pan but the cooking — and I can definitely see and hear it splattering about in Frank’s video. Maybe your pan has deeper sides?

  46. Helen

    Had not yet gone on a Crispy Egg Bender, but I am now. This recipe saved brunch yesterday, and it’s now on the dinner menu this week. And maybe my lunch today. And tomorrow.

    Thanks for helping a new mom keep cooking.

  47. Suzzanne

    I am dieting by counting calories and this salad is an ideal DIET lunch! 2 eggs equals 140 calories, plus the fat absorbed while frying will increase the calories of the eggs to about 200 calories. All the other vegetables are free calories. No oil in the dressing, so this really hits the spot. Tasty, fun to eat, and very satisfying. Using what I had, I subbed iceberg lettuce and thinly sliced jalapenos. Thanks for posting!

  48. Audrey

    I tried this tonight and it’s delicious. I made the salad with finely chopped cabbage instead of lettuce. Two small eggs hit the spot for dinner for one. Thanks for the great idea!

  49. Cynthia

    When I saw this posted last week, I rushed to the store to purchase all the ingredients needed. While I enjoyed the dressing, adding two Thai chilies was WAY TOO MUCH for me and completely overpowered everything. I like a slight spice to my food. Next time I will add half a chili and I am sure I will like it much better.

  50. Megan

    This looks so amazing. I cannot wait to try it!! One of my favorite recipes of all time is in a similar vein – the minced beef with chilies recipe from orangette.blogspot.com it’s the same flavor profile and involves a crispy egg (or two). You should check it out if you haven’t already

  51. meredith

    had this for dinner last night. so easy. so flavorful. and dare i say, healthy?
    doubled the eggs and it was a perfect dinner for two
    this will be added to the regular rotation because it’s so easy and basically we always have the ingredients on hand ( except yesterday.. i thought we had all the ingredients and we didn’t have any of them… how did we run out of eggs?)

  52. kpks

    eggsalad here in asia (dare I say that?) rarely refers to the mayo version, our versions are always spicy with carrots onions and tomatoes. Other veggies are ususally to taste.
    Similarly french toast, if you leave the restaurants catering to the McD ilk brats, is generally savoury with onions and green chillies. After discovering maple syrup I dont turn down the sweet version though.

  53. Wanda

    This looked so good so I checked out the cookbook from library, and then we went to Pok Pok to eat. Yes, got this dish. Really liked it. Now have to try at home.

  54. Jane

    We just made this for the second time for lunch and it was SO delicious, my only beef is it takes us longer to chop and fry and mix than it takes us to inhale the results. Thanks for a great recipe!

  55. aleza

    in a combination you might be interested in- after making this salad 3 times in a month, used the dressing (x4) for slaw last night and it turned out very well! did shredded green cabbage/grated carrot/slivered onion for slaw, plus a bunch of cilantro, plus some chopped toasted peanuts on top when i served it. next time i might punch up the chile and garlic- they disapeared somewhat, maybe it was cause i let the slaw sit overnight before serving- and be very minimal with the water (since i was using water/brown sugar rather than palm syrup)- but overall, a success.