A fried egg, or a sunny side up egg, is a cooked dish made from one or more eggs which are removed from their shells and placed into a frying pan, usually without breaking the yolk, and fried with minimal accompaniment.
Fried eggs are traditionally eaten for breakfast in many countries but may also be served at other times of the day.
In the United States different terms are used to describe the degree and method to which fried eggs are cooked, including:
• Sunny side up – the egg is fried with the yolk up and is not flipped.
• Over easy – the egg is flipped and the yolk is still runny.
• Over medium – the egg is flipped and the yolk is only slightly runny.
• Over well – the egg is flipped and the yolk is cooked hard.
Sunny side up eggs are also commonly referred to as dippy eggs or dip eggs by Pennsylvania Dutch people living in central Pennsylvania, in parts of Ohio, and in Pittsburgh mainly due to the practice of dipping toast into the yolk while eating. This term is also occasionally used in Canada.
In the United Kingdom, fried eggs can be served on toast, or in a sandwich, with bacon, sausages, and a variety of condiments. Eggs are often part of the full breakfast commonly eaten in the United Kingdom. Fried eggs are often served with ham or gammon steak as a popular pub meal. The egg is cooked on a high heat and hot fat, oil or water may be splashed onto the top of the egg to baste it and cook the white. They are usually cooked without turning over.
In Japan, fried eggs are usually made sunny side up. They may be served with salt and pepper, soy sauce or Japanese style Worcestershire sauce. Fried eggs are a popular breakfast dish, with toasted sliced bread or rice.
In Spain fried eggs are a common dish. They are eaten alone, with meat, or with sausages.
In Egypt, fried eggs are a common breakfast food. They are fried in fat such as vegetable oil, butter or ghee and served either plain or with other foodstuffs such as tomatoes, cheese, sausage or minced meat with onions and spices.
In India, fried eggs are commonly served alone or as an accompaniment to bread. It may also occasionally be served with dosa, paratha, or roti. During or after the frying stage, they are sometimes sprinkled lightly with condiments such as black pepper, chili powder, green chili, and salt.
In the Philippines, fried eggs are often cooked like a sunny-side egg but the yolk is half cooked.
Ham and eggs is a dish combining various preparations of its main ingredients, ham and fried eggs prepared “sunny side up”. It has been described as a staple of “an old-fashioned American breakfast” and of the traditional English breakfast.
Egg in the basket—also known by many other names—is an egg fried in a hole in a slice of bread. A waffle or bagel (with a large enough hole) can also be substituted for the slice of bread.
A sunny side up egg will cheer up a salad and go equally well with different grains and lentils.