Dishes that are better with a fried egg on top include rice porridges, congees, steamed rice and stir-fries, fried rice and fried noodles, chilaquiles, nachos, tacos and tostadas, breakfast banh mi and num pang, and frankly anything with potatoes. A fried egg, especially a fried egg with runny yolk, adds richness, creaminess and texture to any dish.
There are few things that make a dish special like an egg, whether it’s jammy soft boiled eggs on a meatball noodle soup or poached eggs on avocado toast. I mean, what would eggs Benedict even be without a poached egg?!
Flavour and texture aside, eggs have an ability to transform lunch or dinner into breakfast or brunch, whether its tacos, nachos or salad, and can even make a dish such as a salad seem comforting. This breakfast salad is a great example.
Fried eggs are also easier to cook if you haven’t yet mastered soft-boiled eggs or poached eggs. If, like me, you prefer your fried eggs to be perfectly round and yolks soft yet whites cooked, this cute little single non-stick egg frying pan does the work for you. My tip: slow-fry on low.
Not a lover of fried eggs? See our collections of best boiled eggs recipes and best scrambled eggs recipes, all of which were created for our Weekend Eggs series of quintessential breakfast eggs from around the world.
Before I share our recipes for dishes that are better with a fried egg on top, I have a favour to ask. Grantourismo is reader-funded. If you’ve cooked our recipes and enjoyed them, please consider supporting Grantourismo by supporting our epic Cambodian cuisine history and cookbook on Patreon, which you can do for as little as the price of coffee.
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Lastly, you could browse our Grantourismo store for gifts for food lovers, including food themed reusable cloth face masks designed with Terence’s images. Now let me tell you all about these dishes that are better with a fried egg on top.
Dishes That Are Better with a Fried Egg on Top from Fried Rice to Noodles, Nachos to Tacos
Dishes that are better with a fried egg on top include rice porridges, congees, steamed rice and stir-fries, fried rice and fried noodles, chilaquiles, nachos, tacos and tostadas, and more.
Rice Porridges and Congees
Rice porridges and congees top our list of dishes that are better with a fried egg on top. There’s something about the soft runny eggs oozing through the soft soupy rice that is incredibly comforting.
We’ve got a number of recipes for rice porridge and congees but our recipes for Cambodian chicken rice porridge, vegetable congee, and Christine Manfield’s pork and crab congee with XO sauce would all benefit from a soft fried egg being plopped on top.
But this gently spiced turmeric rice porridge recipe was made for a fried egg. I fry the eggs for this rice porridge in homemade chilli oil using the cute mini fry pan I linked to above, but feel free to use a large fry pan or skillet and use egg rings for a perfectly round egg.
The dish brims with flavour and texture, thanks to an array of garnishes, including fresh fragrant herbs such as coriander and dill, spring onions, crunchy pan-roasted peanuts, sliced green chillies, crispy shallots, and a sprinkle of chilli flakes.
Steamed Rice and Stir Fries
Steamed rice and stir-fries are two more types of dishes that are better with a fried egg on top and one dish that includes both elements is infinitely improved, as very delicious as it is, by a soft-fried egg being popped on top.
Pad kra pao is a dish of stir fried holy basil and ground pork and it’s a breakfast staple of street food stalls all over Thailand. A paste of chilli and garlic is combined with ground pork, a rich sauce and holy basil. Served with prik nam pla and jasmine rice, it’s a Thai street food favourite.
Thai holy basil is essential – that’s the ‘kra pao’ in the title, also written as ‘kra pow’ and ‘gaphrao’, while ‘pad’ or ‘phat’ is ‘stir-fried’ – however, you could easily use ground beef or chicken mince, and you can crank up the heat if you like things hot or serve a more gently spiced stir-fry if you prefer.
While a fried egg with pad kra pao is considered optional, for me a soft-fried egg really makes this dish. Thais actually prefer crispy fried eggs, so take your pick. Either way, a fried egg on top is a must. Cook your fried eggs at the last minute before serving.
Fried Rice Dishes
Most fried rice recipes call for eggs, whether it’s eggs scrambled in the same wok as the rice is stir-fried, or a finely-sliced omelette incorporated into the rice dish, but a fried egg popped on top is like icing on a cake.
Fried rice with a fried egg with soft runny yolks that seep into the rice must be one of the most comforting kinds of fried egg on rice dishes and this nasi goreng recipe makes one of my favourites: Indonesia’s classic fried rice with soft fried eggs and stir-fried prawns.
Nasi goreng simply means ‘fried rice’ and if you’ve been to Bali or anywhere in Indonesia, you’ve undoubtedly tucked into a plate. It typically includes leftover satay or fried chicken, cucumber and tomato, mixed pickles, sliced scallions, roasted peanuts, crispy fried shallots, and a fried egg.
If you enjoy this, also try our kimchi fried rice recipe for kimchi bokkeumbap stir-fried with Korea’s famously fiery fermented cabbage kimchi and spicy chilli paste gochujang, topped with a soft fried egg.
Fried noodles are another one of those dishes that are better with a fried egg on top, and while instant ramen noodles are infinitely better topped with soft-fried eggs with runny yolks, udon noodles are pretty special too.
This Korean spicy noodles recipe makes stir-fried udon noodles with kimchi, bacon and fried eggs. While the Japanese fried udon noodle dish, yaki udon, has a soy based sauce, this Korean-style yaki udon heats things up with kimchi, the spicy Korean chilli paste called gochujang and Korean chilli flakes, gochugaru.
We fresh udon noodles and we’re lucky to access a few different types of udon noodles here, including locally made noodles in a no-name packet, as well as two types of vacuum-packed udon noodles from Japan and Korea. Use whatever you can source.
You’ll need spicy Korean kimchi fermented cabbage, the spicy Korean chilli paste called gochujang, and the Korean chilli flakes called gochugaru. If your local supermarket doesn’t have a good Korean section, try a good specialist Asian market or grocery store. Amazon also has them in stock.
Chilaquiles – Fried Eggs Optional Essential
A pre-Hispanic Aztec dish, chilaquiles – pronounced chee-lah-KEE-lehs, which comes from a Nahuatl word that meant ‘chillies and greens’ – has long been a popular Mexican breakfast dish, but one that is eaten at any time of day.
Chilaquiles was created to use up stale tortilla chips and other leftovers, and is a very versatile dish. While fried eggs are optional, for me the soft fried eggs are essential. The runny yolks oozing into the salsa verde really make this dish.
Our easy Mexican chilaquiles recipe with fried eggs, shredded chicken and green salsa makes chilaquiles verdes (green chilaquiles). It’s my attempt to recreate the chilaquiles verdes or, more correctly, chilaquiles con pollo en salsa verde (chilaquiles with chicken in green salsa) that I became addicted to at Café la Blanca in Mexico City many years ago.
You’ll need a deep frying pan, cast iron skillet or non-stick French skillet for making the salsa verde. It needs to be deep as you’ll then add the tortillas to the pan. The fried egg is cooked separately and popped on top at the end.
If you’re not familiar with the idea of a ‘breakfast taco’, it is essentially just a taco in Mexico where tacos are often eaten for breakfast. Made with soft tortillas and typically corn tortillas rather than the flour tortillas we’ve had to use for these, tacos can really be eaten at any time of the day.
In Mexico, breakfast tacos don’t always feature eggs, however. It’s north of the border, in Mexican-American restaurants, eateries and food trucks, especially in Texas cities such as Austin, which claims to have coined the term and invented the concept of the ‘breakfast taco’ that you’ll find breakfast tacos with eggs.
Our fried eggs breakfast taco recipe with chorizo, crunchy potatoes and spicy chorizo oil makes a very satisfying weekend breakfast. Easy to make, it comes together quickly. Squeeze on some hot sauce, add a dollop of Mexican crema or crème fraiche, wrap it up, and tell us this isn’t one of the best breakfast tacos you’ve ever had.
Mexican Huevos Rancheros Recipe
Next on our list of dishes that are better with a fried egg on top is this traditional Mexican huevos rancheros for the classic Mexican ‘ranch eggs’, a breakfast staple in Mexico. Although it has to be said that it wouldn’t be huevos rancheros without fried eggs. But I wanted to share this recipe with you anyway.
This classic Mexican huevos rancheros recipe makes one of the best Mexican egg breakfasts and is the traditional Mexican egg dish that inspired our contemporary-styled Mexican ‘ranch eggs’ recipe, which Terence made with a poached egg rather than fried eggs.
Note that Mexico’s huevos rancheros is different to huevos en salsa roja (eggs in red sauce), with which it’s often confused. In that dish, the eggs swim in red salsa. It’s more like the eggs dish made in North Africa and the Levant called shakshouka.
With our Mexican huevos rancheros, fried eggs are placed on top of warm corn tortillas or wheat flour tortillas, topped with a rich spicy chorizo salsa, and garnished with fresh fragrant fresh coriander (cilantro) and served with Mexican white cheese, jalapenos, and homemade Mexican quick-pickled pink onions.
Nachos is another of those dishes that are better with a fried egg and our breakfast nachos recipe with fried egg makes a cheesy nachos topped with homemade Mexican escabeche or mixed vegetable pickles, vegetarian bean chilli, spicy tomato salsa, avocado slices, and sour cream.
It’s a fun, filling weekend brunch if you’re in need of comfort food and it’s one of our best fried eggs recipes. It’s the kind of dish I make when I need a food hug and I just want to sit on the sofa and watch Netflix. You know what I’m talking about.
And if you’ve made our vegetarian bean chilli and Mexican escabeche or jalapeno pickles, then this breakfast nachos gives you a great excuse to use them – along with Terence’s easy tomato salsa, or chilli con carne if you prefer meat with your chilli.
And there’s no reason why you couldn’t pop a fried egg on top of our ultimate nachos recipe, either. I’m definitely going to try that.
Potatoes and Fried Eggs
This fried eggs with chorizo and potatoes recipe for Basque style ‘messy eggs’ makes the perfect weekend hangover cure that’s made for a late breakfast after a long night of pintxos bar-hopping in the old town of San Sebastián.
It’s undoubtedly another one of those dishes that are better with a fried egg on top and another one of those dishes that without the fried egg would simply be a savoury appetiser or side dish.
While fried eggs are a given with this chorizo and potatoes dish – it’s name, ‘messy eggs’ is the giveaway – next time you’re making a potato dish, drop a runny fried egg on it and let us know what you think.
Breakfast Banh Mi and Num Pang
This fried egg avocado breakfast banh mi recipe makes a breakfast sandwich inspired by the Australian breakfast favourite of smashed avocado toast with poached eggs and baguettes with eggs that we’ve long eaten and loved in Cambodia and Vietnam, such as banh mi op la in Hoi An.
Vietnam’s banh mi and Cambodia’s num pang are definitely two dishes that are better with a fried egg on top. I serve these open, for obvious reasons, and then we squeeze them shut tight just before munching into them.
Creamy French-style mayonnaise is also spread on baguettes here in Cambodia and neighbouring Vietnam, but I add a little fish sauce to my mayo. Terence also loves to squeeze some of his homemade Sriracha sauce on top of the fried eggs.
Please do let us know in the comments below if you make any of our dishes that are better with a fried egg on top, as we’d love to hear how they turn out for you.