Spanish Fried Eggs


There’s only one reason to fry an egg in very hot extra virgin olive oil, and it’s a good one. This type of fried egg is often called “Spanish style” and there’s no arguing that it’s not delicious. The edges are so crispy, they shatter in your mouth. The white is soft and pillow-like and the yolk is warm and runny. The egg needs nothing more than salt (and maybe a dash of hot sauce) to be a memorable meal.

Once you’ve tasted a Spanish fried egg, you might never want to go back to rubbery, bland fried eggs again. But then there’s that issue of high heat oxidizing extra virgin olive oil, making it a poor choice for high heat cooking. Or is it?

When using this hot and quick method, the egg is in and out of the pan in less than two minutes. And there’s no need to get the oil so hot that it’s smoking. So a Spanish style fried egg is not likely to turn extra virgin olive oil into a health threat. And the truth is, no other fat works quite the same magic on a fried egg.

Coconut oil doesn’t deliver the same crispiness and it affects the flavor of the egg. Butter browns and starts to burn before the egg gets really crispy. Lard makes a good fried egg, but it doesn’t make a great Spanish style fried egg. The edges just don’t get as light and crispy as they do with olive oil. So, maybe a Spanish style fried egg isn’t something you eat every morning for breakfast, but if you don’t’ try it at least once, you’re missing out.

Servings: 1

Time in the Kitchen: 5 minutes


  • 1 egg
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, or enough to have about 1/8” in the bottom of the skillet


Crack the egg into a cup.

Heat a small skillet over medium-high until it’s very hot. Add the olive oil. When the oil is hot (but not so hot that it’s smoking) gently slide the egg into skillet (watch out for hot oil splatters when the egg hits the skillet) The oil should be hot enough to make the edges of the egg start bubbling immediately when it hits the pan.


Cook the egg for 2 minutes or less, until the white is very crispy around the edges and puffed up around the yolk. If the edges of the egg are starting to burn or the oil seems on the verge of smoking, then turn the heat down slightly.

Run a metal spatula underneath the egg to keep it from sticking to the bottom of the saucepan, then slide or lift it out.

Sprinkle with salt and eat immediately.


About the Author

If you'd like to add an avatar to all of your comments click here!

44 thoughts on “Spanish Fried Eggs”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. THE BEST FRIED EGS!!!! I learned about these on a trip to — where else — Spain. Since then, these are about the only eggs I eat, about seven days a week. They are delicious with bacon, ham, on refried beans ( VERY rarely eat refried beans), pureed broccoli, or just all by themselves. For breakfast, lunch or dinner — or all three! Judi

  2. Yummy! Also if you prefer the yolk just a teeny bit more done, then while it’s cooking scoop up a spoonful of the hot oil and pour it over the yolk a couple of times.

    1. I will have to try that. I don’t eat fried eggs, because of the runny yolk, but I like the fried whites!

    2. +1, im from Spain an thats how it usually done here, the other way would be fliping it one time with the spatulla.

      I love this website, but i’ve never seen a fried egg with the white as burned as that in the pictures.

  3. Thanks for the recipe, Mark, but isn’t this about the same thing thing as basted eggs? The only difference I can see is whether one chooses to baste the yolks or not. In either case, sufficient oil is needed and it has to be quite hot. I often use a combination of oil and butter since the oil will keep the butter from burning. Eggs are incredibly versatile and can be cooked many different ways–truly one of nature’s wonder foods.

  4. The oil may not oxidize but haven’t we learned that burned/crispy egg white is basically an oxidize protein? I prefer to stick to the old method of covering the pan with end up yielding soft creamy yolk and soft but not runny egg white.

    You should try frying the eggs in the oil that remain in the pain, after frying medium size cubs of lamb tail fat.

    1. I agree, Time…. I can’t imagine why anyone would want to eat burnt egg whites. Makes no sense to me, and I still do not trust olive oil at temperatures that high. As a matter of fact, if you like avocados on the savory side I found a site that is all about avocados and they say to never microwave over 40 seconds or the oil will be damages and many of the nutrients destroyed.

      1. Ah, the great egg debate is alive and well. A few years ago it was considered unhealthy to eat eggs at all. Then the whites were okay but not the yolks. Now that eggs have more or less been eggs-onerated (heh-heh), the argument is over how or whether to cook them. Hopefully in another few years the egg-bashing will be laid to rest, and people can go back to eating them however they prefer.

        Mark isn’t suggesting something that will kill us. The Spanish eggs aren’t burnt; they are just crispy around the edges. There is a difference. Olive oil has a low smoking point. That doesn’t mean you can’t fry with it.

        There are a lot of food myths and memes floating around out there. If you believe everything you read or hear you won’t find anything safe to eat.

        1. Okay, I went out and bought a toaster oven to gently heat up my food instead of using a microwave.

  5. I do this but I use animal fats or coconut oil for the high heat. I won’t eat the egg whites unless they’re hard fried. It’s a texture thing even when the whites are fully cooked through. This method is also great if you’re going to put the egg on a burger or hash. The Chinese really dig hard fried eggs too, which is where I learned it from. I didn’t know Spain was all about it too. It’s funny how different cultures do the same thing and then they all claim it as their own. Who cares? Put it in your mouth!

  6. Looks good, but I eat my eggs one of three ways: Scrambled in melted butter, basted with bacon drippings, or raw in my smoothies.

    1. It depends. There is an exception for recipes posted in this site, extensive literature supporting this

    2. It’s the maillard reaction. High temps can cause a carcinogen to be produced but pussy footing your way through life is no fun… and either are rubbery eggs

  7. I like to cook extra veggies the night before and for breakfast the next day, heat up some olive oil, throw in some chopped bacon to cook then my cold veggies. Give them a good heat through and brown them a little. Then push to veggies to one side and pop in an egg. It gets crispy on the edges and once that happens it’s done. I never get tired of this for breakfast or as a small meal any time of day.

  8. Oh my gosh, I can’t believe I have never eaten an egg this way. I had it for breakfast with half an avocado and it was freaking DELICIOUS!!!

  9. I was taught in cooking school that a browned egg is an overcooked egg. Egg whites cook at a lower temperature than any other protein. For maximum nutritional impact I cook eggs low and slow with a cover. The yolk turns out gooey instead of runny. A dollop of salsa makes it my favorite. Something about the mixture of tomatoes, onions, peppers, and soft egg yolk I find extremely satisfying. MMM-mmm! Basically huevos rancheros without the tortilla.

  10. Random question for you guys… How do you clean a fried egg off a cast iron pan without scrubbing the seasoning off? Is the problem in my pan’s seasoning, or my cleaning methods?

    1. I’ve loved my cast iron for 15 years!

      I use a metal spatula for scraping off stuck food. (scrape hard!) Rinse with warm water and wipe w/ a paper towel. If the seasoning comes off, then it wasn’t seasoned right (sounds like a crappy answer, I know.) Now you’ll just have to make bacon.

      If that doesn’t work, get a stiff plastic brush or scrubbie. I don’t use soap, but if it’s hopeless, I’ll scrub it a little w/ soap (it doesn’t remove all the seasoning,) and re-season it by cooking bacon.

      side note – My seasoning is really, really smooth, not rough and bumpy. Rarely, a little will flake off, but it’ll re-season with the next fried thing. Don’t be gentle. I eat out of mine with a fork & steak knife.

    2. Just fill the pan a 3rd to half way with water and bring to a boil. It will boil off by it self and anything left will be easy to take off with dish brush. 🙂 I never use soap on it, just hot water and a brush to clean. After cleaning I stick it on my pan rack face down so no water collects to make it rust.

  11. I usually make this by repeatedly spooning the hot olive oil overtop the egg to cook the top as well.

  12. Instead of just standing around while it cooks, we use a tablespoon to continuously scoop up oil that surrounds the egg and pour it on the yolk. It just keeps sliding off, and you keep doing it till outer layer of the yolk has gone from orange to pink. Makes for the best yolk-popping ever. Seriously. Do it!

  13. An endeavor like this could require looking over countless structures and floors to decide the area of the remote access focuses. What’s more, this database could may get to be stale and off base additional time because of area changes in the entrance focuses after the studies are finished.

  14. Just tried this. So simple, yet so delicious. I don’t think I’ve had a better egg.