Mike’s Famous Fried Eggs

September 27, 2021
18 Ratings
Photo by Julia Gartland. Food Stylist: Lauren Lapenna. Prop Stylist: Megan Hedgpeth.
  • Prep time 5 minutes
  • Cook time 5 minutes
  • Serves As many as you like, but best for smaller groups
Author Notes

My husband Mike's crispy fried eggs made me a better cook, and a better person to cook with. After talking them up for years (and him denying that they're really a recipe), this is my attempt to write down (and demo, in the video below) how he makes them so good. Mike by no means invented the crispy fried egg, which is appreciated in food cultures all over the world, from Thailand to Spain. But his method does have its signatures, like anyone’s—and I want to hear how you like your eggs, too.

Mike’s Famous Fried Eggs—famous in my heart, at least—can be a meal unto themselves with just some toast and maybe a handful of salad greens on the side. And, like any great fried egg, they’re delicious on pasta, on rice, on pizza, on piles of vegetables, on beans, on any leftovers. But they may reach their highest form on a Mike’s Famous Bowl—yes, conceptually ripped off from KFC—which is just crushed little boiled potatoes, gobs of melted cheddar cheese, flaky salt, plus two famous eggs, yolks oozing down into all the nooks and crannies.

Adapted from my husband, Mike Dunkley.

Helpful tools for this recipe:
- Smithey Traditional Cast Iron Skillet
- Simple Oil Cruet
- Dreamfarm Ortwo Hand-Held Pepper Grinder

Genius Recipes

What You'll Need
Watch This Recipe
Mike’s Famous Fried Eggs
  • Neutral oil, such as canola
  • Eggs (as many as you want to eat)
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper (optional)
  1. Get a large cast-iron skillet very, very hot on the stovetop over medium-high heat—it should be just starting to smoke, or close to it. Pour in enough oil to coat the bottom of the skillet, then quickly and carefully crack in your eggs—they will start spattering immediately. (In a 10- to 12-inch skillet, two eggs at a time is good to give you enough room to maneuver.) Alternatively, you can pre-crack them into small bowls first so you can get out of the way faster.
  2. When the edges of the first egg white are crispy and golden and the rest of the white is set, slide a thin, wide spatula quickly under one egg and free any stuck edges.
  3. Gently flip the egg over, aiming away from you to avoid splashing the hot oil. Repeat with the second egg. Immediately flip the first egg back over (you’re just barely setting the tops while keeping the yolks runny) and transfer to a plate. Repeat with the second egg. Sometimes a yolk will break—that’s okay, just keep moving.
  4. Salt and pepper the eggs to taste. Eat immediately with toast or whatever else you’re having for dinner.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Bert Grimm
    Bert Grimm
  • Hoo Isit
    Hoo Isit
  • HillJ
  • linda
  • Steve
Genius Recipes

Recipe by: Genius Recipes

18 Reviews

Bert G. December 21, 2022
The greatest fried egg I ever had in my life was when I was a Peace Corps Rural Construction Volunteer Trainee in Togo. There were 6 of us in our group up country and a cook made us fried eggs for breakfast. They were deep fried in a vat of palm oil with superbly crispy edges and a sublime interior. That said, the best food of my life was had in my years in Togo, this was just the beginning!
Hoo I. July 31, 2022
"Genius Recipe"? This is just an article pointing out how eggs are done in many other regions and why it might be a worthwhile alternative if you aren't familiar with it. Useful for some, but genius? No! And it's hardly worth calling a recipe....
Nicole February 19, 2022
This is actually how a lot of Filipinos fry eggs! And is a big part of breakfast along with garlic fried rice (called "sinangag") and a meat — milkfish ("bangus") or longganisa or tocino.
Sherrirbgr January 3, 2022
These eggs are how my dad used to cook my eggs when I was a little bitty girl. I always asked for his Lacey eggs. Drove my mom crazy because she never was up to see how he did them and I couldn't describe it better than they were Lacey, full of edges that seemed to be made of crispy lace. And Dad wouldn't share his technique, the devil!
Jsail4fun January 3, 2022
I think what I learned here is get the pan smoking hot first. A lot of recipes say to use medium heat because a lot of recipes use butter.
Also, I think I need a new, thinner, metal spatula. The silicone one I use often rips the egg and in realizing it’s probably too fat / sticky. Again they recommend silicone because of Teflon pans. But by using cast iron and avocado oil solves both problems
nori44life January 3, 2022
Ummmmmmm CANOLA OIL?! Use avocado,coconut,butter,olive…..anything BUT canola!
jodyrah December 29, 2021
I use brown butter, med-high heat. As soon as the egg hits the spread out the white with a butter knife. Salt and fresh pepper. Flip once set, gently press the white with a spatula, I also press around the edges of the yolk to rid any “snot”.
James C. December 22, 2021
Love crispy fried eggs. I make them according to some recipes that call them "Spanish" fried eggs. It's more like deep-frying (I use a small, shallow 1 qt pot), the eggs need to be dropped into the oil. I get the oil to 375, drop it in (be very careful here), baste and let cook for 40 seconds, fish out with slotted spoon. Lotsa crispy and gooey all at once. It's perfect. The high heat and amount of oil are the downside -- it can be a bit daunting, there's splatter, and you need to be careful. But it's worth it. So I should probably try this technique when I'm feeling like less hassle...
HillJ November 12, 2021
As much as I love a fried egg in oil, I like them even more basted in white wine vinegar. Crispy and tangy.
Steve November 13, 2021
Yeow! When poaching an egg folks often add vinegar to the water to help coagulate the white and prevent it from spreading out in the bottom of the simmering water. But I'm the opposite of you... and can't take the vinegar taste or kitchen odor! So I use a small strainer to strain my eggs before poaching, removing the loose white strands before dropping the eggs into the simmering water.

To each their own!
Breezeway8 October 5, 2021
Wow I have been making eggs like that since I was very young. My father showed me how to fry them. I never flip them no need. Since you have all the oil in the pan just baste them like you would a steak is a lot quicker and less spatter... I like the idea of fried toast...I used to toast them on a dry pan ...I'll try it with olive oil... also I notice the olive oil you used that brand is so should try corto olive oil its out of this world......
linda October 4, 2021
These eggs are fantastic and easy to make. Thanks Mike for making this my new way to fry eggs. Thanks Kristen for the video and this is a Genius recipe!
andrea N. October 2, 2021
These eggs are amazing!! Followed the instructions and they came out great.
Yakamush September 30, 2021
Bacon grease is the ticket!
tracy R. December 9, 2021
that's how I have done it for 100 million years! baste in hot bacon grease for sure!
casummers September 29, 2021
Mike uses plenty of oil. Try basting them instead of flipping them. YUM
KLS September 29, 2021
Oh, yes! try them cooked in bacon fat sometime
Steve September 29, 2021
I love these style eggs with a crispy edge and a runny yoke!

There is a very similar thing called a Spanish Fried Egg. It uses a bit more oil and does not require a flip. Timing is SO key. I use the stopwatch feature on my phone.

• Heat about 1/4" olive oil to just smoking; about 400F.
• Slip the egg (or 2) from a small bowl into the oil. It is going to spatter and pop a lot! I use a spatter screen, which I have to lift aside for the next step:
• At 30 seconds, quickly ladle some oil from the pan on any uncooked white, avoiding the yoke.
• Remove the egg(s) from the pan at 1 minute 15 seconds.