Basic Fried Egg Sandwich

I was 20 years old before I started thinking about making my own food beyond PBJ and/or ramen soup. One of the first things I ever cooked for myself from scratch was a fried egg sandwich (probably because my roommates had eaten all the peanut butter and ramen). Not having been trained in even the simplest cooking techniques, I really wasn’t at all sure what I was doing, but I had seen eggs frying before. It was pretty amazing to me when my own turned out okay on the first try. Part 1 of this recipe is for anyone else who might still be at the “How Do I Even Fry a Thing” point on their culinary path.

If you do know how to do this already, don’t you dare roll your eyes at any of this simple stuff–there are people out there who don’t know and want to learn. We all have to start somewhere, right? Know-it-alls can skip ahead to Part 2: Fancy Fried Egg Sandwich.


Egg, two pieces of bread, and a pepper grinder


  • 1 egg
  • 2 slices of bread
  • Olive oil cooking spray
  • Spice to taste (I used black pepper because I didn’t know much about other spices)
  • Frying pan
  • Wide spatula (the flipping kind, not the bowl-scrapey kind)
  • Toaster (if desired)

The first time I made this, I used margarine instead of cooking spray, but I don’t recommend it. Get yourself a nice can of aerosol olive oil and give your frying pan a couple of good squirts. It doesn’t need much. Turn the burner up to high for a minute to let that heat up, then turn it back down a few notches–more than half, less three quarters. You want the pan to start out really hot but if you leave it that way, it’ll burn the outside of the egg before the insides are done and make it hard to to flip.

Oil in a pan over a hot burner

It’s okay if the yolk breaks when you crack the egg into the pan; you’re going to poke it apart stir it up a little anyway so every bite has some yellow goodness.

Yummy runny yolk on an egg frying

When you can gently nudge the spatula under the egg and move it around without too much leaking out the edges, the egg is ready to flip. Let the other side cook for a little less time than the first side, then turn it over again and see what it looks like. If you can cut into the middle and nothing leaks, it’s ready to go on the bread.

Fried egg in a pan

Don’t forget to turn the burner off. Do you think electricity grows on trees? You’re going to burn the house down.

Variable holding a boring egg sandwich

It’s a little boring, but it’s a solid meal. Don’t glare at it like that. Salt and pepper to taste, enjoy, and think about how to make it a little more interesting and nutritious next time.

Variable contemplating a better egg sandwich

Let’s hope you don’t take 30 years to figure it out, like I did.

Proceed to Part 2: Fancy Fried Egg Sandwiches

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