Japanese Japanese Food

How to say fried egg in Japanese! Sunny side up, over easy and over hard.

In Japanese, fried egg is called 目玉(めだま)()き (medamayaki).

目玉(めだま) means “eyeball.” It’s called that because the yolk of the egg is round like an eye. Japanese people think of fried egg as breakfast or an easy lunch.


There are a lot of ways to fry an egg. In English, people have their eggs sunny side up, over-easy and over-hard. These words illustrate whether a person likes to have one side fried or both sides, or the yolk soft or hard.

Today we’ll share how to say fried egg in various way!

Different ways to say "fried egg."

When you say 目玉(めだま)()き in Japanese, most people imagine a sunny side up egg. So, generally speaking, 目玉(めだま)()き means sunny side up.

But if you want to express how you like your eggs in detail, let’s learn how to say your preferences.

Sunny side-up/半熟はんじゅく目玉めだま

If you want your sunny side up egg to have a soft yolk, you will say 半熟(はんじゅく) 目玉めだまき(hanjuku-medamayaki). This means half-cooked.

半熟はんじゅく (hanjuku) means literally half-ripened in Japanese. When you say it for how eggs are cooked, it expresses how hard the yolk of egg is.


We have a word called 半熟卵はんじゅくたまご (hanjuku tamago), but it means soft boiled egg, not half-cooked egg, so you can only use it for boiled eggs!

Over-easy and over-hard /目玉(めだま)()きの両面(りょうめん)()

People who’ve gone to Japan before may know this already, but you can eat raw eggs in Japan! So Japanese people are used to eating their eggs runny, and don’t have much of a tradition of frying eggs on both sides, so they don’t have a word that properly expresses over easy and over hard.

So, you can express the degree you want your eggs fried by using cooking terms such as 両面(りょうめん)()き (ryoumen yaki/both sides fried) or 固焼(かたや)き (kata yaki/fried hard).

Over easy and hard

【Over easy】

Medama yaki no ryoumen yaki, kimi yawarakame.
Both sides cooked with the yolk soft.

【Over hard】

Medama yaki no ryoumen yaki, kimi katame.
Both sides cooked with the yolk hard.

Scrambled egg/スクランブルエッグ

In Japanese, scrambled egg is called スクランブルエッグ(sukuranburu egg).
It is one of the English words Japanese borrowed. You can say ()(たまご)(iritamago) but スクランブルエッグ is more common for Japanese people.


It is said that omelets have originated from France and became a popular egg dish in Japan too.
If you want to order an omelet in a restaurant, you say オムレツ (omuretsu) in Japanese. This is also one Japanese English word (Or French, maybe?).

Japanese fried egg/たまご

Japanese rolled omelet is a famous egg dish in Japan. Japanese people eat Japanese rolled omelet for a side dish and put them in bentos for lunch.

Japanese rolled omelet is called たまご()き (tamagoyaki) in Japanese.



  • fried egg 目玉(めだま)()き (medamayaki)
  • sunny side-up 半熟はんじゅく 目玉めだまき(hanjuku-medamayaki)
  • over easy 目玉(めだま)()きの両面(りょうめん)()き、黄身きみ(やわ)らかめ.
  • over hard 目玉めだまきの両面りょうめんき、黄身きみかた
  • scrambled egg スクランブルエッグ(sukuranburu egg)
  • omelet オムレツ (omuretsu)
  • Japanese rolled omelet たまごき (tamagoyaki) 


Now you know how to express your preferences for eggs in Japanese!
Next time you go out or are making food with friends, this vocabulary may be useful😊

-Japanese, Japanese Food
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