In Japanese, fried egg is called 目玉焼き (medamayaki).
目玉 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 目玉焼き in Japanese, most people imagine a sunny side up egg. So, generally speaking, 目玉焼き 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.
If you want your sunny side up egg to have a soft yolk, you will say 半熟 目玉焼き(hanjuku-medamayaki). This means half-cooked.
半熟 (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.
ロコモコプレート🍳— ほつキッチン🍴 (@HotsuKitchen) May 8, 2021
We have a word called 半熟卵 (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 /目玉焼きの両面焼き
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 両面焼き (ryoumen yaki/both sides fried) or 固焼き (kata yaki/fried hard).
Over easy and hard
Medama yaki no ryoumen yaki, kimi yawarakame.
Both sides cooked with the yolk soft.
Medama yaki no ryoumen yaki, kimi katame.
Both sides cooked with the yolk hard.
今朝の朝ごぱん— 春木屋 (@IaorTQhA35Zt8bz) June 24, 2021
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 炒り卵(iritamago) but スクランブルエッグ is more common for Japanese people.
完璧な朝食🍞🍽— Anna (@an6hxxx) June 20, 2021
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?).
今週のダイの大冒険は「総集編」ということで、こちらもこれまで描いたオムレツをまとめてみました✨— あにピィ🐟🐟 (@ani_p_p) June 26, 2021
Japanese fried egg/たまご焼き
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 たまご焼き (tamagoyaki) in Japanese.
おはようございます。今日の息子のお弁当。焼き鮭弁当。— lean_space (@lean_space) June 20, 2021
- fried egg 目玉焼き (medamayaki)
- sunny side-up 半熟 目玉焼き(hanjuku-medamayaki)
- over easy 目玉焼きの両面焼き、黄身柔らかめ.
- over hard 目玉焼きの両面焼き、黄身固め
- scrambled egg スクランブルエッグ(sukuranburu egg)
- omelet オムレツ (omuretsu)
- Japanese rolled omelet たまご焼き (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😊