Of all the Turkish egg recipes that play such a big role in Turkish cuisine, sahanda yumurta (Turkish fried eggs) has to be one of the most popular recipes.
And the most simple!
However, that simplicity does not, in any way, take away from this much-loved dish.
If we go out for a Turkish breakfast and the small frying pan doesn’t appear on the table with the rest of the breakfast dishes – oh, the disappointment.
(The alternative is often hard-boiled eggs – which are perfectly fine – but just not the same).
Along with a few crispy cheese rolls or a bit of gözleme, sahanda yumurta is one of the hot treats on the table.
Turkish fried eggs are most often served in the pan.
With two or more eggs to each small pan, they’re to be shared amongst those around the table.
Most often with with pul biber (red pepper flakes) sprinkled over the top of the egg, the sunshine yellow runny yolks just beg for fresh crusty bread to be dipped into them.
If the fried eggs are being shared, we usually serve them up from pan to plate.
But if you’re enjoying sahanda yumurta all to yourself, as with menemen (the famous Turkish scrambled eggs) and sucuklu yumurta (fried eggs with Turkish sucuk), you can eat them, sunny side up, straight from the pan!
And, if you’re like us, you’ll make that a more hearty breakfast (or brunch) with the addition of a generous side of fresh bread or toasted bazlama bread.
Well, how else are you going to fully appreciate that lovely, runny egg yolk?
How We Make Turkish Fried Eggs
We’re indulging, here.
If we’re gonna be having a naughty-but-nice simple one-pan dish of sahanda yumurta, we might as well go all out for the naughty!
We want the perfect fried egg!
Lots of Butter
So we won’t be using olive oil – or any other type of cooking oil, for that matter – to fry our eggs.
We’re having fried eggs in butter. Bol tereyağlı sahanda yumurta – Very buttery fried eggs.
Best Quality Large Eggs
The eggs are obviously the star of the show in this dish.
We’ll be using what we consider to be the best eggs – köy yumurtası (village eggs).
Use free range, fresh eggs. And if you can get free range, organic eggs, even better.
Turkish Copper Pan – Bakır Tava
Because we’re eating this brunch straight from the pan, we’re going to be doing what a lot of the Turkish restaurants in Fethiye do.
We’re going to cook and serve up the eggs in a decorative – but very practical – type of pan; a Turkish copper pan called a bakır tava.
If you haven’t got one of these, a small non-stick pan does the job.
Bear in mind, though, that you will need to serve your fried eggs up onto a plate so you don’t scratch the pan when you’re eating them.
Cooking Our Sahanda Yumurta
We’re looking for egg whites that are going to be soft and light – but also firm.
But we want soft yolks for dipping; not hard yolk.
This is where the Turkish copper pan is useful.
Copper is great conductor of heat so you get a good even heat all over the pan, giving you more control over your fried eggs.
For us, this gives the best results and the fried eggs have never stuck to the bottom of the pan.
We’re going to melt the butter over a medium-low heat because we don’t want that to burn and start going brown.
And then we’ll add our eggs and increase to a medium heat.
There are lots of different ways to cook fried eggs and if we’re having an English breakfast, we don’t mind an egg with crispy edges.
However, with sahanda yumurta, it’s a more gentle process. Perfect eggs to go with your breakfast.
Keep Your Egg Intact
If there is one thing we have never been able to guarantee in our kitchen, it’s the successful cracking open of an egg shell!
It’s the typical scenario: Make an omelette or a frittata where you’re going to be mixing the eggs up anyway and every egg cracks perfectly, yolk intact, every time.
Make a dish like ispanaklı yumurta or these sahanda yumurta fried eggs where you really want perfect, circular bright yellow yolks and you can guarantee that at least one will splatter open, giving you a broken yolk.
Not only does it not really look the part when this happens, it also means hard eggs.
So, for great eggs every time, the first thing we do is break each egg into a small bowl, first. The saucer of a Turkish tea glass is perfect for this job.
We eat a lot of eggs so a broken one won’t go to waste.
And the bowl is an easy way of making sure your intact eggs reach the gently sizzling butter.
Carefully add your eggs to the pan and tilt the pan a little bit so that the egg white spreads across the surface of the pan.
And now we leave it to cook for a couple of minutes.
If the fried eggs start to spit, turn down the heat as this means the butter is too hot and the edges of your eggs will begin to crisp.
After a couple of minutes, we remove our fried eggs from the heat and season with salt and black pepper.
And it wouldn’t be a classic sahanda yumurta if it didn’t also have some chilli flakes sprinkled over the top of the yolk.
These are the best fried eggs as far as we’re concerned!
Time To Eat Your Turkish Fried Eggs
Eat your fried eggs straight from the pan if you like.
But we also love to serve our eggs on a piece of toast.
Turkish bazlama bread is perfect for this!
Turkish Fried Eggs – FAQs
Our Turkish fried eggs recipe uses butter because we have made it as a treat. It is a common way to fry eggs in Turkey.
Another way to fry them is to use olive oil. Obviously, there are more health benefits to frying your eggs in this way.
If you like, you can use a mix of butter and olive oil. This is the mix sometimes used to pour over another popular Turkish eggs recipe, çılbır.
This is a soft poached egg as opposed to a fried egg.
For Turkish fried eggs, we cook our eggs for 3 minutes until the egg whites are firm but the yolk is runny.
If you want medium eggs, leave them to fry for another minute.
In Turkey, sahanda yumurta tends to be very soft with barely firm whites. This is a country where chefs like to crack a raw egg over the top of a hot pide.
The egg begins to set from the heat of the pide.
Our favourite pan for sahanda yumurta is our Turkish copper pan shown in the photos.
Not only is it good for presentation on the breakfast table, the eggs don’t stick to the bottom and the copper creates a good, even heat.
Other than this, a small non-stick frying pan will be good, too. Stainless steel pans and cast iron skillets can make your fried eggs stick to the bottom of the pan.
Our Recipe For Turkish Fried Eggs – Sahanda Yumurta
Sahanda Yumurta – Turkish Fried Eggs
- 1 Small frying pan
- 1 pan spatula
- 2 Small bowls optional
- 2 large eggs free range
- 1 knob butter approx 30 grams
- 1 teaspoon chilli flakes
- salt & pepper to season
- Place the butter in your pan and gently melt over a low heat
- Once your butter has melted, crack your eggs, being careful to keep the yolks intact, into the pan. If you are not confident doing this, crack your eggs into two small bowls first and then gently pour them into the pan.
- Increase the heat to medium and gently tilt the pan to tease the egg whites towards the edges so that they cook evenly. If needs be, you can use a spatula to carefully spread them further.
- Now leave to cook for 2-3 minutes until the whites go firm.
- If your fried eggs start to spit, lower the heat a little as this means the butter is too hot.
- Once your eggs are cooked, remove from the heat and season with salt and pepper and top with chilli flakes.
- Either serve in the pan or on top of toasted bread. There is no need to butter your toast because you will have the butter in the pan.
- The calories for our sahanda yumurta are per person, based on two servings.
- As with all of our recipes, the calories are meant as a rough guide.
- We use a Turkish copper pan to cook our eggs for an even heat. A small non-stick frying pan will be fine if you don’t have one of these.
- For reference, our pan is 8 inches in diameter.