5 Healthy Recipes to Top Off With a Fried Egg_ccflcr_Katrin Morenz_03.18.14

When it comes to cooking, it’s often the final touches that craft an impressive dish. And if your final touch not only looks good but also adds flavor to the recipe, even better. Enter the fried egg: one of today’s hottest culinary garnishes. Here are 5 healthy recipes to top off with a fried egg, and why you should try them all.

1. Chili

Imagine a steamy bowl of your favorite robust chili, already full of flavor and meaty texture. Now imagine it topped off with a soft, slightly runny egg, and suddenly your rich chili gets an air of softness and creaminess, with just a touch of sweet tang from the yolks. The egg is a wonderful way to cut extra heat in a spicy chili, as well as lighten the overall heaviness of it, just as a dollop of sour cream will do. Try it on our recipe for Seasonal Pumpkin Chili.

2. Burgers

You’ll find egg-topped burgers on  menus at top-notch joints all over the country, and they’re a cinch to make at home. A gently fried egg over a juicy patty, also chock full of crunchy veggies, melty cheese, and perhaps crisped onions? You’re about to embark on a mélange of textures, tastes, and delightful senses galore. The fried egg adds an umami strangeness that marries the saltiness of a burger without a second thought. Best of all, the trick works on burgers both meat and meatless. Try it for yourself with our recipe for Homemade Black Bean Burgers.

3. Pizza

Oh pizza, how do we love thee? With cornmeal crust, with white sauce, with fresh herbs, grilled on a Weber, topped with fresh fruits … so many countless ways pizza works. And virtually any pizza variety can be topped off with a few cracked eggs and tossed under an oven for a few minutes to get those yolks barely-cooked, with results nothing less than gourmet. We especially like fried eggs over pizzas with savory toppings like prosciutto, mushrooms, or root vegetables. It’s perfect here in our recipe for Rustic Fall Harvest Pizza.

4. Soup

It’s well-known that Mom’s soup is good for the soul, the mind, and certainly the belly. But did you know that it gets even better when topped off with an egg? Whether poached or gently fried, an egg served atop warm soup is common in Asian cuisine, and can certainly hold up to Western soup recipes as well. Once those golden yolks break into the broth, your soup takes on an entirely new level of creaminess and thickness, giving you an unrivaled soothing soup. This is especially great with our classic recipe for Chicken Noodle Soup.

5. Udon

Another Asian culinary custom that we Westerners are getting wise to is topping off a bowl of udon with a fried egg. A clear broth, finely sliced greens, and just a hint of soy or ginger in the mix makes for a delicate and calming meal, and a fried egg floating atop adds a final touch of simplistic sophistication. Check out our Guide to Asian Noodles to learn how to perfect your own at-home udon bowl.

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Image, Katrin Morenz, Flickr, Creative Commons 2.0