Chilli-fried eggs

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

Fire Islands: Recipes from Indonesia

Fire Islands

By Eleanor Ford

Published 2019

  • About

Fried eggs are known as mata sapi or ‘cow’s eyes’ for their staring appearance. I learnt in Indonesia the joy of a truly crisp egg. They are cracked into fiercely hot oil, which almost makes them explode in the pan as the white bubbles up around the yolk and the bottoms brown to deep golden. They then get elevated further with fried aromatics and the resiny depth of kecap manis. A great accompaniment to any rice-based meal.


  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 small red Asian shallots, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1 large red chilli, seeded and sliced
  • 1 tablespoon kecap manis


Fry the eggs in blazing hot oil until well bubbled and browned underneath -watch out, they will hiss and splutter. Remove with a slotted spoon, letting any oil drip back in to the pan.

Lower the heat a little and add the shallots and garlic to the hot oil. Stir-fry until golden. Add the chilli and cook for about 30 seconds longer. Remove with a slotted spoon.

Season the eggs with salt, a tangle of caramelised aromatics and spin a fine stream of kecap manis over the top.