Cooking the East European Way: Fried Egg with Onion

Various sites list this as a Russian/Ukrainian recipe, but I had a hard time tracking down whether or not this is true. Finally I located a recipe called "oğanlı yumurta," which seems to mean "bulbous eggs," which is about as delightful a name as imaginable.

The recipe I made was quite simple: Chop up some onions, brown them in a pan, and then fry an egg on top of them. If I can trust Google translate, the original version also includes spices, sometimes red pepper, sometime paprika, and in some the onion are chopped into rings instead of being diced. Nonetheless, the recipe is essentially the same.

It is, as you can guess, a recipe with a strong onion flavor to it. We tend to use a light hand with onions in America, sprinkling a little raw chopped onion onto hamburgers and sandwiches as flavor, or breading and deep frying rings of the stuff. I don't know if I have ever met somebody who has just cooked an entire onion and then eaten it, even though this is a popular recipe throughout the world. I suspect the reason for this is our fear of having bad breath, but you're just going to have to set this fear aside to enjoy this meal, or other Eastern European meals that make extensive use of mounds of onion or garlic. And I haven't even started making food our of cabbage.

I like a cooked or browned onion. The vegetable develops a pleasing sweetness when cooked, and pairs well with egg without overpowering the flavor of the egg. It's a simple dish, but because it thrusts the flavor of the onion so much into the forefront, it feels like nothing an American would ever make. You see, in American, we have egg with maybe a little bit of onion.

In Russia, we have onion with maybe a little bit of egg.