enter image description here

The outer brown part. What's a good/easy-to-understand to refer to it?

  • 3
    You just did: the crunchy, crispy outermost portion of a fried egg.
    – tchrist
    Feb 13, 2014 at 3:07
  • 1
    There's no word or set phrase for this. You just describe it as best you can.
    – Mitch
    Feb 13, 2014 at 3:27

5 Answers 5


the crispy part? (of food, typically cooked food) having a pleasingly firm, dry, and brittle surface or texture; pleasantly thin, dry, and easily broken, appealingly crunchy

I would use the crisp of an egg. (having close stiff or wiry curls or waves)

  • crisp of an egg?? Never heard or seen that.
    – Lambie
    Apr 29 at 13:28

Some common phrases are crispy edges and burnt edges, and they are easy to understand. These or similar phrases are used in "how to fry an egg" tutorials and egg recipes also.

Example usages:

An egg, sunny-side up, cooked in butter or enough oil with no chewy whites or burnt edges.

It's hard to beat the satisfaction of a perfectly fried egg with its delightfully crispy edges and bright, creamy yolk.


'caramelized eggwhite' should do.

  • I would actually peg this as "not easy to understand" for two reasons: (1) eggwhite contains white, when the subject in question is brown; (2) caramelized refers to a specific process whose effects (browning) may not be known to the audience. In other words, it requires too much thought.
    – wchargin
    Feb 13, 2014 at 4:57
  • 1
    Nope. "Caramelization is an entirely different process from Maillard browning, though the results of the two processes are sometimes similar to the naked eye (and taste buds). Caramelization may sometimes cause browning in the same foods in which the Maillard reaction occurs, but the two processes are distinct. They are both promoted by heating, but the Maillard reaction involves amino acids, whereas caramelization is the pyrolysis of certain sugars."en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maillard_reaction
    – Phil Sweet
    Jun 27, 2022 at 1:29

Personally, I've always called it frizz - based on the verb defined there as...

to form into small, crisp curls or little tufts.

But I'm not very specific in my usage. That same word also does me for the little dribs of batter that fall off fried fish (when I'm not collectively calling them frazzles - frayed ends or remnants).


My family always called it gristle, which really refers to cartilage or the tough inedible part of the meat. But I think it fits. I hate when fried eggs have that crispy tough stuff on the bottom, the texture is not for me.

  • 3
    Hi Jen, this would benefit from a source or citation of the usage. Please see the help center. As it stands, it's not clear (plus some people don't eat these things, so more clarification would really help). Do you mean fried eggs have cartilage like bone gristle ?
    – livresque
    Apr 29 at 14:18
  • Your suggestion is a reasonable offering. Answers here, though, don't rate for their good intentions but for their substance, as in This is the answer much more than Here may be an idea for you. Apr 30 at 1:07

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.