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Egg in the basket

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When seeing V for Vendetta a while ago, I really loved the eggs that were fried in the film. So I had to have a go at them myself.

V frying an egg on toast in V for Vendetta

As usual these days, this idea wasn’t entirely original, meaning that a bit of quick googling uncovered that the dish in question was called ‘egg in the basket’ (seeing the film in German and having a bad memory makes this kind of ‘research’ necessary) or – rather amusingly when having in mind the rather gross English dish by the same name – ‘Toad in the hole over in the U.S.

Best thing is, though, that making it is delightfully simple. Simple enough that I can do it at breakfast time (in case the ingredients are around). You just need white bread (aka ‘toast’ around here), butter, egg, a pan and a bit of patience. My impression is that the patience is important in this as otherwise you may end up with the bread or butter burnt.

So just put the pan to medium heat, and add a generous amount of butter. While it’s melting use an appropriately sized (haha, just love those imprecise cooking instructions!) glass to cut a round hole in a slice of bread and remove the inner bit. I just toasted the inner bit and had it with jam while finishing off the eggs, in case anyone cares.

Once the butter is ready, add the bread to the pan. I fried it on one side first and then turned it around, adding some more butter in the process. As the aim is to not burn the bread and get plenty of butter into it, it turned out to be a hand trick to just put a lump of butter into the bread slice’s hole, making it easy to move the liquid butter right into the bread. Once the bread is turned over add the egg into the hole and fry it there.

Because of the low heat this takes a while, particularly as the egg will be a bit thicker than your standard fried egg. So if you want to feel safe or just don’t like slightly liquid egg yolk, you can just do the egg in the basket ‘over easy’. In fact the turning over process has never been as easy as in this case because the bread gives extra stability to the whole thing.

Don’t forget to add a bit of salt and yummm…

Two Eggs in the basket just before it's finished. One turned over, the other not.

In V for Vendetta a point was made of using proper butter. And I was surprised that you can really taste the butter strongly in this dish. So be careful in your choice of fat… if you want a really full and smooth taste use butter. If you want it a bit more savoury I guess olive oil will do an equally good – but very different – job.

Enjoy a slightly different view of the photo above on flickr.

May 5, 2006, 0:12

Tagged as food.


Comment by 6ft5: User icon

Followed you here from a comment over at blogography.

I thought that V was a great movie! And now I have a craving for an egg in the basket!

May 5, 2006, 6:22

Comment by d.w.: User icon

Reread the V comic a short while back, and also saw the movie about a month ago, so I don’t remember whether which details are stressed more heavily where, but…

It’s made clear (in one or the other) that real butter is almost impossibly hard to get for any but the most highly placed party officials. The fact that V is able to get real butter communicates how completely he’s able to move with impunity even within the locked-down police state.

May 5, 2006, 15:18

Comment by Dave2: User icon

Real butter is the only choice, really. Not only does it taste better, but it doesn’t have those horrifying hydrogenated oils that margarine has.

I like having maximum bread coverage, so I toast independently (as opposed to cutting a whole in the middle). My egg is fried over-medium, placed on toast, topped with grated cheddar cheese, then eaten… carefully (yolk is messy if you get it on your shirt!).

May 5, 2006, 20:35

Comment by erick: User icon

my mum calls them one eyed jacks

May 9, 2006, 3:56

Comment by Levi: User icon

We call it a soldier because army soldiers eat this for breakfast. I find it best to use a pastry brush for the fat/butter/oil to be spread on the bread. Melt the butter first and brush each side of the bread. Cheers.

May 14, 2006, 16:44

Comment by V: User icon

seriously, my friend always called me V…but is actually Vincenzo, anyways, I saw V for Vendetta n felt in love the there kind of eggs too! Eggs in the Basket!! I live in Italy, here oil is more common, but with butter…yummm…is a totaly different thing!! Absolutly delicious!! Ciao

May 26, 2006, 4:45

Comment by Aragorn Meulendijks: User icon

Thanks for this nice site man :D I watched the movie and decided to make them myself 2day.

Thanks 2 ur site they were magnificently good tasting :p

wewt for people like u :D

Btw VforV was a great movie! Especially all the Parallels.

Sutler : Hitler The listening posts vans just like in “1984” From Orwell. The Biowarfare etc etc…

Lot of serious between the lines stuff in a great action packed movie which also presses the importance of free cultural development and history.

w00t for V

Aragorn aka SailCat

June 28, 2006, 19:53

Comment by amz: User icon

omygoodness! i’ve wanted to make a proper “Vegg” for soo long! but always been confused as to what to do!Thankyou for this info! can’t wait to make one! V is perfection! eeek its jst come out on dvd!x

August 2, 2006, 0:06

Comment by Vitor Hugo: User icon

Hahahah, I just watched the movie couple days and those eggs catch all my attention! heheheh

Thanks a lot, you helped so much! :)

August 5, 2006, 17:57

Comment by Damien: User icon

It reminded me of the film and I even blogged about it on my site and used your site….hehe…thanks for giving me info on how to do it.

August 20, 2006, 2:34

Comment by Michael: User icon

thanks for the recipe. thats all i ate the whole day -egg in a basket for breakfast -egg in a basket for lunch and yes -egg in a basket for diner if i dont get a heart attack i’ll have more tommorow

September 25, 2006, 3:41

Comment by Kindra and Brad: User icon

Wow! Amazing! My husband and I just spent the last hour and went through six eggs trying to make V’s specialty…with no luck :o( It drove me here, and now I’ve found all of you! Thanks for your site and the inspiration. Here’s to the infamous “egg in a basket”!

October 2, 2006, 5:48

Comment by ssp: User icon

Good luck for your next attempt then!

October 2, 2006, 10:22

Comment by Olivier: User icon

Just gave a try yesterday…. ab fab. I managed to flip it over, pretty tricky.

October 23, 2006, 16:16

Comment by ant: User icon

I’ve been eating these since I was a little kid, and making them since I was a bigger kid. The trick to cooking is having the pan at a nice temperature & buttering it well… my dish goes like this: Butter one side of the bread while the pan heats, cut a hole with a small glass (approx 2” in diameter) crack your egg into the pan slowly to prevent it from spreading out too much. Lay the bread over the egg with the yolk coming through the hole and put the buttered bread hole in the pan next to it to toast. Cook somewhat slowly and watch the eggwhite in the center carefully for when it first starts to turn whitish. Carefully flip the whole thing and the small bread circle and let it cook on the other side long enough to toast a bit and seal up (maybe 1 min. more) serve with a touch of salt and black pepper and eat. The toasted circle is fun to dip in the yolk and eat first! Best enjoyed when home sick from school or work, or when coming in from shoveling or playing in the snow.

December 3, 2006, 9:23

Comment by apetitus: User icon

What a fine coincidence! I developed interest in this dish after being introduced to it by the movie! How nice of you to take the time and post the recipe!

December 6, 2006, 12:43

Comment by Victoria: User icon

This dish is an interesting one, I’ve never seen it done over here in the States. My dad who grew up in Scotland used to talk about it, but I had no clue what it was until that movie, “V for Vendetta.” My friend who was home from the University of Alaska came home over the winter break and showed me how to make it. Your directions are wonderful, however I’ve come up with a variation.

= toasting the bread beforehand seems to work better.(hole-y bread in the toaster) = i added pieces of crumbled cooked bacon to mine (yes yes, bad cholesterol,I know) but it’s tasty.


February 15, 2007, 21:28

Comment by javiera: User icon

oh my god….i never thought i could find this wonderful place!!! i HAVE to bookmark you


April 24, 2007, 2:54

Comment by also V: User icon

x) I was intrigued that cooking scene in V for Vendetta too but also another movie u guyz may haven’t notice (Fallen - D.Washington - it’s kinda weird though ‘cause the man was murder before he had any of the dish) i’m a terrible cook though so after 1 hour googling finally i found ur site .. nice one thanx for the instruction..i’m going to try it now..hope it works! Thanx man..

May 3, 2007, 22:43

Comment by Frank: User icon

We call it “Spit-in-the-Ocean” although we also only make the hole large enough for the yolk and help the whites soak into the bread while the bottom cooks….

January 20, 2008, 15:16

Comment by Katt: User icon

I wonder if this would work well w/a simple ‘French Toast’. I’ll try it in the morning and let ya’ll know how it tasted

January 27, 2008, 7:36

Comment by Awesome Mom: User icon

If you use sourdough bread they are even more amazing! That is how my husband makes it.

February 17, 2008, 7:53

Comment by Justin: User icon

i was hoping someone would say something about sourdough i just can’t get enough of that bread. thanks for the post i hope to have some tomorrow morning with fresh sourdough from the bakery down the street

March 2, 2008, 8:23

Comment by ssp: User icon

Glad you’re enjoying the sourdough version, Justin. As sourdough bread is the boring normal thing around here, I just find it hard to be excited about it. Sounds like it’d go well with a slice of ham, though.

March 2, 2008, 8:48

Comment by Sue: User icon

We live in the states and have made this dish in our family for as long as I can remember. My parents always called it Egyptian Egg Toast….I have no clue where it got THAT name. But it’s the same dish. We use an inverted water glass to cut the hole in the bread, and we toss the little circle of leftover bread into the pan and cook it alongside the egg/toast. And ours is always served with a dollop of fruit preserves on the side to dip the toast in. :-)

May 18, 2008, 3:59

Comment by Norma: User icon

Just had a few failures of my own, trying to make this for my kid, and it drove me to Google for a recipe. Thanks for posting yours. I’ll do better next time as a result.

May 31, 2008, 16:32

Comment by ssp: User icon

Great Norma, hope your kid (and you) will enjoy it.

June 2, 2008, 16:24

Comment by V: User icon

I have my own, altered view on V’s Egg Toast from the movie. My view omits the hole in the bread, because in a dystopian, socialist country such as Norsefire-controlled Britain, no piece of food would be wasted. Whilst we never see V throw anything away like that, the recipe I made allows a similar preparation without the waste.

My Take on V’s Egg Toast 1: 1 tbsp butter, melt and coat bottom of pan LIBERALLY. Use a medium/small pan. 2: Add 1 slice of bread, let sit for about 30 seconds-1 minute. 3: Add a pat of butter to uncooked side. 4: Flip the bread so the toasted side faces up. 5: Crack 1 egg on top of the toasted side facing up. 6: Let sit for 1 minute. 7: Flip CAREFULLY, so the egg is on the bottom. 8: Allow to sit for 2 minutes. 9: Cool for 1+ minutes. Serve.

The warm side of the toast in Step 4 is warm enough to allow the egg to congeal to the toast.

January 31, 2012, 21:07

Comment by pooria.ms: User icon

Thanks man… You’ve explained it very good

February 9, 2012, 12:59

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