Gyeran bap is a classic Korean breakfast of fried eggs served over hot rice. I love to add a sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds and a large handful of crushed roasted seaweed. It’s also an extraordinarily delicious and easy dinner for one when you’re in no mood to cook.
The runny egg yolk doubles as a flavourful sauce combined with the browned butter, sesame oil and soy sauce to coat every plump rice kernel. Think buttered rice, but better.
And the toasted sesame seeds and roasted seaweed add an umami flavour kick (that you are free to omit).
Best of all? With leftover cooked rice, this quick meal takes less than 10 minutes.
Why you’ll love this recipe
This Korean gyeran bap recipe delivers a bowl of comfort food in no time. There are many reasons to love this simple Korean breakfast as much as I do:
- It’s great for meal prep: Cook up a batch of medium-grain white rice, refrigerate and use it throughout the week to make your Korean egg rice in under 10 minutes. Always reheat leftover rice until piping hot.
- It’s a great way to use up leftovers: For a more substantial meal, add leftover veggies or that last bit of kimchi lurking in the back of the fridge.
- It’s quick and easy to make: If you already have leftover rice, you are essentially just frying an egg. It’s the little tips, tricks, and how the flavours combine into something magical that makes this more than just eggs and rice – even though it’s all you need to prepare.
- It’s utterly delicious: The runny egg yolk forms a flavourful sauce with the browned butter, sesame oil and soy that clings to the warm rice kernels. It takes no effort to make a restaurant-worthy bowl of gyeran bap.
- It’s super versatile: You can adjust the flavour with what you have on hand. Want it spicy? Drizzle with gochujang bibimbap sauce or chilli crisp. Or turn it into a rice bowl with sliced avocado and heaps of kimchi.
What is gyeran bap?
Gyeran bap (or Korean egg rice) is a popular Korean breakfast dish that combines cooked white rice with a fried egg.
It’s a simple yet flavourful dish. Typical accompaniments include roasted seaweed (Korean gim), sesame oil, and soy sauce.
The egg is fried sunny-side up and placed over warm rice. To eat gyeran bap, you break the runny egg yolk with a spoon and mix – mixed together is where the magic happens. The roasted seaweed wilts and flavours the rice with egg yolk, soy sauce and sesame oil.
Gyeran bap is a great way to use leftover cooked rice for a convenient and delicious breakfast or snack. But with a rice cooker or instant pot, a batch of freshly steamed rice is hardly any effort.
Ingredients and substitutions
This simple yet delicious dish requires minimal ingredients and effort.
Use short-grain rice (like sushi rice) or medium-grain rice (like Calrose rice).
You can also use leftover cooked rice. Always reheat leftover rice until piping hot throughout.
I use good quality pasture-reared eggs – you can use the eggs you prefer. The recipe calls for one egg, but you can add as many as you want.
I sometimes add two eggs when I make gyeran bap for dinner, but I’m a one-egg-for-breakfast person.
I use a combination of butter and toasted sesame oil to fry the egg. You can swap the butter for vegetable oil to keep it dairy-free or double the sesame oil.
I use light or all-purpose soy sauce (dark soy sauce is too intense). You can use tamari or coconut aminos as a gluten-free option.
Roasted Korean seaweed
You can buy Korean seaweed in small packs of 4 to 5 grams. These small seaweed sheets are seasoned and crunchier than nori.
But you can also use a single nori sheet cut into thin strips or a generous sprinkle of furikake rice seasoning.
Lightly toast sesame seeds in a frying pan for a nutty flavour boost, or serve them untoasted. I always toast a large batch of sesame seeds and keep it in an airtight container in the pantry, ready to sprinkle over any meal.
You can use black sesame seeds or a mix of white and black sesame seeds.
How to make gyeran bap
Gyeran bap is an easy breakfast or quick anytime meal. It takes only 10 minutes to make when you start with cooked rice.
Step 1: Prep the rice
Start with one cup of cooked white rice – short- or medium-grain works best.
Or reheat leftover rice until piping hot.
Add one cup of warm rice to your serving bowl.
Step 2: Fry the egg
Melt half a tablespoon of butter in a small nonstick skillet over medium heat. Once the butter starts to foam, stir in two teaspoons of sesame oil.
Crack your egg into the pan. And once the white edges start to set (after about a minute), drizzle a teaspoon of light or all-purpose soy sauce over the egg white.
Cook until the whites set around the yolk, puff up slightly, and crisp around the edges – about 2 minutes – but the yolk is still runny. Or cook to your desired doneness.
Step 3: Assemble the gyeran bap
Slide the fried egg onto your warm rice. And pour over the buttery soy sauce from the pan.
Crush the roasted seaweed over the rice and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds.
How to eat gyeran bap
Use a spoon to break the runny yolk and mix everything together, coating the rice in eggy sauce.
Adjust the seasoning to taste at the table, adding more soy sauce or salt.
Enjoy it as is for a delicious breakfast, or a light meal. Or, for a more substantial meal, serve the gyeran bap with kimchi and more banchan (like sesame broccoli, spicy cucumber salad, gamja jorim (braised potatoes), or green onion salad).
- Small nonstick skillet , or larger if you're making more than one egg
- 1 cup cooked white rice* , short- or medium-grain
- ½ tablespoon unsalted butter
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- 1 large egg* , or more if you feel like it
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce , light or all-purpose
- 1 0.14-ounce packet roasted salted seaweed*
- ½ tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
- Add the rice to a serving bowl and set aside.
- Melt the butter in a small nonstick skillet or well-seasoned wok over medium heat. Once the butter starts to foam, stir in the sesame oil.
- Crack the egg into the pan. As the edges of the white begin to set (after a minute of cooking), drizzle the soy sauce over the egg white. Cook until the whites set around the yolk, puff up slightly, and crisp around the edges – about 2 minutes. Or cook to your desired doneness.
- Slide the fried egg over the rice and pour over the buttery soy sauce from the pan. Crush the seaweed over the rice and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds. To eat, use a spoon to break the runny yolk and mix everything together, coating the rice in eggy sauce. Adjust the seasoning to taste at the table, adding more soy sauce or salt.
- Use short-grain rice (like sushi rice) or medium-grain rice (like Calrose rice). See stovetop sushi rice or instant pot sushi rice for short- or medium-grain rice cooking instructions. You can also use leftover cooked rice reheated thoroughly for a quick breakfast with eggs and rice.
- I use one egg when I have Korean egg rice for breakfast, but I’ll add a second egg if it’s a quick dinner. You can add as many as you want – just use a large enough pan.
- If you unintentionally overcooked your egg, you’ll lose out on the yolky goodness. But you can save the day by stirring a raw egg yolk into the hot rice – if that’s your style (it sure is mine).
- You can buy Korean roasted seaweed in snack packs of 4 to 5 grams. These small seaweed sheets are seasoned and crunchier than nori. But you can also use a nori sheet cut into thin strips or a generous sprinkle of furikake rice seasoning. It will seem like excessive seaweed, but it will reduce as it wilts from the heat.