Point/Counterpoint: Does ketchup ever belong on eggs?

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breakfast platter with ketchup on eggs
Photo: Roberto Machado Noa / Contributor (Getty Images)

Ketchup on eggs can be a subject of intense debate. Is this a combination you grew up with, or is the idea completely foreign to you? Based off of casual conversation here at The Takeout, it’s clear that for every enthusiast, there’s a hater who despise the very idea of Heinz on the breakfast table. And as a condiment, people have very strong feelings about ketchup more generally, like whether or not it belongs on hot dogs or, as we’ve discussed amongst ourselves previously, on burgers. So what do you think? Does ketchup belong on eggs?

Yes. The answer is yes.

By Dennis Lee

When I was a Wee Little Dennis, I topped my scrambled eggs with ketchup. There wasn’t even a question; that’s just how we ate eggs. I’m actually not even sure how it started. It could have been related to a dish we had for dinner sometimes, one that Mom called bokkeumbap, which is just a quick fried rice; most people call it omurice (here’s a solid recipe). Ketchup and eggs are simply part of the recipe, so it likely just grew out of that.


As I grew up into a Big Little Dennis, I began to prefer eggs sunny side up, and I thought ketchup on eggs was for babies. I stopped the practice altogether and had even forgotten about it, until I met my fiancée. At a diner one morning, I watched her as she put a small amount of ketchup on her plate. Then she would dip a forkful of her eggs into it every so often, leaving just a tiny amount of ketchup on each bite. For a hot second I thought it was funny that she did this, until the childhood memories came rushing back. It was sort of like I’d forgotten it on purpose.

So as of this past year, I started doing it again. And you know what? It’s absolutely delicious. I even prefer the ketchup very cold, straight out of the refrigerator. It’s the sweetness and the acid that I really like with the eggs, though they have to be relatively hard scrambled for me to enjoy them this way, and the ketchup has to be cold. I understand the aversion to it (I think ketchup on mac and cheese is an abomination), but I’m telling you, this is good. Try it.


Ketchup does not belong on eggs, but it belongs on everything else

By Lillian Stone

Dennis and I agree on many things. We both feel that cats should be a little fat, that more people should be cramming stuff up roasted duck butts, and that ketchup is a condiment best served cold. But I just can’t board the ketchup egg train. Don’t get me wrong: I’m a huge ketchup fan. I’ll eat it on pretty much anything. Last week, my sister snarled in disgust as I doused a bowl of seasoned ground beef and jasmine rice in about a tablespoon of Heinz. (It’s gotta be Heinz.) But something about the texture of a warm scrambled egg—even hard-scrambled, the way Dennis suggests—just doesn’t work with a serving of that sweet, sweet red gold. Maybe that’s because I don’t love my eggs with any kind of vegetal tinge, particularly tomatoes. If I’m topping off an egg, I’ll always skip the pico de gallo and opt for a dairy-based sauce like hollandaise. I’d rather get my acid from a forkful of red onion. That said, I’m a bona fide ketchup-loving freak on a leash in nearly every other context, so I’m happy to look the other way if a breakfast companion wants to try Dennis’s rec. Personally, I’ll stick to an even more polarizing combo: the turkey, cheese, and ketchup sandwich on whole wheat bread. Highly recommend.