Every once in a while a serious craving hits me. This week, it seems to be for hard boiled eggs. After devouring an order of Deviled Eggs at The Salty Sow last night, I woke up with the same flavor haunting my senses. I looked at the eggs in my fridge and considered, momentarily, frying them up into an omelet or a scramble. That thought was fleeting though. I knew what I really wanted, and that was a creamy mess of boiled eggs with salt, pepper, mayo, and mustard. In short, egg salad.
Making a basic egg salad is very easy. The secret, if you ask me, is boiling the eggs just right, and adding plenty of mustard.
Basic Egg Salad
Serves four to six, depending on your appetite
- 12 eggs
- 1 tablespoon white vinegar
- 1/4 cup mayonaise
- 2 tablespoons mustard (spicy brown or dijion)
- salt & pepper to taste
- Start by placing about a dozen eggs in a saucepan and covering them with cold water. Add a tablespoon of white vinegar to help keep them from cracking.
- Cover the pan with a tight fitting lid, then heat over high until they come to a full, rolling boil.
- Allow them to boil like this for about a minute, then turn the heat off.
- Keep them covered, and let them sit for eight minutes.
- When your timer goes off, drain the eggs from the hot water and shock them with cold water and ice. Let them sit in the ice bath for a few minutes, letting them cool completely.
- Tap the bottom of the eggs on a hard surface, then carefully peel off the shell. I like to do this in the ice bath, since rinsing the shell from the eggs as I work makes it seem easier.
- Collect the peeled eggs in a mixing bowl, and chop them coarsley with a butter knife.
- Add the mayonaise, mustard, salt, and pepper, then mix well with a big spoon. Don’t be afraid to smash the pieces of egg. That’s part of the fun. If you prefer your egg salad very chunky, just stir it enough to mix things up. If you prefer a smoother salad, keep stirring until you reach a texture that you like.
- Serve on toast, over a green salad, in a wrap, or straight out of the bowl.
While basic egg salad is a thing of beauty, it’s always fun to experiment with such simple recipes. By adding a pinch of this, or a sprinkle of that, you can customize egg salad in plenty of different ways. The following four variaations are my personal favorites. If this were the egg salad variation olympics, the Curry would certainly get the gold, while Deviled would come in with the silver.
Curry Egg Salad: Add a generous sprinkle of Curry Powder to your egg salad to give it an aromatic twist. This salad would be delicious with some golden raisins or cashews mixed in.
Deviled Egg Salad: Adding a big pinch of paprika to your egg salad gives it a flavor reminiscent of deviled eggs. Customize this variation even further by using smoked or spicy paprika. Pump up the smoke factor by topping this egg salad with crispy bacon or smoked tempeh. Sprinkling some chives on top wouldn’t hurt either.
Furikake Egg Salad: Add some Japanese flair to your egg salad by sprinkling on toasted sesame seeds and crushed toasted nori flakes. If you are feeling adventurous, consider adding sliced scallions, a pinch of dried bonito or a squirt of sriracha sauce.
Chipotle Egg Salad: If you are a fan of spicy eggs, try sprinkling a pinch or two of Chipotle Powder into your egg salad. This hot, smokey egg salad would love to be paired with fresh avocado and sliced bell peppers.