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This recipe started as a fix for faster — much, much faster — egg salad, without having to boil and peel and cool and, with maddening unpredictability, tweeze bits of eggshell.
As a happy result, we all get egg salad in even better, more customizable form — warm, with crispy bits of ham and buttery-soft yolks, if that's your thing. One former egg salad-phobe ate it for dinner four nights in a week. (Hi. I'm the phobe.)
All because, one night, Alex Talbot — half of the team behind Ideas in Food and Curiosity Doughnuts — didn't feel like asking his wife Aki Kamozawa (the other half, who has more patience for peeling), to make their egg salad again. I'll let them explain:
Alex: I really like egg salad.
Aki: He loves egg salad, and he doesn't get it enough.
Alex: I do not get it enough. And part of it is because —
Aki: He won't make it himself.
Alex: I won't make it for myself. I don't like peeling eggs, and everyone's got a thousand ways to peel an egg, right?
Aki: Even we do, right? We have the steamed eggs.
Alex: Yeah, we have a thousand ways to peel an egg, but guess what? None of the ways actually work 100% . . . Here, you crack an egg, you cook it, and you cut it up and you dress it up, and you've got awesome egg salad. The other cool thing is you get warm egg salad — and warm egg salad is delicious.
Like all of their posts at Ideas in Food, the process is written to be flexible and whim-accommodating. Do you have a forgotten tuft of dill or wedge of lemon in your fridge? Not anymore. Or maybe some capers or bacon to sizzle in the pan first? Or nothing but eggs, mayo, and heels of bread? This will work too (trust me).
But even in its most elaborate form, it takes moments and is often ready before the toast. You don't even need to chase eggs around a cutting board: Slashing with scissors makes quick work of them, much as they're used in other parts of the world, from steak and noodles in Korean homes to pizza a taglio in Rome.
And best of all, by frying the eggs, you get to make egg salad exactly as you want it. Aki likes her eggs really tender with runny yolks, with pops of crunchy onion and celery, on soft bread. Alex goes for a more traditional egg salad texture: firmer-but-not-chalky yolks, on toasted bread. He'll also happily eat it however Aki will cook it.
How will you make yours?
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 5 minutes
- Butter or olive oil
- Sliced onions, chopped ham, or other tasty mix-ins (optional)
- Finely chopped onions and celery, or other cold, crunchy vegetables (optional)
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, plus any other spices, herbs, or seasonings
- Heat a nonstick pan over medium heat (a 10-inch pan is perfect for 6 eggs, aka 2 servings). Have a lid or sheet pan nearby to cover the pan. Add a knob of butter or a glug of oil to the pan, then add your onions, ham, or other ingredients you'll be cooking along with the eggs. I like to make sure the onions get soft and translucent and the ham a little crispy.
- Meanwhile, crack your eggs into a bowl so you can pour them into the pan all at once. Turn down the heat to medium-low, gently pour your eggs in (aiming them evenly around the pan), and cover the pan to let them gently steam and fry. Peek occasionally so you can take the eggs off the stove when they're done to your liking. I like to jiggle the pan to make sure the yolks are a little runny and poke the whites with a spatula to make sure they're set.
- Slide the eggs (and any bonuses like onions and ham) into a mixing bowl and chop them up with scissors. Add your mayo, other seasonings, and any cold, crunchy vegetables if using. Gently mix it all together.
- Serve it warm on toast for a treat, but any leftovers are delicious cold the next day, too.