Recipe Review

I Tried the “Magical” Fried Egg Salad and I’m Never Going Back to Boiling

updated Aug 30, 2021
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egg salad in bowl
Credit: Patty Catalano

Egg salad always requires boiling eggs in advance and then meticulous peeling — or so I thought. Typically, I turn to my Instant Pot to prepare hard-boiled eggs, because pressure-cooked egg shells usually slide off with ease. But after fighting with a recent batch, I remembered a photo of creamy egg salad on toast that was made with fried eggs, rather than boiled.

Aki Kamozawa and Alex Talbot, the pair behind the blog Ideas in Food, have a habit of coming up with clever solutions to culinary conundrums. Their unique no-boil technique (read: no peeling required) turns everything I thought I knew about egg salad on its head. Plus, Food52’s Kristen Miglore described the dish as “warm, crispy, and magical.” Here’s what happened when I gave it a try in my kitchen.

Credit: Patty Catalano

How to Make Ideas in Food’s Fried Egg Salad

This recipe is really more method than it is step-by-step instructions. If you’re looking for a more detailed recipe, check out this video from Kristen.

You’ll start by heating oil until shimmering, or melt butter in a nonstick pan over medium heat. Add mix-ins, such as onions and diced ham, and cook until browned. Meanwhile, crack eggs into a bowl, but don’t mix. Lower the heat to medium-low and pour the whole eggs into the pan. Cover the pan to simultaneously steam and fry the eggs until the whites are set and the yolks are cooked to desired doneness (I like yolks creamy and just set, but not at all runny for egg salad).

Transfer the eggs and mix-ins to a bowl and use kitchen shears to coarsely chop the eggs. Now it’s time to stir in mayonnaise, mustard, diced celery, pickles, or other crunchy additions. Stir with a spatula until combined and serve warm on toasted bread or refrigerate until chilled.

My Honest Review of Ideas in Food’s Fried Egg Salad

The ingenious nature of this recipe is that it solves a problem I didn’t even know could be solved. The first time I made this recipe, I followed the template from the images on Ideas in Food. I sautéed sliced onions and bite-sized bits of ham. Then I poured cracked, whole eggs into the pan gently, but all at once. The eggs steam-fried for 8 minutes until the whites were set and the yolks were creamy but cooked through. The bottoms of the eggs were slightly browned, but weren’t tough or crisp.

The eggs, onion, and ham slid easily out of the pan and into a mixing bowl with only the slightest nudge from my spatula. I used my favorite pair of kitchen shears to snip my way through the tender eggs. The angle you have to hold the scissors at to snip through the soft eggs is awkward, but it takes just a few seconds to chop the mixture into pieces.

With the eggs prepared, I stirred in crunchy celery, a small spoonful of dill pickle relish, Duke’s mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, and a splash of Mos-Ness (my egg and potato salad secret ingredient). Let me tell you: Warm egg salad is a delight. I almost forgot to spoon some onto a slice of toast because I was eating it straight from the bowl.

Credit: Patty Catalano

If You’re Making Ideas in Food’s Fried Egg Salad, a Few Tips

  1. Prepare all the ingredients in advance. It’s best to have all of your mix-ins chopped and ready before you step to the stove. The egg salad comes together quickly, and you’ll want to keep an eye on the eggs so they don’t overcook and turn tough.
  2. Crack eggs into a mixing bowl. You want all of the eggs to steam at the same rate, and the few extra seconds it takes to crack each egg adds up quickly. Instead, crack all of the eggs into a mixing bowl, but leave them whole. Then, gently add the eggs, distributing them evenly around the pan.
  3. Try serving it warm. I was suspicious of warm egg salad at first, but it is a revelation! The flavors are brighter and the contrasting temperatures and textures between the steamed eggs, sizzled ham and onion, and crunchy mix-ins is undeniably delicious.

Have you ever tried fried egg salad? Let us know in the comments!