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Asian “deviled” eggs
June 8, 2010, 3:15 pm
Filed under: Cook | Tags: , , , ,

My friend David lives in the relatively unspoiled and supremely fertile Tasmania, and it allows him access to a wide variety of fresh organic produce from all over the world that is grown locally.

He sent me the following note some weeks ago:

Hey you! Try this: Hard boil some free range eggs and quarter them lengthwise. Lay them side by side on a long dish. Dris them in Tamari, Japanese mayo, dots of wasabi and then sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds and toasted granuated garlic. I think it looks as good as it tastes! Ciao!

His is definitely a Japanese “deviled” egg. I only just got around to testing out my own version based on ingredients I had on hand, and I am admittedly lacking in my presentation skills so it didn’t turn out nearly as nicely as I imagine David’s did. Not only do I lack imagination, I lack counter space, and I also lack photogenic dishware and a camera with a decent low-light sensor. Forgive me.

It tasted great, though. Like an Asian deviled egg, though I didn’t remove the yolks and blend before returning them to the whites, so it’s “deviled” with bunny ears, not actually deviled. Recipe after the jump.

Ingredients:

  • Eggs – As many as you want, preferably 1 egg per person (2 servings)
  • Mayonnaise – I use the Japanese Kewpie mayonnaise, which tastes quite egg-y and rich
  • Wasabi – I used wasabi powder and mixed with water to make paste, but you can buy pre-made paste, too
  • Soy sauce – or tamari for a more delicate flavor
  • Sesame seed oil
  • Sriracha sauce – may substitute another hot sauce or omit altogether if the wasabi is enough heat for you
  • Cilantro – I didn’t have any on hand, but I think it would look great and lighten up the rich flavors

Preparation:

  • Bring water in a small pot to a rolling boil and add desired number of eggs
  • After one minute, turn off heat and cover pot; let stand for 8-10 minutes
  • Dump out hot water and run cold water into pot with eggs, emptying the water as it becomes warm and refilling with cold water – add ice if you wish. The cold bath arrests the cooking of the egg within the shells and also causes some shrinkage for easier removal of the shell, so keep refilling with cold water until the water actually stays cold!
  • Peel and halve eggs. David recommends quartering, but I find that the eggs crumble when quartered and are a bit more difficult to eat.
  • Now you can get creative with your presentation – I mixed my wasabi and mayo to make a wasabi mayo, but in hindsight, I think it would look nicer if I had kept them separately to preserve the green color of the wasabi and the ivory color of the mayo. The sriracha adds for a punchy red, and the cilantro is a tasty little garnish. I can’t really figure out how to make the drizzled soy sauce and drop of sesame seed oil look nice, so I’ll leave that to you.

You can take this one step further by removing the yolks and blending them with other ingredients before returning them to the halved egg whites. Also, if you want to prep ahead of time, the cooked eggs may be stored (shell-on) in the refrigerator for a couple days. It also tastes good served cold, though I prefer my hard-boiled eggs to be warm.

Variations on the theme:  I would strongly recommend experimenting with different toppings. I think hoisin sauce, sriracha, thin slice of just-cooked eye-of-round beef, cilantro, and bean sprout combo would make for a cute Vietnamese pho-inspired egg. Or perhaps gochu-jang (Korean red pepper paste) with julienned green onions and a thin piece of samgyeopsal (grilled pork belly – literally “three layered flesh” in Korean) with salt, pepper, and sesame seed oil for a play on Korean BBQ. The key is to find 3 to 5 ingredients that offer contrasting colors and harmonious flavors, and at least one ingredient that has some crunch or chewiness.

If you test anything out – let me know! Would love to hear your ideas.

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