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Make Everyone Love You: Deviled Eggs Recipe

How to Make Deviled Eggs | Recipe by San Francisco Food

If you have a good deviled egg recipe mastered–it’s only a matter of time before you’re invited to every party in town. Some of the hosts are hoping you bring deviled eggs and others—well, they’re not shy and will downright latch it onto the invitation: “Come to my party on tomorrow night–and can you bring your deviled eggs?”

Like, you know, we all just have two dozen eggs lying around at home at all times…or did they invite me when they realized they don’t want to make an appetizer?

Before we delve into my deviled eggs recipe–here’s a question for you.

Have you ever tried boiling fresh eggs?

I don’t mean fresh eggs as “just laid by the hen” — but fresh, as in you just bought them from the grocery store. For years, I didn’t even make the connection on why some eggs allowed you to slip off the peel easily, and others held onto their shells like a good Catholic girl would to her clothes. I then learned that new eggs won’t release their shells. It was followed up by some technical explanation that didn’t matter to me and wasn’t worth storing in the limited memory capacity in my brain.

I just retained that fresh eggs won’t peel.

How to Make Deviled Eggs | Recipe by San Francisco FoodIt’s great having that knowledge but as mentioned, when someone wants you to bring deviled eggs and you’re going to go buy the eggs today — knowing they won’t peel nicely is not just something you can lie down and accept. It’s not like you can serve pitted egg whites that look like a 3-year-old took their nails and dug through the whites…and it’s not like anyone has 4 hours dedicated to just peeling eggs that will still be inevitably hideous.

For any deviled eggs recipe — you MUST have cleanly peeled, beautiful egg whites. It matters very little what the inside looks like, but the outside has to be pitless, bumpless and smooth.

So here’s a secret tip for you. Like…don’t tell anyone.

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How to Boil “Fresh” Eggs for a Deviled Eggs Recipe

When you have a brand new, fresh eggs, boil the water first. 

Bring the water to a full, rolling boil first, throw in some salt — then lightly toss your COLD eggs into it. Forget the room temperature business, and forget anything else you know about boiling eggs! If the eggs pop in the water–this deviled eggs recipe can still happen beautifully. It cannot happen if you can’t peel it, though.

Anyone who has battled 40 eggs in one sitting (to make 80 deviled eggs), trying and failing to peel the damn things will know that cleaning up an egg that has leaked its albumen out through the cracked shell beats an egg looking like you let 20 rats take a nibble at it before you served deviled eggs.

Once all of the cold eggs are in the water, which would have slowed the boiling, set your timer for 10 minutes and leave uncovered. After ten minutes, remove and pour out all of the hot water, and pour cold water into the pot until the eggs are cooled. Then, follow the method described below for the ice bath.


I’m not certain what day eggs go from being “fresh” to “old”–but there is a day when that happens. Usually, it’s sometime between 5-8 days after you brought it home from the grocery store. When you attempt this deviled eggs recipe, and when there’s any doubt at all — use the boiling method above unless your eggs are at least 8-10 days old. I’m saving you a world of frustration.

Deviled Eggs Recipe

For older eggs, take cold or room temperature eggs and lay them on the bottom of the pan, one layer thick. Cover with cold water and bring them to a rolling boil. Once boiling, set the timer for 7-8 minutes, then remove from the heat and dump out the water. 

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For the prettiest presentation, you need to center the yolk inside the egg as much as possible. Keep stirring lightly during the first half of the boiling process to keep the yolk centered, if that’s important to you.


On the day I was photographing this process, I did have fresh eggs and used the boiling method for fresh eggs.

Pour cold water into the eggs and let it run over until the eggs have cooled down enough to the touch that you can pick one up and hold it.

How to Make Deviled Eggs | Recipe by San Francisco Food

Once the eggs have cooled down enough, throw them in an ice bath to completely chill them. Not only does it completely stop the eggs from cooking, but deviled eggs should also be cold or at least at room temperature — never warm.

You can leave them in the ice bath for as long as you want–but I generally let them hang in there for about 15-20 minutes.

How to Make Deviled Eggs | Recipe by San Francisco Food

As you can see, a couple were slightly pitted even though I used this method. Every person is different–so no reason to think some eggs will not be as obedient to this rule. But the majority peeled off nicely. They’re ice cold and drying off in the colander.

Now cut each egg in half.


The Perfect Boiled Egg Recipe

How to Make Deviled Eggs | Recipe by San Francisco Food

How to Make Deviled Eggs | Recipe by San Francisco Food

While I love a runny boiled egg as much as anyone, for deviled eggs, you actually need a pretty solid yolk. You don’t want to over-boil it, but when it’s too soft, the filling is too mushy rather than soft. Notice there’s no gray or green ring around the edge of the yolk but it slides out nicely using a spoon. 

Stretch the whites of the egg down to make it release the yolk, then take a small spoon to plop it out. Set it aside in a bowl while you finish off each of the eggs–ensuring the bowl is big enough for mixing other ingredients into it.

How to Make Deviled Eggs | Recipe by San Francisco Food

When you’re finished, you’ll have a bunch of egg white “shells”. In hindsight, looking at that photo, it appears I didn’t do such a great job on clearing out the yolk there–but hey, I was en route to a party and was in a mad rush. Every minute I spent on these eggs would be that many minutes less on my hair… Hair is important.

How to Make Deviled Eggs | Recipe by San Francisco Food

Now you have a bunch of yolk in the bowl.

What you put in next really is up to you. 

How creamy do you want your filling? 
How sour do you want it? 
How spicy would you like the egg filling to be?
Do you want it tart?
Do you want it crunchy with smooth, or all smooth/creamy only?

After many, many years of experimenting, my deviled eggs recipe always consists of the following:


SPAM, Ham or a Salty Meat Source

How to Make Deviled Eggs | Recipe by San Francisco Food

How to Make Deviled Eggs | Recipe by San Francisco Food

The Korean in me cannot deny SPAM. People will always ask, “Do you even know what’s in that?” as if I’m eating something unholy, which I probably am…but I care not at all. Some will gag at the idea of eating this canned, processed meat–as would I if I didn’t know just how good whatever this is, is–but then they turn around and devour whatever I made with this secret (mystery) ingredient.

You cannot split up a Korean and SPAM. Read this NY Times article if you don’t believe me.


But then again, for this deviled eggs recipe, you could easily use ham. It’s partially driven by wanting some nice pink chunks in the deviled eggs as well as adding some saltiness. But if you want to skip it, feel free to do so. Deviled eggs can easily be made without any meat.

If you do use spam, slice then into small squares by slicing big pieces, then vertically — and then mince them into small squares.

Deviled eggs ingredients -- yellow and green onions

I like giving the egg filling some bite. In this case, I’m taking one portion of a yellow onion and dicing it up to including in the filling. The green onions will be diced and used for garnish — so put those aside. The spicy bite that onions give cannot really be matched by a hot sauce — and it gives the egg filling some additional texture.

How to Make Deviled Eggs | Recipe by San Francisco FoodToss the yellow onions and SPAM into the bowl with the yolks. I don’t add salt to this until I actually mix it up and taste it so I can figure out how much salt it needs.

In my deviled eggs recipe, I use 1:1 mayonnaise to sour cream. How much will depend on how many eggs you’re making, so it’s hard for me to describe it to you. You can always add more mayo or sour cream after it’s all mixed up — so add sparingly, when in doubt.

How to Make Deviled Eggs | Recipe by San Francisco Food

You can use a spoon or fork to mash it up, but when I have a decemt amount of eggs to prepare, I’ll use a masher to completely break apart the cooked yolks. I’ve tossed in some black pepper and a little bit of garlic powder to the mix for taste — that’s completely optional.

How to Make Deviled Eggs | Recipe by San Francisco Food

How to Make Deviled Eggs | Recipe by San Francisco Food

Use the masher to completely break apart the yolks. The process of doing so will crush some of the SPAM (good), onions (good) and mix in any seasonings you added. The yolk part of this filling should be as smooth as possible without any chunks. If it’s too dry, add more mayo or sour cream after tasting it. Keep in mind, if it’s already quite salty — you want to add sour cream which has no salt, versus mayo, which usually has salt in it.

In this case, I didn’t want the filling to be too creamy as it would be traveling to a friend’s house and would be sitting out covered for the next three hours. Just the act of transporting it there with plastic wrap on top may cause much of the filling to collapse or stick to the plastic wrap, so I did want to keep it denser so it keeps its shape better.

If I were preparing this to serve at home to guests, I’d fill it immediately before serving, so I would have made it considerably softer.

How to Make Deviled Eggs | Recipe by San Francisco Food

When I’m making just a handful of eggs, I would usually spoon in the filling on the egg white “cups.” But as I have quite a few eggs to fill this time, I decided to use the baggie method.

Cut a small hole into the bottom corner of a gallon-size Ziploc bag, and turn out the top half of the bag to open up the inside of the bag. Scoop up all of the filling and place carefully inside the bag. Squeeze down all the filling into that corner–much like you would if you were using a piping bag for a cake–and remove as much of the air as possible. Squeeze down until the egg filling is about to ooze out and you’re ready to fill.

How to Make Deviled Eggs | Recipe by San Francisco Food

If you fill adequately, there’s always a bit of filling left over as you’ve added additional ingredients to the yolk. I usually just top off and pile them high. 

The key here is also to lay out the egg whites on the serving platter. Moving filled eggs after the fact is tricky; they topple over this or that way and can get messy. So take a serving platter which you can fill with the egg whites and then begin filling.

How to Make Deviled Eggs | Recipe by San Francisco Food

Take the chopped green onions that you had put aside and begin garnishing each halved and filled egg. A 2-3 pieces on each egg will do, as you have actual onions mixed into the filling.

How to Make Deviled Eggs | Recipe by San Francisco Food

Deviled Eggs Recipe: San Francisco Food

I also sliced up some parsley, which I didn’t show above, and sprinkled on top for more green. 

Once all the eggs are done, I take a bottle of Tabasco hot sauce and drop just 1-2 drops on each egg.

For added color, I then grab the handy-dandy Sriracha sauce and dab a little drop on top for a bright red color. Very “Christmassy” – don’t you think?

How to Make Deviled Eggs | Recipe by San Francisco Food

And that’s it — you’re done. You have a whole platter of deviled eggs to share with friends.

It really doesn’t take much time at all, and preparing this platter took me about 40-45 minutes from start to finish (water boiling, cooling eggs, etc.). Should you have any pieces leftover, you can easily put them in the fridge to eat them within a day or two. 

Besides, we all need a quick item to fall back to when we need to attend a potluck or party, right? There ya go!


Make Everyone Love You: Deviled Eggs Recipe
Here's an easy deviled eggs recipe that turns into something wonderful for your guests. I've made a large batch (48 eggs total), so you'll have to adjust accordingly if you need a smaller batch.
Cuisine: American
Recipe type: Appetizer
Serves: 3 pcs / 16 ppl
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
  • 24 large eggs
  • SPAM or a ham/cured meat
  • ¼ Large yellow onions or 5-6 shallots
  • 2-3 green onions / scallions
  • Chopped parsley leaves
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder
  • ⅛ tsp black pepper
  • 3 T Sour Cream
  • 2 T Mayonnaise
  • Optional:
  • Caviar
  • 1-2 Salmon Eggs (Ikura) on top for garnish
  • Slices of cucumber
  • Heavy Cream
  • Tabasco Sauce
  • Sriracha Sauce
  1. The exact instructions are in the recipe post: http://sffood.net/deviled-eggs-recipe/
  2. Boil eggs.
  3. Dunk into an ice bath for 15-20 minutes.
  4. Peel eggs and cut into half lengthwise.
  5. Scoop out yolks from the egg whites and put aside.
  6. Lay out all the egg whites onto the serving platter.
  7. Slice yellow and green onions into small bits and add the yellow onions to egg yolk bowl; put aside the green onions for later.
  8. Chop up the parsley and put aside.
  9. Slice SPAM into small squares and add to the yolk bowl.
  10. Add the garlic powder and pepper.
  11. Mash into a creamy mixture with a potato masher or spoon.
  12. Scoop (or use the baggie method described in the post) the mixture into each individual egg white "cup"
  13. Garnish with the green onions and the parsley, lightly laying on top of each egg.
  14. Drop 1-2 drops of Tabasco on each egg.
  15. Drop a single drop of Sriracha sauce for additional red color and a little sweetness.
  16. Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator until serving time.
This is a large batch of deviled eggs with estimated portions. Depending on the meat you use, the yolk mix can be salty if you add salt ahead of time. Salt to taste after the mixture is completed.
SPAM is for my own recipe; feel free to switch to ham or bologna, or skip it altogether (but then add salt).
Stores nicely in the fridge, so if you make a lot, it should be good to eat for 2-3 days.
You can replace the sour cream used with mayonnaise instead. I prefer the tartness coming from sour cream.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 3 egg halves





Grace Keh

Managing Editor

Grace Keh is the author of "Food Lovers' Guide to San Francisco" and the critic, editor and photographer behind San Francisco Food. In her regular day job, she consults for corporate clients in marketing and event strategy. Once the sun sets, she's on the hunt for great food in what she considers to be one of the world's greatest cities, San Francisco.

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Son of a... I should just move in. I missed out!


RT "@TheGraceKeh: Make Everyone Love You: Deviled Eggs Recipe - http://t.co/PlzS6RMLTt via @thegracekeh #sffood #deviledeggs"


So delicious!


RT @TheGraceKeh: Make Everyone Love You: Deviled Eggs Recipe - http://t.co/fsOmNkg8i8 via @thegracekeh #sffood #deviledeggs

San Francisco Food® has been providing trusted restaurant reviews and recipes since 2009, led by food author Grace Keh & read by food lovers worldwide.


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