Add Curry Paste To Deviled Eggs For Just The Right Amount Of Spice

A deviled egg recipe is a go-to for any picnic or hors d'oeuvres spread, and for good reason. The classic formula of egg whites stuffed with a combo of yolks, mustard, mayonnaise, and seasonings is not only a delicious handheld snack, but can be customized endlessly. One common variation calls for yellow curry powder in the filling, as the turmeric in many curry blends lends a pleasantly golden hue to the creamy yolks, plus a touch of warm spice. If you want to take things up a notch, however, consider reaching for curry paste.

These pastes are the base of your favorite Thai curries, and they're also used plentifully in Malaysian and other Southeast Asian cuisines. They come in various colors and varieties, but are always packed with bold ingredients like galangal, ginger, lemongrass, garlic, and a long list of spices. Classic deviled eggs have a piquant flavor profile thanks to mustard and black pepper; by adding curry paste, you make the taste even more zesty and bright. If you're concerned about spice levels, opt for a milder paste, and the egg yolks and mayonnaise will also provide some fat that can keep the curry's heat in check.

Choosing your curry paste

There are a lot of styles of curry paste, but here, we'll focus on three classic varieties that each offer their own benefits to your deviled eggs. Yellow Thai curry paste is a great place to start, as it has a mild heat level that makes it approachable for a first-timer. Like most curry powders, it has plenty of turmeric, but also fresh aromatics like makruk lime leaves. This classic Thai ingredient imparts an intensely aromatic, citrusy flavor that will brighten up your deviled egg filling.

Next up, red curry paste is one of the most popular Thai curry mixtures. Its color comes from dried red chilies that are pounded with aromatics like garlic and galangal, makrut lime, and savory shrimp paste. When mixed with mayonnaise and egg yolks, this paste will give your filling a beautiful orange hue, and as well as a stronger kick of heat. Finally, green curry paste offers a similar flavor to red, but with brighter notes thanks to the inclusion of fresh green chilis. 

All of these pastes can be bought readymade at Southeast Asian grocery store or larger Asian-focused markets like H-Mart, as well as online. Making them yourself takes more time, but turns out an extra-delicious result, and finding the separate ingredients could be easier than buying a paste as-is.

Making great deviled eggs

Making delicious deviled eggs starts with cooking the eggs properly. You don't want to boil them for too long, as this will leave you with chalky yolks and a sulfurous taste. Instead, aim for yolks that have just set — no liquid or jammy parts, but not dried-out. To make your eggs easier to peel, let the water come to a full boil before dropping them in, rather than starting them in cold water. This makes it harder for the eggs get stuck to their shells. Just make sure to drop the heat to a simmer once you put them in, so they cook evenly.

Once they're done boiling, shock your eggs in an ice bath to halt further cooking. From there, it's time to scoop out the yolks and mix them with your other ingredients. Curry paste should play well with many classic additions, like chopped veggies and herbs. You can add some crunch with diced celery, or amp up the piquant notes with pickles or relish. For mayo-free deviled eggs, try swapping in sour cream.

When it's time to fill your egg whites, you can load your filling into a piping bag to make easy decorative swirls. If you don't have a pastry bag, you can make your own by cutting a small hole in the corner of a plastic bag. Simply add the yolk mixture to the bag, and pipe through the hole.

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