How to Boil an Egg and what to make with them

How to boil an egg is a basic procedure that needs to have a couple of “rules” to follow in order to turn out right.

There are a few suggestions on what to do with your hard-boiled eggs after you master the technique at the end of this post.

So often the yolks have a dark green sulfur ring around them and the whites are rubbery rather than tender. This happens from the eggs being overcooked or being old after they are cooked. The reason they start to stink when they age is due to the sulfur content which is also what makes the green ring around the yolk form, a simple chemical reaction.

You can avoid this and have beautiful boiled eggs by following this method and eating them soon after.

Start with cold water, cover by 1 inch

Bring to a boil, add salt

The rules are simple:

  • Start with cold water.
  • Bring to a boil
  • Add salt (only after the water boils)
  • Boil for 10 minutes

    Set timer for 10 minutes

  • Cool quickly in cold water

Cool by running cold water over the cooked eggs until they cool

Cool under cold water

down. You will need to change the water as it warms up from the hot eggs. Keep the water cool and in about 15 minutes you will have perfectly cooked hard-boiled eggs.

A perfectly cooked hard-boiled egg is yellow throughout the yolk

Perfectly cooked hard-boiled eggs

and the whites are tender.

Using this method, they

Gently tap to crack the shell all over

should be easy to peel. Gently tap the shell on the counter until it cracks. Gently roll the egg so the shell gets cracked all over; then peel the shell off.

Starting with cold water and adding salt after the boil all contribute to successful peeling.

A lot of Europeans will leave their eggs out on the counter, in the US we keep them in the refrigerator. Either way, it is best to start with cold water. Place the eggs in the pot, fill with cold water to cover the eggs by at least an inch or more. This helps keep the eggs from cracking due to temperature change.

Use a pot that can comfortably hold all the eggs you are boiling neatly on the bottom of the pot. There should be enough room for them to roll a little, but not too much. (See the photo of the eggs in the pot earlier in this post) Some people put a small towel in the bottom to cushion the eggs. This is totally unnecessary, but you can do it if you like.

Add salt after the water comes to a boil. This saves the bottom of your cookware from getting pitted from years of salting cold water. Save your cookware, salt only after water boils.

Some people will save the egg cooking water for plants, I don’t due to the salt.

Carefully peel, rinse and dry

The eggs will absorb some of the salt while boiling.

Here is a traditional Southern dish named “Deviled Eggs“. I have always been around Deviled Eggs so I am not sure how well-known they are in other parts of the world.

Here in the South, we have dishes known as “egg plates” made specifically for holding Deviled Eggs. I used to have several in different styles but alas, I no longer own an egg plate. Not even an egg plate shaped like a holiday wreath, not a glass one nor a china one. Where did they go? It’s not like I swore off ever making deviled eggs again. Puzzling how things come and go. Maybe one day I decided I would rather have the space than the egg plates. I don’t recall making that decision.

Be careful when adding the pickle relish. Don’t add too much liquid or else  your egg filling will be runny. If that happens add some cheese or bread crumbs or go commercial and add xanthan gum to thicken it back up. You could always boil some more eggs too.

Here is the recipe:

Deviled Eggs

  • 6 eggs, hard-boiled, split in half.
  • 2 Tablespoons Mayonnaise
  • 1 Tablespoon Sweet Pickle Relish
  • 1/8 Teaspoon Onion Powder
  • 1/8 Teaspoon Garlic powder
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Capers
  • Chives or scallion for garnish

Remove the yolks from the whites, place the yolks in a bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and mash

Tray of Deviled Eggs garnished with scallion green, caper and chive flower

together with a fork until smooth.

Adjust the quantities of the ingredients to match the yolks and your personal taste.

Perfectly cooked hard-boiled eggs
Remove yolks to make filling for Deviled Eggs

Spoon the yolk mixture back in to the whites. Top each with a bias cut chive or scallion green.

Deviled Eggs

Sprinkle lightly with sweet paprika and finely ground black pepper.

What else can you do with hard-boiled eggs?

Add them to tuna salad, make egg salad for sandwiches, slice and serve with spinach salad, make Pad Thai and sprinkle chopped hard boiled eggs, peanuts and cilantro over the noodles.

Personally, I can eat them sprinkled with a touch of Fleur de sel.

Spinach Salad

Main thing to remember, start with cold water and boil only for 10 minutes.

Cooking Note: A “BOIL” is 212°F or when the bubbles roll rapidly and break the surface of the water.

Use hard-boiled eggs in Salad Nicoise

Fresh Curried Tuna Salad

This simple recipe for Fresh Curried Tuna Salad can be used in several different ways. It is a nice spin on traditional tuna salad.

Choose high quality fresh tuna – fresh really does make a difference.

The first time I tried this recipe, it was immediately taken back and put on my restaurant’s menu. It became a best seller. While I no longer have my restaurant, it is a permanent part of my recipe repertoire.

Yes, it is that good. Try it, you’ll see!

Side note: You can use canned tuna for this salad if you want. While the taste and texture of fresh tuna is amazing, canned tuna also makes a tasty salad.

Squeeze the lime juice into the dressing if you are using canned tuna instead of fresh tuna.

For a complete twist on everything, substitute Salmon for tuna.

Fresh Curried Tuna Salad

1 pound (#) fresh tuna loin
Juice from 1 lime
salt and pepper
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup diced red onion
2 tablespoons sweet pickle relish
1 tablespoon capers
1 tablespoon madras curry powder
1 hard-boiled egg, chopped

Squeeze the lime juice over the fresh tuna, sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Place the fish in a 350°F oven for about 10 minutes – for 1″ thick piece of tuna.

  • Time it more or less, depending upon the thickness of the fish.
  • You want a trace of pink left in the fish so as not to over-cook it and make the fish dry.

While the tuna is cooking, mix all remaining ingredients in a mixing bowl.

Remove the fish from the oven. Cut into medium or small dice and cool.

Add the tuna to the dressing and serve as desired.

Serving Suggestions for Fresh Curried Tuna Salad

Top your favorite sandwich roll

  • With the salad, lettuce and tomato
  • Don’t forget the sweet pickle

Stuff a tomato

  • Cut the top from a tomato
  • Scoop out the insides
  • Turn upside down on a paper towel for 10 minutes to drain
  • Season with salt and pepper
  • Fill with Fresh Curried Tuna Salad
  • Garnish plate with lettuce, chopped eggs, etc.

My most favorite way to serve this:

Fresh Curried Tuna Salad Nicoise Style

Salad Nicoise is a classic French salad. It is presented with tuna, potatoes, green beans, eggs, tomato and a wonderful light vinaigrette seasoned with mustard.

To create this lovely salad, boil some new potatoes in salted water until done.

For this salad, I used tri-colored new potatoes: white, red and blue. It makes an attractive color contrast on the plate.

Once the potatoes are drained, dress them while still warm with Mustard Vinaigrette. Cool.

The recipe for Mustard Vinaigrette is at the end of this post

Steam some green beans until tender; dress these with the Mustard Vinaigrette white still warm. Cool.

Line a plate with lettuce leaves and a small mound of cut salad greens.

Arrange the plate with Fresh Curried Tuna Salad, potatoes and green beans.

Complete the salad presentation with Nicoise or Kalamata olives (pitted of course), tomato wedges, chopped hard-boiled eggs and cucumber and anchovies, if desired.

Salad Nicoise makes a great dinner entrée. This is one of my all time favorite meals.

If you ever find yourself in Paris, or anywhere in France, it is highly recommended you indulge in one there. They vary somewhat from region to region, but are always delicious.

I hope you enjoy making and eating Fresh Curried Tuna Salad.

Salad Nicoise

Mustard Vinaigrette

  • 1 teaspoon minced shallots
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon style mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoon vegetable oil

Whisk all ingredients, but not the oil, in a large mixing bowl. Whisk in the oil until well blended.