Food and Food: Home Cookin'18 Apr 2010 11:59 pm

Sometimes I hit the cafeteria at work at around 3pm, just before it closes, to get some hot water for tea. I occasionally peep in the cooler to see what’s up for offering, and almost every time I look, there is a single sad egg salad sandwich double wrapped in plastic film, calling out to someone to buy it. Not unlike a long forgotten dog at the pound.

I think I know how it ended up coming to this, too. People eating overcooked eggs drowning in scads of industrial “mayonnaise” on soggy bread masquerading as egg salad sandwiches. Egg salad can be hard to do, and so it’s often never done right. But here’s the perfect recipe for seven minute egg salad.

Start with four or five eggs. Place them in a pot, just covering them with water. Bring the pot to a gentle boil, then cover and immediately remove from heat. Let sit, covered, for seven minutes.

Meanwhile, get a bowl ready with ice water in it. After the seven minutes are up, your eggs will go into it immediately.

After their seven minute hot tub bath and ice water plunge, the eggs should come out ever-so-slightly soft centered, with no grey ring. No grainy yolks in rubbery whites here. Something to keep in mind: very fresh eggs can be hard to peel.

While this was happening, I used more eggs to prepare some fresh mayonnaise. Of course you could doctor a decent store brand if you are short on time, but freshly made is delicious with an unparalleled texture and flavour you customize.

I’ve included Michel Roux’s classic recipe for curried mayo. It doesn’t take too long, but the amount of oil that goes into it could disturb you. Mayonnaise isn’t the most healthy condiment.

Garam Masala Mayonnaise

  • 2 egg yolks
  • 250ml groundnut oil (I used safflower. Using ALL olive oil will create a very odd taste, and I wouldn’t recommend it)
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 tsp fresh garam masala (use more if you are using store bought)
  • 1 tablespoon wine vinegar or lemon juice

I used my favourite tool, the hand blender and the whisk attachment. Doing this the old fashioned way builds your biceps, to be sure.

In a small dish, dissolve the garam masala in the vinegar or lemon juice.

Mix the mustard with the salt and pepper in another container. Add egg yolks and mix immediately.

Slowly begin adding oil as you whisk, drop by drop, working up to a steady thin stream. You don’t want to add oil too fast or too slow. It’s difficult to gauge, but you get better the more you make.

As I made it in the kitchen, Mike was able to tell I was being overly cautious and going too slowly just by hearing how long I was taking from another room, and suggested I speed up. He’s the mayo master.

Eventually all of the oil will be added. Fold in the spice and vinegar mixture and whip for a further 30 seconds if you want a glossy mayo. Add more seasoning if needed.

This mayo will keep for a few days. Don’t leave it on the counter too long.


Things were going well until my last 30 second whip to make the mayonnaise glossy. Some oil on the side of my container made it difficult to hold and…

Shit. Mayo everywhere.

Prepare your mise en place with what you like best in your egg salad. I went the herby route this time, using finely chopped celery, green onion and chives. Capers, pickles, dill, tarragon, red peppers and tomatoes all make fine additions as well. I added a sprinkle of paprika, salt and pepper.

Garam masala egg salad sandwich

Finally, add sprouts, tomatoes and fresh bread. I’ve written before that egg salad reminds me of my grandmother, and it is true. She used to wrap up egg salad to bring with her on long days spent fishing. They were wrapped in wax paper, and so delicious. I thought of her last night while eating. I think she would have liked that.

Today I used a bit more of the mayo to make tuna salad. Maybe we’ll make smoked chicken salad this week, too. Gotta use up the rest of that mayo!

5 Responses to “perfect seven minute egg salad”

  1. on 19 Apr 2010 at 6:27 am H.Peter

    Home made Mayo. The best.
    Why not more people make it, is beyond me.

  2. on 19 Apr 2010 at 9:57 am Kelly

    Maybe they too get it all over the walls and their clothing. 🙁

  3. on 22 Apr 2010 at 12:26 am Roz

    MMMMMM this looks delicious!!!! I love egg salad sandwhiches! love the idea for homemade mayo!

  4. on 29 Apr 2010 at 10:46 am A Canadian Foodie

    Great eggs – perrrrrrrrrrrfect! ANd the mayo fest was hilarious. I love making my own – but use the tall container the handblender comes with and it doesn’t get all over.

  5. on 29 Apr 2010 at 4:25 pm 32-P

    Bwahaha, mayo-splosion! I liked this post, as I’m the only egg salad lover in my family (I make it with finely grated cheddar, mustard, and a little shot of rice wine vinegar). I’ve never made my own mayo though. Mayo to me is like marshmallows – just something I assumed you had to buy in a store because there was no way you could make it at home.