Deep-Fried Deviled Eggs Reinvent A Staple Side Dish

Devilled eggs celebrate the versatility of our favorite breakfast protein, and a mixture of panko breadcrumbs and parmesan can turn this classic side dish into an eating experience that's greater than the sum of its parts. The contrast between soft-boiled egg whites and the creamy, spicy egg yolk filling is great, but add some crunch to the equation, and you've got a party favorite that you're sure to run short of at any gathering.

Originally called stuffed eggs, the word "devil" referring to foods first appeared in Britain in the 18th century. Interestingly, at the time, in addition to heavily spiced dishes, it also referred to foods that were fried. So, in a way, deviled eggs were always asking to be fried; it just took some time to catch back on. The process is simple, and as long as you bread the egg whites carefully so that the crunchy layer doesn't slip off while frying, there's very little else that can go wrong. You can also make these in an air fryer or prep beforehand and assemble them right before serving.

Frying is the way to deliciousness

A crispy layer of fried crumbs can turn just about any dish irresistible, and that's especially true for deviled eggs. To make them, follow your original recipe, but bread and deep fry the egg whites before piping in the spice-spiked egg yolk mixture.

For those needing a bit of a refresher, once your eggs are perfectly hard-boiled, peeled, and cut in half, gently scoop out the yolks and place them in a separate bowl. You can then add your condiments of choice — the classics are mustard, mayonnaise, Tabasco, as well as salt and pepper to taste — and mash it all together with a fork until you have a smooth paste. Add a few teaspoons of water to the yolk mixture for ideal consistency and a tablespoon of softened butter to make it even more decadent.

The frying step is where the magic happens, and thankfully for your future fellow potluck goers, is quite simple: Dredge the boiled egg white halves in flour, beaten eggs, and panko breadcrumbs, making sure to gently shake off any excess flour or beaten egg before dipping in the next bowl, and then fry in oil that's been heated to about 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Alternatively, you can use an air fryer preheated to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Once the egg whites are golden and crispy, let them cool before piping or spooning in the filling and garnishing with chives and a pinch of paprika powder.

So many versions of deviled eggs to try out

Versions of deviled eggs have been around since ancient Rome, when boiled eggs were served with spicy sauces as appetizers. The practice of stuffing hollowed-out boiled egg whites with yolk mixed with condiments became popular soon after in the region that is modern-day Spain and later, across Europe. Fillings ranged from raisins to herbs and cheese, and medieval recipes also featured fried deviled eggs served garnished with sauces or powdered sugar.

Eventually, the dish appeared Stateside and became a Southern staple, where the likes of dill and mustard most likely joined the list of ingredients. As a constantly evolving dish, deviled eggs (fried or otherwise) can be enjoyed with various fillings. A dash of vinegar or chopped capers will give the yolk mixture a fresh hit of acidity, while a pinch of garlic and curry powder heightens the savory egg flavors. You can also consider seasoning the filling with cajun and oregano. As for the flaky outer covering, grated parmesan mixed with the panko breadcrumbs makes a deeper-flavored, crispier coating.

Deep-fried deviled eggs will keep your snack and side-dish platters overflowing, but if you feel like exploring the world of boiled eggs with crispy coatings further, scotch eggs are your next stop. Traditionally a boiled egg coated in minced sausage, breaded, and fried crisp, this classic British dish can be modified to simpler, healthier scotch eggs. Or, skip the frying entirely and go for a summery deviled egg potato salad at your next spread.