These perfect Kimchi Deviled Eggs are a fun, Asian twist on a Southern classic! Spicy fermented kimchi adds a tangy bite to the creamy filling. If you're looking for a bold, new way to dress up your deviled eggs, this is it!
What Are Deviled Eggs?
Deviled eggs, also called stuffed or dressed eggs, are a popular cold appetizer or side dish. Did you know they can be traced all the way back to ancient Rome? They would boil eggs and season them with spicy sauces for the start of a meal.
Nowadays, the classic preparation is to hard boil eggs, shell and halve them, and then use the yolks as a creamy paste to stuff the egg whites. Popular add-ins such as mustard, mayonnaise, vinegar, and herbs are used to flavor the egg yolk filling. They're a fun finger food and a staple item at holidays, picnics, potlucks, and family gatherings!
What Is Kimchi?
Kimchi is a traditional Korean side dish of fermented vegetables. The word "kimchi" actually refers to the process of salting, seasoning, and fermenting a vegetable. But these days it's synonymous with the most popular form of kimchi, baechu (배추) kimchi, or cabbage kimchi. As it ferments, the cabbages becomes spicy, tangy, and funky.
In Korean cuisine, almost every meal is served with a side of kimchi as one of the banchan, or side dishes. They're rich in gut-friendly prebiotic and probiotic fibers, and the tart and spicy flavor is a great condiment. My Korean husband introduced me to the wonders of kimchi and now we eat it with every meal, no matter the time of day or cuisine!
Why You'll Love It
- Easy: Although it may take some time to peel and prep the eggs, this recipe is simple and straightforward. Anyone can do it!
- 6 ingredients: You only need a handful of ingredients for this recipe, and most of them are probably already in your kitchen.
- Fun twist: It's fun to get creative and infuse global flavors into classic dishes. Surprise your guests with something gourmet and delicious.
- Versatile: This Kimchi Deviled Eggs recipe is perfect as a fancy but easy appetizer, snack, or side dish.
- Holiday essential: Keep this recipe in your back pocket for every holiday. I serve these for Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas, baby showers.. pretty much every party!
- Eggs: I like using pasture-raised eggs for more nutrients and a deeper orange color.
- Mayonnaise: You can use any mayonnaise you have but my favorite is Kewpie, a Japanese mayonnaise. It has more egg yolks for a creamier and richer spread. It's also seasoned with a blend of vinegars and MSG for more flavor and umami.
- Kimchi and brine: Adds a bright, tangy flavor and bite. We use the kimchi brine instead of vinegar in this recipe. Also, make sure to mince the kimchi finely so it'll fit through the piping bag.
- Sugar: To balance out the savoriness. If your kimchi is more sour, increase the sugar.
- Toasted sesame oil: A little goes a long way. I recommend using toasted because it has more flavor than regular sesame oil, making it the perfect finishing oil.
- Green onion: Traditional deviled eggs use chives as a garnish. For this recipe, we're using the dark green parts of green onion instead. Use a smaller sprig to mimic the look of chives.
- Gochugaru (optional): Gochugaru is Korean chili flakes. You can sub with paprika or omit if you don't have any.
Where Can I Find Kimchi?
You can find kimchi in most grocery stores now! They're in the refrigerated section, usually next to sauerkraut and other fermented dishes.
Kimchi's taste and texture will vary depending on how long it's been fermented. It continues to ferment in the fridge and will become softer and more sour over time. I recommend trying to find a fresh batch of kimchi. Asian grocery stores will likely have fresher kimchi since they'll sell and restock it more often. Also, look for cabbage stems that are more opaque white than translucent.
If you have a favorite local Korean restaurant, you can also ask if they will sell you some of their kimchi! Most restaurants make it in-house so it's usually a lot fresher than the ones sitting in the grocery store.
How To Make It
- Hard boil the eggs. My favorite method is the Instant Pot pressure cooker - the shells slide right off and it's a lot less hassle!
- Prepare the eggs. Separate the egg yolks from the whites. Add the egg yolks to a food processor with mayonnaise, kimchi brine, sesame oil, sugar, salt, and pepper. Process until smooth. Alternatively, you can whisk everything together in a bowl.
- Add the kimchi. Stir in the finely minced kimchi. Season to taste.
- Assemble. Stuff or pipe the filling into the egg whites. Garnish with green onion and gochugaru (or paprika) right before serving.
Top Tips For Easy-Peel Eggs
- Use older eggs. They peel easier than fresh eggs. If you can, buy eggs a week before you plan to make deviled eggs.
- Hard boil your eggs in the Instant Pot or other pressure cooker. They're steamed to perfection with minimal effort. The shells also come off much easier and cleaner.
- If you're going the stovetop method, use a large pot that can fit the eggs in a single layer. This ensures even heat distribution and cooking. Also, use cold water up to about an inch above the eggs.
- Transfer the eggs to an ice bath as soon as they're done cooking. Shocking the eggs stops the cooking process while resulting in better texture and appearance. It'll also pull the egg away from the shell, allowing for easy peeling. Let them sit for at least 10 minutes.
Substitutions & Variations
- Add a teaspoon of gochujang to the filling. Gochujang is a Korean chili paste that varies from mild to very spicy. It adds smokiness and umami that would taste great in Kimchi Deviled Eggs.
- Looking for even more flavor in the filling? Try adding minced garlic, ginger, miso paste, Sriracha, or fish sauce.
- Have fun with your garnishes! Toasted sesame seeds, cilantro, bacon, or even more minced kimchi are great options.
Storing & Make It In Advance
Storing: Deviled eggs are best consumed the day they're made. But if you have any leftovers, store them in a single layer in an air-tight container. They'll keep in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Freezing: I do not recommend freezing hard-boiled or deviled eggs.
Make It In Advance: I would make these loaded deviled eggs up to a week in advance. Hard boil and peel the eggs, then store them whole in the fridge. Make the filling up to 2 days in advance, but don't stuff the egg whites until the day-of. Then, garnish right before serving.
Serving: These are best served cold or at room temperature. If you're serving them at a party, make sure to take them out in batches. Deviled eggs are perishable so avoid letting them sit out for more than two hours, especially in hot water. Have one tray of Kimchi Deviled Eggs out for party guests, and refill as needed.
Vinegar adds acidity to cut through the richness of the mayonnaise and egg yolks. The liquid also helps make a smoother, creamier consistency. In this recipe, we make the filling without vinegar but with kimchi brine instead! It has the same effect but allows us to use the kimchi in two ways.
It depends on how cooked you want your egg to be. For soft-boiled eggs with set egg whites and liquid yolk, boil for 5-6 minutes. For medium-boiled eggs (or jammy eggs, as I call them), boil for 7-9 minutes. For hard boiled eggs, boil for 10-12 minutes depending on how cooked you'd like your yolk.
You can test if an egg is boiled by spinning it. If it spins quickly, the egg is boiled. If it's slow and wobbly, the egg isn't cooked. The liquid inside a raw egg prevents it from spinning and slows down its momentum.
Yes! If you overcook an egg, the whites become very firm, rubbery, and unpleasant. A dark ring will also form around the egg yolk, indicating that it's overcooked. And you know that sulfide, rotten-egg smell? Yup, that's another sign.
Looking For More?
If you're looking for more delicious appetizers or side dishes, these are perfect for any party or gathering:
- Air Fryer Crab Rangoons
- Vietnamese Shrimp Toast
- Pumpkin Cream Cheese Crescent Rolls
- Butternut Squash and Mushroom Empanadas
- Air Fryer Honey Garlic Chicken Wings
Kimchi Deviled Eggs
- Hard-boil the eggs. Stovetop: Place the eggs in a single layer in a large pot and cover with 1 inch of cold water. Bring to a boil, cover, then turn off the heat. Let sit for 10-12 minutes, then transfer immediately to an ice bath.Instant Pot: Place eggs in a steamer basket and add 1 cup of water to pot with a pinch of salt. Cover and seal, then cook on Manual (High Pressure) for 9 minutes. Quick release and transfer immediately to an ice bath for 5-10 minutes.
- Once cooled, carefully peel the eggs. Rinse to remove any egg shells and pat dry with a paper towel to prevent egg whites from sliding. Then cut each egg in half lengthwise. Wipe the knife clean every time for a cleaner presentation.
- Gently pull the egg white back to easily spoon out the yolks. Set the egg white halves aside and add all the yolks to a bowl or food processor.
- To the yolks, add mayo, 3 tablespoon kimchi brine (liquid) only, sugar, sesame oil, salt, and pepper. Either mix by hand or puree until smooth, adding more kimchi brine until you reach your desired consistency. Then stir in the minced kimchi and season to taste. Depending on how fermented your kimchi is, you may need more sugar.
- Spoon or pipe egg yolk mixture into egg white mixtures. Top with green onion and sprinkle with gochugaru.
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