Egg salad is an easy and tasty dish perfect for preparing ahead of time. In its simplest form, it's just hard-boiled eggs that are chopped, seasoned, and mixed with mayonnaise. However, more often than not, classic egg salad recipes include either finely chopped onions, celery, or pickles.
If you have opted to add zingy chopped onions to your egg salad, you may notice as it sits in the refrigerator, it gets liquidy. That's because onions contain water that gets pulled out by the salt and sugar in the dressing. If you're worried about your egg salad getting watery, there is one quick ingredient swap that can make all the difference. Use green onions or chives instead of regular onions. Not only do green onions and chives contain much less water than onions, but they are just as flavorful, and easy to find at the grocery store or farmer's market. That bright green color will also pop against the pale yellow backdrop of the egg salad, making a picture-perfect presentation.
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Prevent Watery Egg Salad By Understanding Your Ingredients
While salt and sugar are the culprits in pulling out the water in the egg salad ingredients, it's not an option to skip seasoning. Any egg dish will turn out seriously bland without enough salt. That's why the simple swap of green onions or chives for onions is a better way to cut down on the water that can be drawn out without losing flavor. And while chopped celery is popular in egg salad, it is loaded with water -- 95% water to be exact. If you're not concerned about the added crunch, omit celery to avoid a watery egg salad.
Keep in mind that other ingredients can get watery, too. While regular mayonnaise is a well-known base for egg salad, you might find that you've experimented with lower-fat options like Greek yogurt or low-fat mayo. But Greek yogurt often separates as it sits, which could lead to water pooling in the egg salad, and low-fat mayo has a higher water content than regular mayo. So these are not great options if you're trying to avoid watery egg salad.
Ways To Enhance Egg Salad Without Making It Watery
Besides swapping regular onions for green onions or chives, there are other ways you can build up your egg salad's flavor and limit unsightly pooling water. Try adding spices, such as garlic powder or paprika; paprika is often dusted atop deviled eggs, so it would taste fantastic in egg salad. If you want added heat, dried chili flakes are a great move.
For added crunch, don't be afraid to finely chop crispy bacon or turkey bacon and throw it in. It will add a savory, salty flavor without creating that watery texture. Just be sure to adjust your other seasoning, because bacon is extremely high in sodium. If you choose to use relish or chopped pickles for a little sweetness, which are both common ingredients in egg salad, make sure you drain them as much as possible. (Maybe even pressing them into a cheesecloth or paper towel.) This cuts down the liquid content but also the additional sugar from the brine.
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