You Should Be Topping Your Hard-Boiled Eggs With Fresh Pico De Gallo

Easy to make and packed with protein, hard-boiled eggs are the perfect healthy option for snackers who are on the go. Not only are they simple to prepare, they're a versatile food that can be tossed into a crisp salad, stacked into a sandwich, or placed artfully in a bowl of ramen. As a stand-alone ingredient, boiled eggs can be seasoned in various creative ways, and people all around the world have their own favorite method. In Kenya, boiled eggs are a street food delicacy that is cut in half and layered with a topping of fresh mixed veggies, a spread that is basically the equivalent of Latin America's pico de gallo. Locals call it mayai pasua, which translates to cracked eggs, and stalls will typically offer spicy chili sauce or ketchup as optional condiments.

This boiled egg specialty gets its name from the speedy technique that street food vendors use to expertly crack open the egg's shell with a spoon, unraveling it with precision so the soft egg comes out perfectly. Mayai pasua is typically either carried in buckets through the streets of Kenya or sold from trolleys that have a coal stove underneath to keep the displayed eggs warm. The egg's veggie garnish is called kachumbari, and the main difference between it and pico is the fact that Kenyans will often eat it as a fresh salad as well as a relish. All you need is a pico de gallo recipe to easily recreate this dish at home.

You can make it at home but it won't taste quite the same

Although many Kenyans feel that mayai pasua never tastes the same when made from home, we can try to closely imitate the recipe in order to bring a small taste of Africa to our plates. To show how it's done, the London-based cookbook author Verna Gao features this African street food in her Around the World in 80 Eggs series on TikTok. After boiling the eggs, she places them in cold water and begins chopping up the ingredients for the kachumbari garnish, which include tomatoes, shallots, red chilis, and cilantro. In Kenya there are a variety of ingredients that can be added to kachumbari, including cabbage, red onions, cucumbers, and usually fresh lemon juice.

A squeeze of lime and a good crack of salt and pepper later, Gao mixes her fresh veggies and spoons some onto a halved egg with a dollop of ketchup. One commenter on Gao's video explains that the ketchup "is often hot sauce, although ketchup is also offered for less spice-tolerant tourists!" Others mention that hers is a gourmet version and joke that it lacks the dust and trolley smoke that accompanies Kenyan-made mayai pasua. Either way, we'll take a dozen.