Deep-Fried Deviled Eggs Are The Perfect State Fair-Inspired Side Dish

Let's play a little word association game. We say, "State fair food," you say...? It's quite possible that the first phrase that popped into your head was "on a stick," but the next words were likely "deep" and "fried." Deep-fried Jell-O, deep-fried bubble gum, deep-fried butter, and deep-fried watermelon are all examples of some of the more out-there foods you'll find at state fairs, so why not make deviled eggs more festive by deep-frying them as well?

We can't say for sure who first had the idea of deep frying a deviled egg, but it's possible the recipe's genesis may have been a 2008 episode of "Down Home With the Neelys." According to Pat Neely, both his and Gina's moms would always make deviled eggs for family get-togethers, but it was the couple's own idea to try making a deep-fried version. The dish, however, is somewhat similar to Scotch eggs, a British pub food that may date back to the 18th century.

In order to turn these deep-fried eggs into the quintessential state fair food, all you will need to do is to impale each one with a long wooden skewer. Eat your fried deviled egg on a stick as you stroll through your house and you'll swear you can almost hear the carousel and smell the funnel cakes, cotton candy, and dairy air.

This is how to deep fry a deviled egg

One real difference between Scotch eggs and deep-fried deviled eggs is that the former involves whole hard-boiled eggs that are then dipped in breadcrumbs (usually after being encased in a sausage meat coating, as well) before being deep-fried. Deviled eggs, on the other hand, are all about the filling, so of necessity they must be split in half prior to frying. As frying the filling would be messy, it's really only the whites that are breaded and fried.

Making this dish starts off just like any given recipe for deviled eggs, with boiling, peeling, and cooling the eggs, then cutting them in half lengthwise before gently separating the yolks from the whites. The yolks are then turned into a filling with the addition of mayonnaise and flavoring ingredients while the whites are dipped in flour, a beaten raw egg, and fine dry breadcrumbs to make a crunchy coating. The breaded whites are fried in hot (350 F) oil for about 2 minutes or until they turn that light, yellowish-brown typical of breaded, fried things. Once the fried whites have cooled off for a bit, each one is filled with some of the yolk mixture and possibly dressed up with paprika or other embellishments.

Here are some possible ingredient variations

The Neelys' fried deviled eggs, which may or may not be the original ones (it's always possible that a similar dish appeared at a potluck or picnic or on a restaurant menu prior to their 2008 TV debut ), do not stray too far from a typical recipe, apart from the fried panko breading on the white. The yolks are mixed with mayonnaise and a little Dijon mustard, with the only slightly out-of-the-ordinary ingredient being a pinch of lemon zest. Other fried deviled egg recipes embellish the filling with mix-ins or toppings such as pickle relish or smoked salmon, although since the yolks are added to the whites after the latter are deep-fried there's no reason that other deviled egg add-ins such as blue cheese, guacamole, or caviar wouldn't work. Deep-fried chocolate deviled eggs could also be a thing if you feel like giving these a try.

The breadcrumb coating used for the deep-fried egg whites can be enhanced with different ingredients such as parmesan cheese, seasoned salt, pepper, or dried herbs. In fact, some who've made these eggs note that the crumb coating can actually be on the bland side if left unseasoned. Another way to switch things up would be to use crushed crackers in place of the crumbs or make a keto-friendly version by swapping them out for ground pork rinds, aka "pork panko." We even have a recipe for Scotch eggs coated with falafel, so it's possible that something similar could work for fried deviled eggs as well if you're willing to do a little experimenting.

So how do deep fried deviled eggs taste?

If you're into crunchy things, deep-fried deviled eggs may be worth the extra effort it takes to make them. One enthusiastic YouTuber claims that these eggs are 10 times better than un-fried deviled eggs. In fact, after he tries one of his creations, he announces that it's "the best-deviled egg in the fricking world." So what makes these eggs so good? We believe it's all about the texture. A plain deviled egg is just, well, squishy, unless you add something like crumbled bacon to give it a little extra crunch. With a coating of deep-fried crumbs, though, you get the contrast of the crispy exterior with the soft-boiled egg interior. Plus, any seasonings mixed in with the crumbs will impart their flavors.

Not everyone, however, is all that impressed by these eggs. One Redditor who made this dish for their egg white-hating dad was met with the response that a deep-fried egg white "still tastes like whites." In the end, they decided that it really wasn't worth the bother of deep-frying deviled eggs if Dad was still just going to eat the filling and leave the empty shells.