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Friday, June 14, 2024

Hong Kong French Toast

Hong Kong French toast takes the soggy out of French toast. Photo by C.Tamulonis, 02/2024.

Break out some day-old bread and get ready to make some Hong Kong style French toast that would make Elvis Presley proud (peanut butter and optional bananas ahead!).

French toast was first introduced to the people of Hong Kong by the British and it was quickly transformed into this decadent version.

Lam Muk-ho originally adapted the recipe in the 1950s and it is still served by his son, Lam Chun-chung, to this day at their historic food stall. For Hong Kongers, the dish is popular in the afternoon with a cup of strongly brewed tea, but you can make it for breakfast and give your family a lovely treat. Because it is lightly fried in oil, the outside is golden brown, and the inside remains light and fluffy. No soggy toast here!

Using two slices for each serving makes a lovely crispy stack. Photo by C.Tamulonis, 02/2024.

Hong Kong French Toast

Ingredients

4 slices of day-old thick bread (Challah or homemade work well)

2 eggs

2 or more tablespoons of whole milk

Vegetable oil for frying (or oil of your choice)

Peanut butter

½ teaspoon of vanilla extract

Dash of cinnamon

A pat or two of butter

Maple syrup, honey or condensed milk for serving

Don’t have condensed milk? See the recipe below for a make-at-home substitute.*

Directions

  • Slice your bread into one inch thick and cut off the crusts
  • Spread the peanut butter on two slices of bread and put them together so you have two peanut butter sandwiches
  • Whisk your eggs and milk together, add the vanilla extract and cinnamon
  • Get your pan or wok ready by adding about half an inch of oil and heat
  • Dip each sandwich into the milk mixture and lightly fry until golden brown on all sides
  • Plate with a pat of butter and drizzle with syrup, honey or condensed milk and add fruit 

Noshing Notes: You can use any spread inside the toast, not just peanut butter. You can even try meat and cheese inside. Feel free to go even higher by making a stack with all four slices. Since you are frying each side of the toast, tongs are recommended.

Suggested Sides: Fresh fruit, like bananas, blueberries and strawberries, mint leaves

Waste Not, Want Not: Throw scraps and eggshells into your compost pile if there are any left. Hong Kong style French toast can last around three to five days in an air-tight container in your fridge.

*Condensed Milk at Home

2 cups whole milk

2/3 cup sugar (regular or confectioners’)

Combine the milk and sugar at low heat in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Simmer while stirring occasionally for around 30 minutes until it begins to thicken and turn a creamy color. Cool and pour into an airtight jar. It will thicken even more in the fridge. You can keep it for three to six months in an airtight refrigerated container.

Cybele Tamulonis
Cybele Tamulonis, Contributing Writer

Cybele is a writer and editor with more than 16 years in the publishing industry. An avid reader, you can usually find her with the latest new book release from the local library. She currently resides on a farm in Hardwick with her husband and four children. In her spare time, she writes historical fiction specific to New Jersey.