To get a taste of Hong Kong cuisine, you need to visit a cha chaan teng. These 1950s-style post-war diners emerged as a reponse to British influence, resulting in eclectic Canto-Western dishes now considered icons of Hong Kong: think pineapple buns, egg tarts, milk tea, and deep-fried French toast.
To make Hong Kong-style French toast at home, start with a triple-decker sandwich of milk bread and peanut butter. You then dip it in egg, then deep-fry the whole thing until crisp and golden brown on all sides.
Before serving, finish your toast like a local: drizzle it with condensed milk or maple syrup (or both!), then top it all off with a big slab of butter. If that sounds over the top, trust us and just do it. You'll thank us right after your first bite.
Hong Kong-style French toast
- 6 slices milk bread, pre-sliced
- peanut butter
- 3 eggs
- canola oil, for frying
- condensed milk
- maple syrup or honey
Make sandwich: Take one slice of bread and spread a generous amount of peanut butter on one side. Top with a second slice of bread. Spread another layer of peanut butter over the second slice, then top with a third slice of bread. You should have a tall sandwich made up of three bread slices, with two layers of peanut butter in between. Repeat with remaining bread and peanut butter.
Slice off crusts: Using a serrated bread knife, remove the crusts off the four sides of your sandwiches.
Dip in egg: Crack eggs into a bowl or tray wide enough to fit your sandwich. Whisk eggs together to make a batter. Dunk sandwich in egg batter, making sure all sides are evenly coated.
Fry sandwich: Heat about ¼—⅓ cup of oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Let excess egg drip off your egg-soaked sandwich, then transfer to the hot oil. Fry until golden brown on one side, then flip to fry the other side. Tip the sandwich on its side using tongs or two spatulas to fry the edges. Once all sides are evenly golden brown, transfer to a plate lined with paper towels to drain excess oil. Batter and fry the second sandwich.
Serve: Transfer toast to a small serving plate. Drizzle with condensed milk and maple syrup or honey. Top with a square slab of butter. Serve warm.