Hong Kong French toast is as simple to make as it is lavish to enjoy. What would be considered a breakfast dish in the U.S. is often served at tea houses and cafes as an all-day sweet menu item that’s especially popular at tea time.
But you don’t have to live in Hong Kong or go to a “cha chaan teng” (café) to try this style of French toast.
Hong Kong French toast most commonly uses a thick, square Chinese milk bread. However, if you don’t have any Asian bakeries near you (or aren’t inclined to make it yourself), you can substitute with brioche or another thick sliced white bread. Cut the crusts off or leave them on, it’s up to you. Some people prefer their bread is a few days old to better soak up the custard batter that goes with it.
The bread is most commonly spread with peanut butter but you can substitute a preferred filling (like Nutella or almond butter).
The stacked bread is then dipped in a sweetened egg, spice and milk batter. You’ll then take the battered bread stack and deep-fry or pan-fry it. This recipe would work well in the air fryer, too. The resulting Hong Kong French toast is crispy on the outside and soft with oozing filling on the inside.
Condensed milk is drizzled on top and perhaps spread inside with the peanut butter in some versions. Syrup and butter also work as toppings. Sometimes this treat comes topped with a scoop of ice cream or chocolate drizzle too.
Have some milk tea with your Hong Kong French toast to feel extra authentic.
Want a recipe to follow for your first try? Food Network’s Hong Kong-style condensed milk toast is a great place to start.
CNN once named this sweet bread concoction one of the best foods in the world, so it’s definitely worth a try. It helps that the ingredients are generally easy to find at grocery stores.
Do you have a favorite French toast recipe? Would you try this one?