My hands-down favorite dessert to order at Hong Kong cafes growing up was Hong Kong Style French Toast (西吐司). Unlike traditional French toast, this classic Western-inspired recipe is made with thick fluffy bread slides and peanut butter (or sweetened condensed milk) sandwiched in the middle!
You know how people say weird things like “I love you like a fat kid loves chocolate cake”? Don’t get me wrong: chocolate cake is pretty darn amazing. This year, though, I’m petitioning the Global Committee of Overused Catchphrases to update this (terribly outdated and somewhat unsavory) simile to something a little more fun. Something that includes me, this French toast recipe, and a culturally-relevant-sounding expletive tacked onto the end for Gen-Z appeal. For instance:
“That mildly rotund child over there loves chocolate cake like Ala loves Hong Kong Style French Toast, b*tches!”
And that, my friends, is how the French toast crumbles in 2020.
If you’ve never tried Hong Kong Style French Toast, you’re in for a real treat.
Growing up, this dish was basically the only thing my mom and I would order at Hong Kong-style cafes because it’s NOT your average Joe Shmoe French toast recipe. First off, it’s thick and fluffy, and it’s usually made with an incredibly light loaf like the leftover Japanese Milk Bread that I used here, though you can substitute other white bread loaves with the crusts trimmed if you’re in a rush. It’s also traditionally filled with a thin layer of peanut butter and served with a side of maple syrup or sweetened condensed milk that sends your taste buds bursting through the roof of your mouth in near-orgasmic ecstasy. Oh, and it’s deep fried, so it definitely needs to be part of your next balanced breakfast.
Remember when you first discovered that ice cream flavors other than vanilla actually existed in the world? Well, the same is true of French toasts! And trust me: once you try this recipe, you’ll never want to go back to regular, boring, thin pan-fried French toast again.
So what are you waiting for? Grab that leftover loaf in your fridge and whip up a batch of this French toast for the whole fam!
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 3 tablespoons milk
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 4 thick slices white bread, crusts removed if desired (I used leftover Japanese Milk Bread
- Oil for frying
- 3 tablespoons peanut butter
- Sweetened condensed milk or syrup (for drizzling)
- In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, and vanilla.
- Spread 1.5 tablespoons peanut butter on a slice of bread, then top with another slice of bread. Repeat with additional bread.
- Dredge each bread sandwich through egg mixture until all surfaces are evenly coated.
- Heat 1 inch of oil in a pan over medium-low heat. Fry each bread sandwich for 3 minutes, or until bottom side turns golden. Flip and fry for an additional 3 minutes. Remove fried bread to a plate lined with a paper towel and allow bread to cool slightly.
- Slice diagonally and serve with a side of syrup or a drizzle of sweetened condensed milk.