What a strange dessert—so moreishly addictive you will not be able to resist tucking in for another bite. In Hong Kong, this dish is more of a midday snack than a dessert, so feel free to follow suit. Try it as a midnight snack, as a dessert or even for a weekend breakfast. It’s any-time-of-day eating, Hong Kong style.
(Makes 8 servings)
16 slices of white bread
16 tablespoons (1 cup) smooth peanut butter
vegetable oil, for frying
300g (10.5 0z) condensed milk
Spread one slice of bread with condensed milk, and a second with 2 tablespoons of peanut butter, adding a bit extra in the very centre of the slice. Stick the 2 slices together, with the fillings in the centre of the sandwich. Repeat this process until all your sandwiches have been made.
Now, in a bowl, the width of the bread, whisk together your eggs. Submerge the sandwich completely in the eggs, then allow the extra egg to drip off. Now you can either pan-fry the French toast in hot oil over a medium-high heat until golden brown all over, or you can deep-fry the bread as follows:
Half-fill a large pot, wok or deep-fryer with vegetable oil and heat to 180°C (350°F), or use a wooden skewer or wooden chopstick to test by placing the tip in the oil: if the wood starts to fizz after a second or so, the oil is hot enough.
Using a slotted spoon or a Chinese frying skimmer, carefully lay the eggy bread sandwiches in the oil. Once one side is golden brown, turn over and fry the other side. Once golden brown all over, remove from the oil and place on a couple of pieces of kitchen paper to drain off any excess oil. Repeat until you have fried all your sandwiches.
Slice the sandwiches in half diagonally to serve, then cover with a generous drizzle of condensed milk.
Excerpted with permission from Hong Kong Diner by Jeremy Pang and Adrienne Katz Kennedy, published by Quadrille October 2017.