Egg waffle

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Egg waffle
HK Lower Wong Tai Sin Eatate Tung Tau Tsuen Road n Ching Tak Street 雞蛋仔.JPG
Small ball-shaped egg waffle and large European-style waffles at a street food stand
Alternative names Bubble Waffle, Egg puff, egg waffle, puffle, gai daan jai, egglet
Type Pancake or waffle
Place of origin Hong Kong
Serving temperature Hot
Main ingredients Eggs, sugar, flour, evaporated milk
Cookbook: Egg waffle  Media: Egg waffle
Egg waffle
Egg Waffle again.JPG
Traditional Chinese 雞蛋仔
Simplified Chinese 鸡蛋仔
Cantonese Yale Gāi daahn jái
Literal meaning Chicken egg + [diminutive suffix]

An egg waffle is a spherical egg-based waffle popular in Hong Kong and Macau,[1] and is an eggy leavened batter cooked between two plates of semi-spherical cells. They are usually served hot, and often eaten plain, although they may be served with fruit and flavours such as strawberry, coconut or chocolate.[2] It is referred to by its original Cantonese name, gai daan jai (鷄蛋仔),[1] and in English, an egg puff, bubble waffle, eggette, pancake balls, pancake waffle, egglet, and puffle. They are sometimes referred to as Hong Kong cakes in Chinatowns across America, especially in New York.[3] One piece of egg waffle can have around 20 to 35 small round 'balls'.

Egg waffles are among the most popular Hong Kong "street snacks" and were ranked No.1 in a 100 most popular HK street snack listing.[4] They have been a favoured street snack since their emergence in the 1950s, when they were made with coal fire heating and sold from street kiosks in Hong Kong.[5][6][7]

History[edit]

The origins of the egg waffle or gai daan jai (which literally translates to "little chicken egg") are unknown, despite being ingrained in the memories of Hong Kong residents young and old. One story says the enterprising post-war generation created the egg-shaped mold to make up for an eggless batter, as eggs used to be a luxury. Another tale points to street hawkers who bought damaged eggs on the cheap to work them into a batter, resulting in the classic golden color of the cake. It also is reasonable to suggest that the special iron skillet used to mold the gai daan tsai is a Hong Kong take on the traditional checkered European waffle press. Today, the two related snacks are often sold by the same stall."[1] There is also another tale that it originated from 1950s, a sundry shop owner did not want to waste broken eggs and tried to add flour, butter etc. and baked in a mold.[citation needed]

Preparation[edit]

Egg batter is poured over a special waffle pan before being heated on a charcoal stove.
Modern egg waffle pans

Egg waffles are made from a sweet, egg-rich batter that is cooked on a hot griddle, a special frying pan with small round cells (resembling an æbleskiver pan but with a higher number of smaller round cells). The griddle is set on hot coals in the fire, or more commonly on an electrical heater. The batter is poured over the special frying pan and heated; the small ovals of egg waffles are thus formed. The crucial key to prepare a crispy egg waffle is to turn over the pan quickly after the batter is poured into the hot frying pan. This could create an egg waffle that is crispy on top, and cake-like on the bottom.[7] In addition to the conventional "egg taste", they are also available in a variety of flavours such as chocolate, green-tea, ginger, etc. Most batters used in egg waffle are quick breads, although some are also made using a yeast-raised or fermented batter. Egg waffles can be eaten at different times of the day, depending on local tradition.

Modern flavours[edit]

Egg waffles nowadays are being reinvented. Besides the traditional egg waffle, it is common to see them in a variety of flavours such as green tea, chocolate, cheese or purple sweet potato.[8] Egg waffles are also often paired with different desserts like ice cream.[9]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Gai daan tsai challenge: The quest for Hong Kong's best egg waffle". CNN Travel. Archived from the original on 24 July 2012. Retrieved 6 January 2014. 
  2. ^ Hong Kong — Street’s snack review at Kaboodle Archived 6 June 2008 at the Wayback Machine.
  3. ^ "Lost Tastes: Perfect Hong Kong Cakes". Serious Eats. Archived from the original on 6 January 2014. Retrieved 6 January 2014. 
  4. ^ "香港美食100強 - 每集內容 - 第14集 - 美食排行:第一、二位 - tvb.com". programme.tvb.com. Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 26 April 2018. 
  5. ^ Kissell, Joe (29 November 2006). "Eggettes". The Geeky Gourmet. Archived from the original on 8 June 2016. 
  6. ^ "Hong Kong Cakes". Gothamist.com. 3 September 2006. Archived from the original on 20 April 2008. 
  7. ^ a b "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 8 August 2016. Retrieved 8 August 2016. 
  8. ^ "香港獨有!雞蛋仔新舊滋味任你揀". jessicahk.com. 13 April 2016. Archived from the original on 13 September 2017. Retrieved 26 April 2018. 
  9. ^ mabellui. "Egg Waffles, Reinvented". afoodieworld.com. Archived from the original on 13 September 2017. Retrieved 26 April 2018. 

Further reading[edit]

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