One of my favorite places to dine with my friend Randi was Susan Feniger’s restaurant, Street, here in LA. Our favorite dish was the Kaya Toast. It was to this day, one of the best things I have ever eaten.
The Kaya Toast is like a grilled cheese but instead of cheese in between the bread, it is coconut jam and butter. She toasts two pieces of white bread together to keep the middle of the bread u toasted and soft and the outside crisp. Then the chef spreads the coconut jam on both soft sides of the pieces of bread and slices cold butter and lays that on top of the coconut jam on one side of the bread. The then put the slices of bread together and forms and sandwhich and sets that aside. An eggs is softly boiled and is laid on a plate and drizzled with dark Korean soy sauce and sprinkled with white pepper. The sandwhich is sliced into quarters and placed on the plate next to the egg. To enjoy this dish, you take the squares of the filled bread and dip them into the runny egg yolk, soy sauce mixtures and take a delicious bite. It seems simple and a little weird, but I swear it is one of the most tasty and amazing flavor combinations I have ever encountered.
To my sadness, Street has closed but the recipe for Kaya Toast lives on! See below for how to recreate this delectable delight at home.
1 cup coconut milk, 1 cup sugar, 8 pandan leaves tied in a knot, 1/8 tsp kosher salt, 3 eggs, 3 egg yolks
In a small sauce pan, mix together the coconut milk and 1/2 cup sugar. Stir in the pandan leaves and salt and bring to a boil over high heat. Keep the leaves submerged in the milk to soften. When the milk has come to a boil, remove from heat and let mixture steep for 10 minutes. Remove leaves from milk and squeeze any liquid from the leaves into pan. Throw away the leaves.
In a medium stainless steel bowl, whisk together the eggs, yolks and remaining 1/2 cup sugar. Whisk in the coconut mixture to form a custard. Place the bowl over a simmering pot of water and gently cook the mixture while constantly stirring for 15-20 minutes with a rubber spatula. The final texture should be a thick custard texture. Immediately remove from heat and transfer to a medium bowl set over a bowl of ice water and stir until the mixture cools. Cover and refrigerate until needed. Makes about 2 cups and will keep for one week in the refrigerator.
Take two pieces of toasted white bread and lay them out, soft side up. Spread two tablespoons of coconut jam on both untoasted sides of bread. Use a stick of cold salted butter to cut slices from and lay them over one side of the jam topped toast. Put the two slices of bread together to form a sandwhich and slice into quarters. Soft boil and egg for approximately 6 mins and keep the yolk soft. Lay that on a plate and top with dark Korean soy sauce and a dash of white pepper. The Kaya Toast is ready to be devoured.