Sunday, February 11, 2018

Chinese egg waffles (雞蛋餅)

These cute little egg waffles are one of my favorite snacks from my childhood. These little spheres require no syrup and are best eaten hot and shared with a friend!
You guys - I am so excited to share this recipe with you! This is a snack that gives me great memories of my childhood, and I couldn't wait to tell you about these.

When I lived in New Jersey, my family and I would drive to New York City at least once a month to go to Chinatown. We went there to eat a good meal and go grocery shopping at the Asian market. My brother and I would go to town in the snack aisle and walk away with at least 10 different snacks every trip. We'd consume about half of them in the car on the way home, provided that we were still awake after filling our bellies with a warm meal.

Before we got into the car to go home, we'd usually stop by this little Chinese egg waffle stand near Mott Street. There would be a line about 20-30 people deep, each waiting patiently for a bag of egg waffles. The vendor sold 20 egg waffles (one "waffle" equating to a golf ball-sized sphere) for $1, which was such a bargain that most people would buy at least $2-$3 worth. Each batch was made to order, so we'd have to wait a good 5 minutes per customer.

Although my brother and I were young, we were more than happy to wait in the egg waffle line. We knew that our patient would pay off, as we would get to eat freshly made treats. My parents usually bought 20 spheres worth, but as time went on, they knew to buy at least another 20 if they wanted to be able to eat some.

A few years ago, Williams-Sonoma sold an egg waffle pan, which apparently they don't carry anymore (it does look like Nordic Ware sells it on their own site, which you can find here). Although the waffle indentations in the pan are much smaller than the ones the Chinatown lady used, the premise was the same. I saw these in the Williams-Sonoma store and immediately bought one for myself and another for my parents.

I searched high and low for the perfect egg waffle recipe. The one I used below seemed to be the best of the bunch, as the original author did a ton of research to find the most authentic recipe and tested ones from multiple sources.

So how does one eat an egg waffle? By breaking each little sphere apart and eating them by hand. I like to eat them one at a time, while my daughter likes to stuff a few in her mouth like a chipmunk. The recipe below makes 3 large waffle irons full, which equates to at least 60 little spheres you can enjoy.

I hope you like this recipe from my childhood. My parents were beyond the moon when I got them their own egg waffle pan and have enjoyed making these on occasion. Nothing beats the egg waffle lady from Chinatown, but at least I can make these on my own now.

Chinese egg waffles (雞蛋餅)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup milk of choice
  • 2 Tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Directions
Heat both sides of the egg waffle pan and grease well on both sides (I usually turn my burners to medium and put each half of the waffle pan onto its own burner. When ready to make, I turn one of the burners off).

In a mixing bowl, preferably one with a spout, beat the eggs. Slowly whisk in the sugar until well blended. Then add the milk and mix well. Fold in the cornstarch, flour and baking powder. Finally, add in the melted butter. The batter should be fairly lump-free so make sure you beat everything together well.

Once your waffle pan is hot, pour some into the middle and cover it with the other half. Give the pan a few shakes to distribute the batter. After 2-3 minutes, flip the pan over and cook for another 2-3 minutes.

Open the waffle pan and remove the waffle. Allow it to cool slightly on a wire rack and eat immediately.

Waffles are best eaten the day they are made but will keep if you store them in an airtight container.

Yield: About 3 large waffles

Source: Nom Nom Panda

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