Imagine a portable, tearable sheet of pancake. Now wrap it in paper and you’ve got an egg waffle, or eggette, Hong Kong’s signature street snack.
With one hollow, crispy side, and one piping-hot, dough-filled side, egg waffles are addictively delicious. The trick to creating this harmonious balance lies in the first few seconds of cooking. Vendors flip a special skillet covered with egg-shaped indentations so that most of the batter cooks in the bottom half of the pan. This creates a series of spheres that are half doughy and half airy.
Kitchen mavens whip up the puffy morsels from a base of eggs, flour, baking powder, custard powder, evaporated milk, and sugar. The mixture quickly becomes sheets of skillet cake, best served hot. A word to the wise: Don’t wait to eat an egg waffle. They can go from a warm, fluffy dream to a stale dough wad in minutes.
Although Hong Kong vendors initially created egg waffles as a street food, the snack is getting harder to find outside restaurants. The government hasn’t issued a street-vending license since the 1970s, meaning that as older vendors retire, egg waffles are disappearing from city streets.
With its transition to the restaurant world, the humble egg waffle has received a makeover. Chefs have repurposed the snack into everything from ice cream cones to sandwich bread. Fans love photographing their ornate concoctions: There are more than 100,000 Instagram photos showcasing the creations. They’re now made in infinite colors and flavors, but one bite of a classic egg waffle makes obvious why these golden cakes first because famous.
Need to Know
Egg waffles are sold in restaurants in Hong Kong; in other parts of the world, they're mostly still sold by street vendors.