Each time I get my friends from Europe to try some kaya, it pleases without fail. I am born and bred in Singapore, kaya was a big part of my childhood. I inhale the stuff, so it makes me glad to see that my friends from Europe love, love this stuff.
When I need a quick kaya fix, I go to a branch of the Ya Kun Kaya Toast stores. They have branches all over Singapore. In my opinion, the kaya sold there is one of the best – for the store bought kaya category. What makes the kaya so absolutely so yummy is the way it is served. Kaya is slathered thickly on a slice of lightly toasted, thinly sliced locally baked bread with mini slabs of moist, cold butter. I pair this with two half-boiled eggs and I send myself into egg heaven. And calorie count hell. I insert a post written by YQ here, and she includes a picture of the little piece of heaven.
But you know, nothing beats homemade kaya. Or what some women say on the Internet. Women born in the region of Southeast Asia but now live in Europe. Or they just prefer their grandma/mum’s recipe to store brought kaya.
As I was going to see my
friend-boyfriend–(it’s complicated) in Spain and he has yet to come to this part of the world; I thought I should bring him something local from this part of the world. I needed an awesome recipe.
Most of the recipes called for a double boiler – a double boiler is essential to prevent the egg white from cooking before the rest of the kaya. After looking through about 10 different recipes, I made some modifications of my own:
6 chicken eggs
3 duck eggs
3 chicken egg yolks
2 cups caster sugar
470ml of THICK coconut milk, sieved (the thicker this is, the less you have to stir. I used canned coconut milk.)
6 pandan leaves, washed and knotted
This makes about 700ml of kaya.
1. First, prepare your double boiler. My father is a old-fashioned Cantonese man who loves his soup, so we have an electronic double boiler at home. If you have one of these, it is so much easier than putting a small pot inside a big pot full of hot water.
Usually used for soup, but today, it’s kaya stew.
2. After which, beat all the eggs together. (If the duck egg yolks do not seem to be dissolving, leave them. They will dissolve in the hot kaya mixture later.)
3. Then, mix the sugar into the egg mixture a little by little. All the sugar needs to dissolve or it might burn.
4. After that, mix the coconut milk into the mixture a bit at a time. Ensure that the mixture is even.
5. Throw in your pandan leaves and put it in the double boiler.
Stir. Stir like your life depended on it.
6. Remove the pandan leaves when they look limp. This should happen around the 1st hour mark.
7. I spent 2.5 hours stirring the mixture. It may take you a shorter time. Maybe 2 hours.
At the end of it all, it will look like this:
After it cools, the mixture should thicken further.
This is possibly the most delicious kaya I have ever tasted. The duck eggs balanced the sweetness of the kaya nicely. This will keep for 2-3 weeks in the fridge. The ants will come after this one, so beware! I have repelled two ant attacks today. Place the pot in a big shallow dish of cold water (while it cools) to prevent ants from getting to this.
If you’re not from around here, and you want to try something (apart from the very famous durian) pleasant that is unique to this part of the world, try this!