Dear SOS: A friend of mine and I were extremely lucky to go to Susan Feniger's Street during a soft launch day. The one thing that stands out from that day of culinary exploration was the Kaya toast, a simply toasted piece of white bread topped with the most delectable coconut egg jam/cream we have ever tasted. I was lucky enough to stumble upon a recipe on the Internet for it, but both the source and measurements sound dubious. Please help!
Dear Sherrie: Street's take on the snack food from Singapore may appear a little unusual at first, but it's highly addictive after that first bite. Sandwich thick, creamy coconut custard (or "jam") between two slices of warm toasted bread, with a little shaved butter tucked in for added richness. Dip the sandwich, cut into bite-sized wedges, into a soft-fried egg drizzled with dark soy sauce and a dash of white pepper for a surprisingly wonderful harmony of flavors.
Street's Kaya toast plate
Total time: 50 minutes
Note: Adapted from Street. Coconut milk will separate; stir well before measuring. Pandan leaves can be found at Thai and many general Asian markets. Dark soy sauce is a slightly thicker soy sauce and is available at Asian markets.
1 cup coconut milk
1 cup granulated sugar, divided
8 pandan leaves, washed and tied into a knot
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
3 egg yolks
1. In a small sauce pot, mix together the coconut milk and one-half cup sugar. Stir in the pandan leaves and salt and bring to a boil over high heat, keeping the pandan submerged in the milk as the leaves cook and soften. When the milk has come to a boil, remove from heat and let the mixture steep for 10 minutes.
2. Remove the pandan leaves from the milk, squeezing any excess liquid from the leaves into the milk. Discard the leaves.
3. In a medium stainless steel mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, yolks and remaining one-half cup sugar. Whisk in the coconut milk mixture to form a custard base.
4. Place the stainless steel bowl over a medium pot of lightly simmering water. Gently cook the custard, stirring constantly with a rubber spatula, until the mixture thickens, 15 to 20 minutes. The final texture should have a thick custard consistency (a trail of the spatula should remain on the surface of the custard for more than 10 seconds).
5. Immediately remove from heat and strain into a medium bowl set over a larger bowl of ice water. Stir until the custard cools, then cover and refrigerate until needed. This makes about 2 cups coconut jam, more than is needed for the remainder of the recipe; the jam will keep for 1 week, refrigerated.
Kaya toast plate assembly
2 tablespoons coconut jam
2 slices dense white bread, such as pain de mie or pullman, toasted on 1 side
1 1/2 tablespoons shaved salted butter
1 teaspoon dark soy sauce
Dash ground white pepper
1 soft boiled egg, peeled
1. Spread the coconut jam evenly over both slices of bread on the untoasted side, then place a layer of shaved butter over the jam. Place one slice of bread over the other to form a sandwich.
2. Halve the sandwich, then cut each half into thirds to form 6 even wedges.
3. Pour the dark soy sauce over the egg and dash with the pepper. Serve the egg alongside the sandwich wedges.
Each serving: 443 calories; 13 grams protein; 51 grams carbohydrates; 2 grams fiber; 21 grams fat; 10 grams saturated fat; 282 mg. cholesterol; 1,055 mg. sodium.