Air Fryer Hong Kong Style French Toast

Difficulty Easy

Crispy and crunchy Hong Kong style French Toast, made conveniently in the Air Fryer! A very special breakfast or snack that’s so easy to make at home. Make this iconic Hong Kong classic and enjoy with a pat of butter and sweetened condensed milk!

What is Hong Kong French Toast?

Hong Kong French Toast is one of my favorite items to order at Hong Kong-style cafes and tea shops. A classic Asian breakfast or snack, it’s crispy and crunchy with a decadent drizzle of sweetened condensed milk.

Different from American-style french toast, Hong Kong-style French Toast uses thick, fluffy slices of milk bread. The bread can be stuffed with various fillings — strawberry jam, nutella, peanut butter, or sweetened condensed milk. Then dipped in egg batter and deep-fried until gloriously golden and crunchy.

Instead of maple syrup, sweetened condensed milk is poured on top. A decadent and delicious way to enjoy french toast!

This iconic food item originates from Hong Kong’s history as a former British colony. As the European practice of tea time became more common, tea shops and cafes began to pop up. Western-style menu items also became popular. But with a Hong Kong twist! That’s how Hong Kong French Toast came to be.

When a friend told me how easy it was to make in the Air Fryer — I started making it on the regular! So good and so easy! Without any added oil but all the flavor and crunch of deep frying!

Ingredients:

Only 4 ingredients to make this simple recipe:

  • Milk Bread. Thick Asian-style milk bread is ideal. Thick, Texas-style toast can also work.
  • Egg. Dip in egg batter immediately before air frying so it doesn’t get too soggy.
  • Sweetened Condensed Milk. Thick and syrupy, this classic Asian canned milk is so delicious! The flavor is deeply, mellow, and sweet. A decadent drizzle tastes truly special! I like Vietnamese Longevity Brand, if you can find it.
  • Butter. A pat of salted or unsalted butter is all you need.

Instructions:

  1. Preheat Air Fryer. My Air Fryer’s preheat settings are 400F for 5 minutes. Preheating ensures the crispiest French Toast!
  2. Stuff French Toast. Add a thin layer of sweetened condensed milk (or jam, peanut butter, nutella) to one slice of milk bread. Place another slice on top to make a sandwich.
  3. Whisk egg. In a shallow bowl, crack the egg and add a pinch of salt. Whisk well.
  4. Batter the French Toast. Dip stuffed french toast into the egg batter, making sure both sides are evenly covered with egg.
  5. Cook in Air Fryer. Add to the Air Fryer basket and cook at 400F for 6 minutes. Flip halfway, at the 3-minute mark.
  6. Serve. Transfer to a plate. Add a pat of butter and thin drizzle of sweetened condensed milk on top. Enjoy immediately!

Watch how to make it:

Special Equipment:

  • Air Fryer. I use a Cosori 5.8Qt Air Fryer (affiliate) for this recipe. They work as mini convection ovens to circulate heat evenly and quickly. Any Air Fryer should work!

PRO Tips:

  • Store leftover sweetened condensed milk in a jar. Empty leftover canned milk into a glass jar, scraping with a small spatula to get every bit of goodness. Transfer to the fridge and it will keep a long time this way. Enjoy with coffee instead of creamer and sugar for a delicious treat! *Be careful of cross-contamination and use a clean spoon each time.
  • For richer, creamier flavor, add 1-2 Tbsp of milk to the egg batter. Flip the bread several times to soak the egg batter evenly. Then cook, as per usual.
  • Enjoy plain. If you choose to make this plain (no filling), I suggest using 1 piece of milk bread instead of 2. Otherwise, it will be too dry in the middle.  The egg amount (1 egg) will remain the same.

FAQ:

Can I make Hong Kong French Toast without an Air Fryer?

Yes, of course! An Air Fryer simply makes this dish easier to make at home. If you don’t own an Air Fryer, simply deep fry on both sides until golden and crispy. Notes are in the recipe card below.

Why does the Air Fryer make such good French Toast?

Air Fryers work as mini convection ovens. Food is cooked faster with minimal oil. And becomes super crispy and crunchy in the process!

For Hong Kong French Toast, an Air Fryer produces that crispy, crunchy texture and deep golden color — without deep frying or using additional oil.

Is Hong Kong French Toast always stuffed with filling?

Not always but oftentimes, yes. Typical filling options: peanut butter, fruit jam, coconut jam, Nutella, sweetened condensed milk, cheese, and ham.

Should I use parchment paper to prevent sticking?

I don’t use parchment paper because the basket has a non-stick coating. For this recipe, I find parchment paper unnecessary as the egg cooks quickly and detaches from the basket easily. But if food sticks to your Air Fryer, add a small piece of parchment paper first.

Other Air Fryer recipes you may enjoy:

Hong Kong style Air Fryer french toast on white plate

Air Fryer Hong Kong Style French Toast

The Subversive Table | Lis Lam
Crispy and crunchy Hong Kong style French Toast, made conveniently in the Air Fryer! A very special breakfast or snack with that decadent drizzle of condensed milk.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 6 mins
preheat time 5 mins
Course Breafast, Brunch, Snack
Cuisine Asian
Servings 1
Calories

Equipment

  • Air Fryer (I use the Cosori 5.8L Air Fryer)

Ingredients
  

  • 2 slices milk bread
  • 1 egg (large, preferably organic)
  • pinch salt
  • 1-2 Tbsp sweetened condensed milk (plus more for drizzling)
  • 1 Tbsp butter, unsalted

Instructions
 

  • Preheat Air Fryer at 400F for 5 minutes. (Preheating makes for a crispier, more golden HK french toast!)
  • Meanwhile, crack the egg in a large shallow bowl. Add pinch of salt and whisk well with a fork.
  • Spread a thick layer of sweetened condensed milk (about 1-2 Tbsp) on one slice of bread. Cover with the other slice of bread, making a sandwich. Make sure the edges match.
  • When the Air Fryer has finished preheating, dip the sandwich into the egg batter on both sides. Work quickly, dipping and turning the sandwich until completely covered.
  • Place into the Air Fryer, directly on top of the grates. Air Fry at 400F for 6 minutes, flipping the French Toast at the 3 minute mark.
  • Transfer to a plate. Add a pat of butter and a drizzle of sweetened condensed milk. Eat immediately!

Video

Notes

*To deep fry at home:  fill a cast iron pan (I recommend a Dutch oven with deep sides to avoid spillage) with 1 inch of vegetable oil.  Heat on medium heat until a thermometer reaches 325F.  Add the french toast and deep fry on both sides until golden and crispy looking, about 30-60 seconds per side.  Transfer to a wire rack fitted over a sheet pan, so the excess oil can drain.  Transfer to a plate and add a pat of butter and a drizzle of sweetened condensed milk.  Enjoy immediately!  
Additional Tips:
    • Store leftover sweetened condensed milk in a jar. Empty leftover canned milk into a glass jar, scraping with a small spatula to get every bit of goodness. Transfer to the fridge and it will keep a long time this way. Enjoy with coffee instead of creamer and sugar for a delicious treat! *Be careful of cross-contamination and use a clean spoon each time.
    • For richer, creamier flavor, add 1-2 Tbsp of milk to the egg batter. Flip the bread several times to soak the egg batter evenly. Then cook, as per usual.
    • Enjoy plain. If you choose to make this plain (no filling), I suggest using 1 piece of milk bread instead of 2. Otherwise, it will be too dry in the middle.  The egg amount (1 egg) will remain the same.
Keyword Air Fryer, French Toast, Hong Kong
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15 minutes, Air Fryer, All Recipes, Asian, Breakfast + Brunch, Snacks

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