Kaya toast is a sweet and decadent breakfast staple first popularized in the traditional coffee shops, known as kopitiams, of Malaysia, Singapore, and other parts of Southeast Asia. Two pieces of toasted bread sandwich a slice of cold salted butter and a generous portion of kaya jam, a sweet, custardy spread made from coconut cream, sugar, and egg yolks. Though cooking techniques vary across the region, many iterations include pandan, a tropical herb that lends the jam a grassy, slightly nutty aroma. Dip these sweet, aromatic sandwiches into runny eggs seasoned with soy sauce and white pepper to start your day on the most luscious of notes.
Look for pandan leaves in the freezer section of your local Asian grocery store, or substitute with 1 teaspoon of pandan extract at the end of the cooking process.
Leftover kaya jam makes a lovely filling for pastries, cakes, or French toast.
For the jam (see headnote):
- ¾ cup unsweetened coconut cream
- ¼ cup sugar
- 3 Tbsp. palm sugar (1½ oz.)
- ¼ tsp. kosher salt
- 4 pandan leaves, tied into knots
- 4 large egg yolks
For the toast:
- 4 slices white bread, toasted
- 2 Tbsp. cold salted butter, cut into ⅛-in.-thick pats
For the eggs:
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tsp. light soy sauce
- Pinch white pepper