Kaya (Coconut jam) recipe

May 14, 2013
Author Notes

Kaya is a spread used in breakfast or snack items (think dulce de leche made with coconut milk, made slightly savory by adding eggs). It's the one item that stood out to me most while living in Hong Kong, where so many cultures with their authentic cuisines mingle. It's got deep, nutty caramel notes from using brown sugar and a savory note from the eggs- almost like a brioche in jam form. The coconut milk gives it richness and fragrance. I like to spread it on perfectly browned toast (from good white bread like Pain de Mie) before I spread a generous amount of butter on top- it's important not to let the heat of the toast completely melt the butter because the richness of the dairy needs to have its own place. I also deviate from tradition and sprinkle some sea salt over it- it balances out the sweetness and enhances every bite! —Jen0315

  • Makes 1 medium-large jar of kaya
  • Ingredients for the Kaya
  • 5 eggs (preferably free-range or organic)
  • 1 1/4 cups brown sugar (not too dark)
  • 1 cup coconut milk (full fat)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • Kaya Toast
  • 1 slice of good white bread (about 3/4 inch thick)
  • 1 tablespoon good quality butter (cultured butter tastes better)
  • 1 pinch sea salt (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon Kaya
In This Recipe
  1. Ingredients for the Kaya
  2. Beat the eggs and sugar together until the sugar has completely dissolved.
  3. Add the coconut milk to the eggs and sugar. (An additional step sometimes involves straining the mixture through a sieve- you can do this if you're scared of lumps but I choose not to and it turns out fine)
  4. Bring a pot of water to a slow simmer and place the bowl of eggs, sugar and coconut milk over it- the bowl needs to be touching the water.
  5. Stir the mixture every 10 minutes for about an hour. It'll start getting thick after about 30-40 minutes.
  6. (Note: Don't be alarmed by the lumps you may see, it's just the way it is and it After an hour it'll be the consistency of a very soft, not-quite set runny cookie dough. Spoon it into a clean jar.
  7. (Note: Don't be alarmed by the lumps you may see, it's just the way it is and it doesn't matter by the time you spread it over the toast. Please trust me on this, it's so worth it!)
  1. Kaya Toast
  2. Toast the bread so it's browned and crispy.
  3. Spread the Kaya evenly over the toast.
  4. Spread the butter over the Kaya-slathered toast- it's easier to use room-temperature butter, and make sure the toast isn't too hot that the butter turns into a puddle.
  5. Enjoy!
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  • Vaishnavi Kandhadai
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