Hong Kong Egg Sandwich

May 18, 2022
14 Ratings
Photo by Bobbi Lin. Food stylist: Anna Billingskog. Prop stylist: Alya Hameedi.
  • Prep time 15 minutes
  • Cook time 15 minutes
  • Serves 1
Author Notes

I have vivid memories of my father waking up early and going to cha chaan tengs, or Hong Kong diners, and asking for scrambled eggs on untoasted white bread. They’re beautiful: a thick, stacked layer of custardy eggs that can only be found in Hong Kong, between fluffy, gently sweet milk bread.

This dish is relatively simple, of course, but it’s a wonderful context in which we can learn the Hong Kong scrambled egg technique. It’s a short 10 second technique that includes whipping eggs with a touch of potato starch, oil, milk and salt, then folding gentle layers over each other.

I'm also introducing here two popular variations: corned beef and “satay” beef. The two versions speak to the amalgamation of cultures that is Hong Kong diner cooking, which has an interesting history. Finally, a classic Hong Kong variation features Corned Beef that’s crisped and rendered before being folded into the egg for the sandwich. It’s a favorite of mine that ties together Hong Kong and America’s wonderful, mutual love of shelf-stable meats. —Lucas Sin

What You'll Need
  • Eggs & Sandwich Assembly
  • 2 slices milk bread (crusts optionally but ideally removed)
  • Butter, for toasting bread
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon neutral oil, plus more for pan
  • 1 teaspoon potato starch
  • 1 tablespoon evaporated milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 pinch white pepper
  • Filling Variations
  • Corned Beef Variation
  • 4 ounces canned corn beef
  • "Satay" Beef Variation
  • 350 grams flank steak, sliced thinly
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon chicken powder
  • 1 pinch white pepper
  • 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine
  • 1 tablespoon potato starch
  • 2 tablespoons neutral oil, plus more for searing
  • 2 medium shallots, chopped finely
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped finely
  • 1 Bird's Eye chile, chopped finely
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Shacha sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon shrimp paste
  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter
  • Scallion Variation
  • 2 scallions, sliced thinly
  1. Eggs & Sandwich Assembly
  2. In a lightly buttered skillet, toast two slices of milk bread on one side. Remove and set aside.
  3. In a cup or small bowl, combine the potato starch and 1 tablespoon water and mix until fully dissolved. In another small bowl, combine the eggs, oil, evaporated milk, salt, white pepper, and potato starch slurry. Beat thoroughly until fully combined with no lumps or streaks of egg white.
  4. If making the corned beef or scallion variation: Whisk the corned beef or scallions into the eggs, taking care to break up any lumps.
  5. Set a nonstick skillet over high heat. Add 2 teaspoons of oil and heat until smoking. Once hot, turn off the heat. Quickly pour the egg mixture into the pan. By pushing the egg mixture around with a rubber spatula and tilting the skillet, create thin layers of cooked egg by pushing the uncooked mixture around. Once uncooked egg comes in contact with the pan, a layer of cooked egg should immediately form. Continue to push the mixture around until the egg is barely set, around 10 seconds in total. Gather the egg towards one end of the pan so that it can roughly fit a sandwich.
  6. Place the egg in the center of one slice of bread on the toasted side. Place the second slice of bread over the filling and very gently compress. Slice in half with a bread knife and serve warm.
  1. Filling Variations
  2. For the corned beef variation: In a skillet, over medium-high heat, sear corned beef, crumbling the meat with a spatula until crisp, caramelized, and separated. For most brands, additional oil is not necessary, as the fat from the corned beef will render out. Set aside.
  3. For the satay beef variation: Marinade the flank steak with baking soda, chicken powder, white pepper, light soy sauce, dark soy sauce, Shaoxing wine, potato starch, 4 tablespoons of water, and oil. Mix thoroughly, gently squeezing the seasoning into the meat. Refrigerate and let sit for at least 30 minutes, up to 3 days.

    Drain the marinated steak of excess liquid, reserving the extra marinade. In a wok or skillet, heat 2 teaspoons oil over high heat until smoking. Add the marinated beef and sear the steak until barely not pink, about 1 minute. Remove and set aside.

    In the same skillet or wok, heat 2 teaspoons of oil until smoking. Add the shallots, garlic, and chilis and saute until aromatic, about 30 seconds. Add the reserved marinade, shacha sauce and shrimp paste and continue to cook until aromatic, another 30 seconds. Add ½ cup of water and peanut butter and simmer until the sauce has come together, about 1 minute. Return the beef to the sauce and simmer to infuse flavors, about 1 min. Remove and set aside.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Kathleen Turner
    Kathleen Turner
  • Twisty
  • trinagreenfield05
  • madimadimadi

5 Reviews

Kathleen T. January 20, 2024
The basic egg mix he provides is legit the best. It's now our standard scrambled egg recipe and use it every weekend. It's perfect and fast and flexible and can't recommend it enough!
Twisty January 11, 2024
Thanks Lucas, This is my first review of any recipe and was absolutely pleased with the result! I did not make the sandwich and I substituted half & half for the evaporated milk(I didn't want to open a can for 1T when the half&half was already open and subbed in corn starch for potato starch) the eggs were silky smooth!!! I ate mine with Canadian bacon and a 1/2English muffin so my meal was a deconstructed Egg McMuffin with Way Better Eggs!!! Next time I will make them with the green onion! The Beef Satay version sounds too good to just be for an egg sandwhich, but should I encounter it in Hong Kong (or anywhere else) I'm going for it!!!
trinagreenfield05 January 25, 2023
Dude! I think what makes this so good is the way the eggs turn out. I was already pushing my scrambled eggs around in the pan the way we are shown in the video. But the ingredients make these scrambled eggs so thick and amazing. I will never make scrambled eggs any other way again. No more scrambled eggs falling out of my sandwiches. These eggs hold together proudly and are very impressive.

Thank you!
madimadimadi December 28, 2022
These eggs are excellent & fun to make. Lucas is a great teacher!
Ewanglee October 12, 2022
The eggs are to die for.