Originating in Hong Kong, Jī dàn zǎi (Chinese: 鸡蛋仔) is a honeycomb-shaped waffle made notably out of egg. It is cooked with a griddle already moulded into its unique shape and are most often served hot in its original flavour. It is one of the more popular snacks sold by street vendors in Hong Kong and loved particularly by students. Jī dàn zǎi has gradually made its way from Hong Kong to mainland China, often appealing the mainlander crowd with traditional Hong Kong signs all over its stands.
The general ingredients for the egg waffle mix consists mainly of egg, sugar, flour, cream, and evaporated milk. Depending on the vendor, other sweet additional ingredients could be added such as custard powder and tapioca. Other variations and flavors include chocolate, seaweed and pork floss, and sesame and peanut flavored.
Pour the egg waffle mix into a two-sided honeycomb-shaped griddle. Close the griddle to create the honeycomb shape. In order to bake the waffle, two methods are typically used. The first involves the traditional way of baking the egg waffle mix over a charcoal fire. The second and most commonly used method (due to economic and safety reasons) is to bake the mix over an electric stove top. The ideal jī dàn zǎi has a crisp, fully baked, golden exterior while the inside of every circle is semi-cooked to a soft and melted filling.
The origins of the egg waffle can only be traced back to its roots in 1950’s Hong Kong. One story surrounding the snack claims that the honeycomb shape is actually the shape of several eggs in order to make up for a lack of them. At the time of post-war Hong Kong, eggs were a luxury. Others say that the egg waffle mix was created by accident when traders bought cheap broken eggs and made it into a batter.
Gai daan tsai