雞蛋仔 (Mini-egg)

mini egg

雞蛋仔 (Gai Daan Jai,  “Mini-egg”)

Ah, 雞蛋仔 (Gai daan jai ), one of my all time favorite Hong Kong street foods and childhood snack. Gai daan jai originated in the 1950s, as a way for small grocers to make use of broken eggs they didn’t want to waste. Apparently, back then many were made with duck eggs, which imparted more flavor. Decades later, 小販 (street food hawkers) made and sold gai daan jai from their mobile road-side carts, and that was how I remember getting them as a young child. Today, Hong Kong street hawkers have moved into street-side stalls.

Gai daan jai is made from flour, sugar, eggs, and milk. They are like crunchy thin waffles. But instead of the small honeycomb-shaped waffle irons, they’re made in irons with rows of little ovals, resulting essentially in a large, round waffle made up of 30 little “eggs” all stuck together. The outside “shell” is thin and crunchy; nearly half of the inside is empty, while the other is filled with batter. When finished cooking, the entire waffle is laid out on a metal rack where it is briefly cooled by fanning, then served in a cheap paper bag. You then break each “egg” off from the waffle to eat it. This is a freshly done batch rolled off the waffle:

Mini egg iron

Nowadays, one of the best mini-egg stands in Hong Kong is a little shop on King’s Road in North Point (I have passed by often, and there is not a time in the day where you don’t see a long line up all the way down the street. Their mini egg are pretty good). In Vancouver, mini-eggs can be found at food courts of Asian malls. My favorite is the one at the Crystal Mall food court in Burnaby. I haven’t been there for a while though. The ones at Parker Place and Yaohan Centre are pretty bad: Both places are really inconsistent; their mini-eggs are either burnt, or soggy, or have too thick and icky a batter. These ones at Aberdeen Centre are quite good: crispy shell, eggy and chewy insides:

Mini Egg

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8 Responses

  1. […] out a lot of the custard. It’s not exactly cheap either (so I’d probably head for the 雞蛋仔(Gai Daan Jai) the next time I’m at this food court). Can we go shopping at […]

  2. Aren’t they called Eggettes?

  3. I would love to buy one of the gai daan jai makers. Do you know where I might be able to purchase one online or a company that sells them and would be willing to ship to New York City?

    • hi nate,,

      i have purchased a lot of these egg makers thinking i can do business with it but i was just too tight with my schedule and it is still with me–ive never used it and bought it 250usd–they dont have those in the states–it is made in hongkong–
      are u still interested–pls let me know–shipping and handling isnt included==

      thanks

  4. Hi Nate! Sorry- I have no idea where to buy them…especially online! maybe some Taiwanese or Japanese stores? Not so sure, I’ll keep an eye out for them though!

  5. Cool, thanks Peter!

  6. Hi Peter,

    Do you still have the contact information for the seller of Gei Dan Jai maker (eggette)? The link listed in dead.

    Thank you,
    Art

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