I cannot stand to throw away food. Whether it’s a half bunch of parsley or or a half-eaten slice of pizza, having perfectly good food tossed in the trash pains me in a very real way. I attribute this compulsion to my mother and grandmother, who forced me to eat every last grain of rice while growing up.
After making a warm coconut rice pudding the other week, I was left with a half can of coconut milk that seemed to stare at me every time I opened the fridge, threatening to go bad at any minute. I could’ve made a Thai curry or soup, but a few measly ounces was not enough, and I wanted to avoid opening up another can of worms, if you know what I mean.
After racking my brain and the Internet for ideas, I found the solution to my coconut milk predicament: Kaya Toast.
Kaya Toast is a popular snack in Singapore and Malaysia comprised of coconut jam sandwiches served with sunny eggs drizzled with soy sauce. I’ve eaten this fabulous sweet and savory creation at a number of restaurants including Susan Feniger’s Street, The Spice Table, and Jitlada, but never considered making it at home until I found this super-easy coconut jam recipe from my friend Sarah.
Sarah’s original recipe calls for a full can of coconut milk, but I scaled down the proportions using simple ratios. After the jam came together, I toasted up some buttered bread, spread on a thick layer of sweetness, and sandwiched everything up nicely. A fried egg with a dash of white pepper and a slick of soy sauce was all that was needed to complete the package.
When life gives you a half can of coconut milk, make Kaya Toast.
- 13.5 ounces coconut milk
- 1/2 cup Turbinado, granulated, or brown sugar
- Good quality white bread
- White pepper
- Soy sauce
Prepare coconut jam
Combine the coconut milk and sugar in a large saucepan. The jam will bubble and boil intensely as it cooks, so make sure to choose a vessel that is much larger than its contents.
Boil the mixture over medium to medium-high heat until the jam reduces by about half and coats the back of a spoon, about 15 minutes.
Transfer the jam to a bowl and set aside to cool. The jam will continue to thicken as it cools.