lunar new year

Fried Milk

Fried milk is a dessert of Cantonese cuisine, which originated in the Shunde District of Guangdong. The dish is golden and crisp on the outside, and soft and white on the inside, with a milky flavour.

Prep Time

2 hrs

Cook Time

20 mins (including refrigerating the milk custard)

Total Time

2 hrs 20 mins


  • Mixing bowls
  • saucepan
  • heavy-bottomed pot


For the milk custard:

  • 2 cups (500 ml) whole milk
  • 1/2 cup (125 g) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (125 g) cornstarch
  • 2 tbsp (30 g) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 tsp (2.5 ml) vanilla extract

For the coating:

  • 1 cup (250 g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups (500 g) bread crumbs
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • Vegetable oil for frying

For the syrup (optional):

  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) water
  • 1/2 cup (125 g) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) honey


Prepare the milk custard:
  1. In a saucepan, combine the milk and sugar. Heat over medium-low heat until the sugar is dissolved and the milk is warm but not boiling.
  2. In a separate bowl, mix the cornstarch with a small amount of water to create a slurry. Add this to the warm milk mixture.
  3. Continue to cook the mixture, stirring constantly, until it thickens and becomes a custard-like consistency.
  4. Remove from heat and stir in the butter and vanilla extract. Mix until the butter is fully incorporated.
  5. Pour the custard into a greased square or rectangular dish and let it cool to room temperature. Then, refrigerate it for a few hours or until it’s set and can be easily cut into rectangle shapes.
Coating and frying:
  1. Once the milk custard is set, cut it into bite-sized rectangle shapes.
  2. Prepare three shallow bowls: one with flour, one with beaten eggs, and one with breadcrumbs.
  3. Dip each custard square into the flour, then the beaten egg, and finally coat it with breadcrumbs, ensuring an even layer of breadcrumbs sticks to each square.
  4. Heat vegetable oil in a deep fryer or a heavy-bottomed pot to around 350-375°F (175-190°C).
  5. Carefully drop the coated custard squares into the hot oil and fry until they turn golden brown and crispy, about 2-3 minutes. Be sure not to overcrowd the pan.
  6. Use a slotted spoon to remove the fried milk squares and place them on paper towels to drain any excess oil.