spoon dipping into custard layer of vietnamese egg coffee

About This Vietnamese Egg Coffee Recipe

Vietnamese egg coffee is made with a whipped egg yolk and sweetened condensed milk custard. This custard is poured over a cup of very strong coffee, and stirred together to enjoy. The egg yolk custard thickens the coffee (similar to how milk or cream would do so in a regular coffee), and gives it a creamy, thick texture with a slightly foamy top. The end result tastes like tiramisu, but with lots of coffee and minus the cake!

@hummingbirdhigh GORGINA #vietnameseeggcoffee #coffee #foodtok ♬ original sound – Jeremy Shane

If this kind of creamy, layered coffee is your jam, also check out my dalgona coffee recipe! You can also find even more coffee recipes on Hummingbird High‘s drinks recipe archive.

What is Vietnamese egg coffee?

Vietnamese egg coffee is also known as cà phê trúng. It originates from Cà Phê Giảng in Hanoi. The cafe founder claims that his father invented the drink in response to a milk shortage in Vietnam in the late 1940s. The drink quickly became popular and is now commonly found across Vietnam.

Is Vietnamese egg coffee safe?

Yes! Vietnamese egg coffee is typically made with pasteurized eggs. If you’re interested in this topic, scroll to the FAQ section below. I talk about pasteurization—the process of gently heating a food product to kill any pathogenic microorganisms—in more depth.

Drinking a Vietnamese egg coffee carries about the same risk as eating a sunny-side-up egg, rare steak, or cocktail with raw egg whites in it.

What does Vietnamese egg coffee taste like?

Absolutely delicious! In all seriousness, the egg yolk custard tastes like creme brulee custard before it’s been torched. But when stirred into the coffee, the entire drink tastes more like a strong tiramisu (but minus the cakey bits).

As for its texture, Vietnamese egg coffee has a similar texture to a latte. It is thick and creamy, with a slightly foamy top.

close up photo of vietnamese egg coffee on marble table

Ingredients and Substitutions

Now that I’ve convinced you to make Vietnamese egg coffee, here’s everything you need to make the recipe:

Shopping List for Vietnamese Egg Coffee

  • large egg yolks
  • sweetened condensed milk
  • granulated sugar
  • pure vanilla extract
  • coffee
  • ground cinnamon

And let’s talk about some key ingredients and their potential substitutions:

Sweetened Condensed Milk

You need 1 Tablespoon sweetened condensed milk to make Vietnamese egg coffee.

What is sweetened condensed milk?

Sweetened condensed milk is milk that’s been cooked down to remove water from it. Doing so gives the milk a thick, sticky, and densely creamy texture. Almost all condensed milks are sweetened. The sugar keeps the sweetened condensed milk shelf-stable for years, and gives the sweetened condensed milk a unique flavor. Sweetened condensed milk is often used in baking recipes where the final product is very creamy, but also firm. Think: key lime pie fillings, caramels, and more.

Sweetened condensed milk is hard to find where I’m from. Can I make it at home?

In theory, yes. But I haven’t done it myself, so I can’t personally vouch for it. However, there are many recipes online that teach you how to make sweetened condensed milk at home. This recipe by Bigger Bolder Baking and this one by Stella Parks at Serious Eats look the most legit to me.

That being said, it’s a bit of a time-consuming process: both recipes instruct you to simmer the milk for a minimum of at least 35 minutes. So plan ahead if you’re planning on making your own sweetened condensed milk at home!

Coffee

You need 3 ounces (85 grams) freshly brewed strong coffee or espresso to make Vietnamese egg coffee.

What kind of coffee do you recommend?

Honestly, whatever coffee you have on hand works! But if you want to be authentic, I recommend getting a Vietnamese robusta coffee. In particular, I especially like the robusta beans by Nguyen Coffee Supply.

I only have an espresso and/or coffee pod machine. Cam I still make this Vietnamese egg coffee?

Absolutely! However, 1 shot of espresso usually comes in at 1 ounce. That means you need 3 ounces—or 3 shots—of espresso for this drink.

If that’s too much caffeine for you, I suggest making an Americano to pair with the Vietnamese egg custard instead. Make 1 shot of espresso, and dilute it with 2 ounces of water. If you prefer something strong, make 2 shots of espresso, and dilute it with 1 ounce of water.

Can I use instant coffee or instant espresso?

Absolutely! Just be sure to make it on the stronger side so that it doesn’t get overwhelmed by the egg yolk custard.

spoon dipping into vietnamese egg coffee

How To Make Vietnamese Egg Coffee

Here are the basic steps to make Vietnamese egg coffee from scratch:

  1. Make the coffee. (Prep Time: 5 minutes)
    When making Vietnamese egg coffee, I like to make the coffee ahead of the custard. Doing so gives it time to cool slightly while I’m making the egg yolk custard!

  2. Pasteurize the egg yolks with the sweetened condensed milk and sugar. (Work Time: 5 minutes)
    You need to pasteurize the egg yolks to make them safe to consume while raw. Doing so involves cooking the egg yolks over gentle heat. Learn more in the FAQ below!

  3. Whisk the egg yolk custard. (Work Time: <5 minutes)
    Once the egg yolks have been pasteurized, you need to whisk it for 2 to 3 minutes to give it its unique, fluffy texture. I recommend using a handheld electric mixer for the job.

  4. Assemble the Vietnamese egg coffee. (Work Time: <5 minutes)
    Pour the coffee into a heatproof glass and scrape the egg yolk custard on top. The custard should float over the coffee. Serve with a spoon to stir everything together before drinking!

Recipe Troubleshooting and FAQ

FAQ: What Tools Do I Need To Make Vietnamese Egg Coffee?

What kitchen tools do I need to make Vietnamese Egg Coffee?

Here’s a list of all the tools you need to make this recipe:

  • coffee or espresso maker of your choice (think: pour over, French press, aeropress, espresso machines, and more!)
  • a double boiler (or, use a heatproof bowl set over a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan filled with a few inches of simmering water)
  • an instant read food thermometer
  • ⅛-teaspoon measure
  • a handheld electric mixer

Do I really need an instant read food thermometer to make the recipe?

No, but I highly recommend one. Why? You’ll need it to confirm that you’ve pasteurized your egg yolks properly. Check out the next FAQ section for more information!

What is a ⅛-teaspoon measure?

⅛-teaspoon is half of a ¼-teaspoon measure. However, it is not a measure commonly found in measuring spoon sets (they typically only come with ¼-teaspoon, ½-teaspoon, 1-teaspoon, and 1-Tablespoon).

You can buy a ⅛-teaspoon online. However, if you don’t want to splurge, check out the Baker’s Tips below on what to do instead!

Do I really need a handheld electric mixer to make the recipe? Can I just use a regular whisk?

In a pinch, you can just whisk the egg custard by hand. Just note that it will take MUCH longer for it to get light and fluffy. You might be whisking by hand for 5 to 10 minutes. A handheld electric mixer is your friend!

FAQ: Questions About The Recipe’s Techniques

What is pasteurization and why do I need to pasteurize the eggs in this Vietnamese egg coffee recipe?

Pasteurization is the process of gently heating a food product (typically, milk, eggs, wine) to kill any pathogenic microorganisms and make it safe for consumption and storage. However, note that pasteurization is a gentle process—it heats the food product JUST enough to partially sterilize it, but not enough to cook it.

Pasteurizing the egg yolks in this Vietnamese egg coffee recipe makes it safe to drink!

If I use pasteurized eggs, do I still need to cook the egg yolks in a double boiler?

If you managed to find pasteurized eggs at the grocery store, you’re in luck! You do not need to pasteurize the egg yolks. To make this recipe, simply whisk together the egg yolks, sweetened condensed milk, sugar, and vanilla until light and fluffy. Then, pour it over the coffee. That’s it!

FAQ: Questions About Serving And Storing The Vietnamese Egg Coffe

Can I serve the Vietnamese egg coffee with ice to make an iced Vietnamese egg coffee?

Absolutely! Pour the coffee into a glass filled with ice. Follow the recipe instructions to scrape the egg yolk custard on top and serve with a spoon.

Can I make the egg yolk custard ahead?

No, I do not recommend it. Home pasteurization only works for a limited time frame and the egg yolk custard loses its fluffy texture the longer it sits. It’s best to serve it immediately.

Best Recipe Tip

  • The recipe instructs you to use ⅛ teaspoon of pure vanilla extract. Most measuring spoon sets do not come with a ⅛-teaspoon measure (though you can buy one online). If you don’t want to splurge, simply eyeball it! A light splash of vanilla should do the trick. However, err on the side of caution—too much vanilla can easily overwhelm the subtle custard flavors!

More Coffee Recipes

Get the Recipe: Vietnamese Egg Coffee Recipe

Vietnamese egg coffee is made an egg yolk and sweetened condensed milk custard sitting on top of strong coffee. It tastes like tiramisu as a beverage!
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Ingredients

  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 Tablespoon sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 ounces (85 grams) freshly brewed strong coffee or espresso
  • ground cinnamon, for garnish

Instructions
 

  • Pasteurize the egg yolks with the condensed milk and sugar. Place the egg yolks, condensed milk, and sugar in the top pan of a double boiler or in a heatproof bowl set over a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan filled with a few inches of simmering water (be sure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water).
    Cook over medium heat, using a whisk to stir the mixture and scrape the sides of the bowl occasionally, until the mixture has thickened and is able to coat the back of a spoon, about 5 minutes. An instant read thermometer inserted into the center of the mixture should read 160°F.
  • Add the vanilla, then whisk the egg yolk custard. Remove the pan or bowl from heat and set on a wire rack.
    Use a handheld electric mixer to whisk in the vanilla on low speed, about 15 seconds. Turn the mixer to medium-high and whisk the custard for 2 to 3 minutes, until light, fluffy, and doubled in volume.
  • Serve immediately. Pour the coffee into a heatproof glass. Use a rubber spatula to scrape the egg yolk mixture over the coffee. Garnish with a dusting of ground cinnamon. Serve immediately with a spoon.

Notes

  • The recipe instructs you to use ⅛ teaspoon of pure vanilla extract. Most measuring spoon sets do not come with a ⅛-teaspoon measure (though you can buy one online). If you don’t want to splurge, simply eyeball it! A light splash of vanilla should do the trick. However, err on the side of caution—too much vanilla can easily overwhelm the subtle custard flavors!
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Weeknight Baking:
Recipes to Fit your Schedule

Over the past several years of running Hummingbird High, I kept a crucial aspect of my life hidden from my readers: I had a full-time, extremely demanding job in the tech world. In my debut cookbook, Weeknight Baking, I finally reveal the secrets to baking delicious desserts on a tight schedule.