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Asian-Style Fried Milk Dessert (Leche Frita) Recipe

Asian-style fried custard (leche frita)

Asian-style fried custard (leche frita)

Fried Milk Dessert

Growing up in the Philippines, my godfather once invited us to lunch at a Chinese restaurant. On the menu was an item called "fried milk," which was both perplexing and intriguing. Out of curiosity, I ordered it. My godfather explained that it was actually just custard that has been deep-fried. It was delicious. It quickly became one of my favorite desserts.

Since immigrating to the United States, I always look for this item whenever I go to Chinese restaurants, but so far I've never found it. So when I find myself craving it, I just make it at home.

Cook Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

15 min

20 min

35 min

6-8 servings


For the custard:

  • 10 grams cornstarch
  • 8 grams vanilla pudding mix
  • 10 grams all-purpose flour
  • 30 grams white granulated sugar
  • 30 grams canned condensed milk
  • 200 grams fresh whole milk

For the coating batter:

  • 30 grams cornstarch
  • 8 grams baking powder
  • 10 grams vegetable oil
  • 100 milliliters water

For frying:

  • 1 cup vegetable oil


  1. In a large bowl, mix together the custard ingredients.
  2. Pour the custard mixture into a large pot or saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-low heat, stirring constantly. Boil for at least 1 minute, or until thickened, then remove from heat.
  3. Line a 9x9 inch glass baking dish with parchment or wax paper. Pour the custard mixture into the glass dish, making sure the mixture reaches at least a 3/4-inch depth. This will ensure that the custard will be at least 3/4 inch thick when sliced; otherwise, it might fall apart if too thin.
  4. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours (or overnight).
  5. Place a cutting board on top of the glass baking dish and turn the dish and cutting board upside down to remove the custard from the glass dish. Peel away the parchment or wax paper.
  6. Using a knife, cut the solid custard into pieces that are 2 1/4 inches long.
  7. In a small bowl, mix together the coating batter ingredients.
  8. Heat the oil in a frying pan or deep fryer, until it reaches 360 degrees F.
  9. Dunk the custard pieces into the coating batter until well coated. Then fry them for 2 minutes until brown. Drain on paper towels.
  10. Serve hot and enjoy!


  • Try adding your favorite spices to the custard mixture, such as cinnamon or nutmeg.
  • You can serve the fried custard cold also by refrigerating it before serving.
  • Sprinkle powdered sugar on the fried custard before serving.
  • Instead of a batter, you can just coat the custard pieces in beaten eggs and bread crumbs before frying.
  • This dessert is even more delicious when paired with ice cream.

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