Bubble puff, bubble, bubble, bubble puff…
What is a bubble puff? It’s a popular Hong Kong street snack that found a home in Honolulu. The waffle/eggette/egg puff has a unique look and taste that’s crispy on the outside, doughy on the inside. At first, I thought it looked like a puffy life-sized honey comb. But in fact, it is much more than that.
Bubble puff can be found at Bubble Puff & Tea in Kapahulu, at a food truck called Puffette and at various farmers markets. We stumbled upon the bubble puff stand in the corner of the Windward Mall market, where a tiny Asian woman looked very busy and very determined to pop out the next bubble puff. The cast-iron cooking device (similar to a waffle maker) looked almost too heavy for her to lift, but somehow, she managed!
We told her it was our first time trying a bubble puff, and boy, was she excited for us! Like, really genuinely excited, so I knew we had to buy one. We ordered one with chocolate and condensed milk toppings, and while she made it, she told us the brief history of bubble puffs and how they brought it to Hawaii. I loved her endless enthusiasm, as she bounced on the balls of her feet, waiting patiently for the batter to solidify into puffs. Mind you, the bubble puff maker is steamy hot and heavy, so she definitely earned the tip we gave her!
She drizzled our requested toppings over the finished product, like a work of art. Then, she handed over the plate with a huge grin. That signaled us having to try it right then and there, in front of her, even if we had to use our bare hands to pull apart the puff. Once popping a piece into my mouth, there was literally no end to my new-found addiction!
Some people get it with ice cream, but I think it would be too sweet for my taste. The eggy goodness was already sweet as is, so I couldn’t imagine overloading it with even more sugary stuff. Either way, there are plenty of chances to try a bubble puff, and you’ll be glad you did.
Posted by: Bruce Fisher