Beans on toast.
It’s a British classic, usually part of an English breakfast, and a staple for when you can’t think of anything else to eat or are just too lazy to try. But do they eat beans on toast in America? And why don’t the baked beans in the UK tasted the same as the baked beans in America?
Fear not, as the resident American expat in London is on scene, and I am here to help.
Hey, sidenote! If you’re traveling to the UK or live in the UK, whether for a short period of time or as an expat, why don’t you join my Facebook group where you can ask questions, get advice or just look at pretty pictures of this part of the world! Just click here to request to join and I’ll add you!
Beans on toast in America is decidedly NOT a thing. And I don’t mean “not a thing,” like “some people eat it, but most of us don’t.” I mean “not a thing,” like “WHO IN THE WORLD WOULD EAT BEANS ON A PIECE OF TOAST?”
See, the baked beans in America taste different from the baked beans in the UK because baked beans in America are usually barbecue flavored. We eat them as a side dish, and they’re often filled with bacon or BBQ sauce during a summer cookout.
Baked beans in the UK, however, are just “beans in tomato sauce,” but not tomato sauce like a thing of ketchup, but just like a mild…bean sauce.
If you’re in America and want to try baked beans on toast, I would highly advise going to a grocery store and looking in the International Section for a can of UK baked beans, as you won’t get the same effect.
Similar to how we have American food stores in London, there are dedicated British stores in America if you know where to look.
Now, imagine that, like me, you’re an American expat in the UK or you’ve gotten your hands on some UK baked beans and you want to see what all the fuss regarding beans on toast is about.
It’s a simple recipe (if you can even call it a recipe), and while I didn’t used to like it, I think the rest of the world is really missing out on this culinary gem.
Lucky for you, I’ve braved the kitchen to give you a glimpse of what it’s like to make eggs and beans on toast with me. Apologies in advance to the British empire.
Tools You’ll Need for Eggs and Beans on Toast
This eggs and beans on toast recipe isn’t going to just make itself! You’re going to need some tools. Here’s a list of what you’ll need and why.
If you want to fry your eggs, like I do below, then you won’t need an egg timer. However, if you would like boiled eggs on toast, then be my guest! Just make sure to use an adorable egg timer like this one so you can have fun while boiling.
This is self-explanatory, but you can’t make eggs and beans on toast without a toaster. I recommend this awesome 4-toast one with tons of cool function because I feel like 2-toast toasters are are not cool anymore.
If you want to fry your eggs like I do below, then you’re going to need a pan. I recommend this non-stick pan so you don’t need to worry about burnt egg like I do (spoiler alert: I am not a good cook).
I would suggest a bread knife if you want to enjoy your eggs and beans on toast with homemade bread. I used homemade bread because it tastes better and also is very calorie dense and who doesn’t love more calories in their beans on toast?
Make sure to have a bread board handy for cutting your bread because only people with a death wish chop their bread on their counter.
If you’re going to mess up beans on toast by burning the egg like I’m about to, you might as well use a bread machine to make homemade bread so at least part of this British dish tastes good.
I recommend this one, as we use ours basically 24/7. The smell of fresh bread in the kitchen is a smell I never want to have to go without again.
When you’re ready to eat, do it off of a plate so you look somewhat civilized.
Also you should use a fork. Here’s an amazing one.
It’s going to get kind of messy, so have a knife handy to cut your eggs and beans on toast up into multiple pieces.
You could throw a curveball to this recipe and poach your eggs, in which case try a poaching dish.
If you’re feeling really fancy, get some awesome egg shapes to really kick the whole thing up a notch.
You can cook this dish in regular oil, but coconut oil is also an option if you want to be a bit healthier. My husband says it won’t make everything taste like coconut, but I’m not sure I believe him.
Recipe for Eggs and Beans on Toast
Before you start making your eggs and beans on toast, check that you have 2 slices of bread, 2 eggs, and baked beans (store brand because, cheap).
Next, crack one egg into the pan if you’re frying or scrambling. I don’t really know a good technique for cracking it without getting shell in it, and I watch the shell fall in about 50% of the time while I stand there looking confused and wondering why people like to cook.
Then, try to fish out the shell. Realize that it’s stuck in there forever. Quickly Google if eating egg shell will kill you or put you in the hospital.
Fish the shell out.
While the eggs are cooking and sizzling and oil is flying everywhere, put your slices of bread in the toaster and start them.
At this point, you won’t have thought about how you’re going to get your crumbly, homemade bread out of the toaster when it’s done, so live in ignorance at the moment.
Note: ‘Cling film’ is what Brits call ‘saran wrap.’ I was always told not to microwave saran wrap, and when googling “can you microwave saran wrap?” this comes up from an American source:
“The issue of greatest concern, however, is whether plastic wrap will leach chemicals into foods when it is used to cover dishes being heated in microwave ovens. It is possible for DEHA to get into foods, particularly fatty foods such as meats and cheeses.”
My boyfriend strongly believes you can microwave it. When googling “can you microwave cling film?, this comes up from a British source,
“You can use cling film and plastics in the microwave, but make sure you use them properly and in line with the instructions on the packet”
Conclusion: Americans are pretty sure microwaving cling film/saran wrap will kill you slowly, while Brits feel like you should just go for it because life’s too short.
The next step is to not put saran wrap over your beans because even though you live in England, you will always be American and over-cautious.
Microwave your beans for 1 minute. Watch as the beans fly all over the microwave and wish you had put on saran wrap.
As this is all going on, check on your eggs. Once the whites stick together, turn it over and cook it until oblivion because, again, you are American and are afraid your uncooked eggs will kill you slowly.
When they ask, “Do they eat eggs and beans on toast in America?” the answer is “NO, FAR TOO DANGEROUS.” This is slowly becoming a major health hazard and the eggs aren’t even done yet.
Realize that you have burnt the eggs a bit more than you wanted to and turn the heat off the pan.
Oh, that’s your toast.
Pop the toast out of the toaster and onto a plate while waving your hands frantically at the fire alarm. Run around like crazy and flap the towel in the general direction so that you don’t alert all the neighbors that you’re miserably failing at putting some egg and beans on toast.
Take the beans out of the microwave and pour generously over eggs and toast until you can’t actually taste the burnt eggs or bread and can only taste beans.