Discover 5 Asian Breakfast Foods
By Madalina Hubert
There’s a saying that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and it’s no wonder since a healthy meal in the morning gives us the energy and nutrition to get a start on our activities. Of course, if we can make it a pleasant culinary experience, that’s even better. With that in mind, have you ever tried Asian breakfast foods? There are many delicious options that can expand your flavour palate, while also giving you the nutrition you need.
Here are some tasty dishes you can try at home.
1. Congee, One of the Favourite Breakfast Foods
Sometimes known as “the chicken soup of Asia,” congee has the warmth and nutrients of a comfort food. Congee is a type of rice porridge that comes in both savoury and sweet varieties. You can eat it at any time of day, but it is a breakfast favourite, and many people enjoy it alongside a fried dough stick (youtiao).
To prepare congee, you boil rice in a large amount of water (or broth) over low heat until the rice breaks down and it becomes mushy. Another alternative is to use your rice cooker on the congee setting.
You can make the congee plain or add in various savoury ingredients, such as meat, vegetables, and/or tofu. Here is a recipe for Ginger Chicken Congee, an easy, popular dish that also boosts your immunity.
To prepare sweet congee, you can complement the rice with ingredients such as red beans, dates, dried fruits, honey, and nuts. One such recipe is this 8 Treasure Congee that is not only delicious but also excellent for improving digestion.
2. Japanese Rolled Eggs Are A Delicious Treat
Omelettes for breakfast are a great option, but have you ever tried Japanese Rolled Eggs (tamagoyaki)? This is a particularly tasty Asian breakfast food that is prepared by rolling several layers of fried egg together. It is a savoury dish with a hint of sweetness from the sugar and mirin (a type of rice wine). Here is a delicious Japanese Rolled Egg recipe you can prepare at home. You can eat it on its own or pair it with another dish, such as this Chicken Bento recipe.
3. More Eggs in Asian Breakfast Foods
Eggs are popular ingredients in both Western and Asian breakfast foods because they are full of nutrients, such as vitamins, protein, and healthy fats. Steamed eggs are another alternative to the familiar methods of frying, boiling, and poaching. You can enjoy the steamed eggs plain, but just like with an omelette, you can enhance both their flavour and nutrition by adding other ingredients, such as vegetables, chicken breast, and shrimp.
Here is a Chinese Steamed Egg recipe you can try for yourself.
4. Enjoy Steamed Buns for Breakfast
Steamed buns (baozi) are a type of Chinese dumpling, and one of the most popular Asian breakfast foods. Baozi are bread-like buns, which you prepare by steaming in a bamboo basket. You can make them with various fillings, either savoury or sweet. Baozi with pork filling is one of the most popular types, but you can use other meats, such as beef, chicken, and shrimp. You can also add vegetables (i.e. mushrooms and spring onions) and sauces (i.e. soy sauce and oyster sauce). There are also vegetarian baozi versions. Among the dessert recipes, the red bean baozi is a particularly popular one.
Here are some popular baozi recipes you can try out for yourself:
- Char Siu Bao Recipe – Dumpling Connection
- Pork Steam Bun Recipe – Dumpling Connection
- Steamed Red Bean Paste Buns (Tau Sar Pau) – My Lovely Recipes
5. Experience Dim Sum with Family and Friends
Dim sum is a popular Chinese breakfast menu (especially in Cantonese restaurants) that compiles several favourite Asian breakfast foods, such as steamed buns (baozi), dumplings (jiaozi), and other dishes. Dim sum is a great opportunity to bond with family and friends by trying out a variety of flavours together.
Here are a couple of dim sum recipes, you can try at home:
With all these delicious new recipes to try for breakfast, your morning menu is definitely stacked now. Of course, the foods on this list aren’t the only types of Asian breakfast foods. Explore on your own and discover more!
Madalina Hubert is a Toronto-based writer specializing in art, culture, travel, and culinary explorations.