WHAT IS CHINESE BREAKFAST?
EGGS, RICE AND EVERYTHING NICE - BUT WAIT, BREAKY WITHOUT EGGS BENNY!? YOU HEARD US RIGHT! WE’RE GOING TO LOOK AT HOW CHINESE BREAKFAST COMPARES TO THE CLASSIC AUSSIE MEALS WE’RE ALL TOO FAMILIAR WITH…
LOVE A HOT BREAKFAST?
CONGEE(it’s kind of like rice pudding, but savoury!)
Though Congee is the colloquial term in Western countries, it is known as Báizhōu (white porridge) in China, and Congee in Hong Kong! Think of Congee as Asian cereal, it’s a Chinese breakfast staple! Congee is rice cooked in water or stock and whatever extra flavours are desired. It’s most often served hot, like porridge, with a protein and sides, but it’s simple to make to your taste! Using dried garnishes like shallots, prawns and other seafoods, these additions are ideal to enhance the texture of the dish however, traditionally, congee was made to be easy to digest as a warm, comforting meal for the sick and old!
HOT AND DRY NOODLES
Noodles were already incredibly popular all over China, from hand pulled and knife cut noodles to Zhenjiang Pot Cover noodles and Jilin cold noodles but Hot and Dry noodles are said to have come from one happy accident in the 1930’s – a man named Bao Li was under the pump in the kitchen, accidentally dropped sesame oil over a batch of noodles and decided, without time to make a fresh batch, he’d boil and serve that batch. He added some shallots and other condiments and voila, hot and dry noodles were born! These spicy noodles are served without soup and with loads of condiments, especially chilli, which is where the name comes from!
WONTONS & DUMPLINGS
Though you may be familiar with the usual steamed, fried or deep-fried wontons and dumplings, there’s a slight change to the norm when it comes to the first meal of the day. Breakfast wontons or dumplings are small parcels of meat, seafood or vegetables, wrapped in dough, floating in a warm, comforting broth. For breakfast, you’ll find the wonton soup is accompanied by noodles and a range of other garnishes.
No Chinese breakfast reference would be complete without the world-famous dim sum breakfast. Traditionally served at morning tea, dim sum vary from rice to noodles, dumplings, or buns all served in steam baskets or on small plates. Just dip into our famous sauces to make them perfect ;) Chinatowns all over the world serve dim sum and Aussie’s have come to love this delicious tradition as a special treat.
RICE NOODLE ROLLS
Rice noodle rolls (known as Cheung Fun) are a light and comfy way to start the day. The rice noodle roll is a thin, crepe like, rice noodle that is rolled and filled with seafood, meat or vegetables and is generally oozing with whatever sauce the filling was marinated in.
BUT I NEED EGGS!
EGG PANCAKE/ CREPE
Egg pancakes, or a Jianbing, has quickly become one of the most popular breakfast meals in China. This dish really is designed to be a nutrient dense, convenient pocket of flavourful goodness! Egg pancakes are crepes made of flour, egg, shallots, coriander, sweet soy bean paste, and chili sauce, encased in a youtiao (deep-fried dough stick) but just like an omelette, you can add whatever you like then you simply fry it!
Forget about the dough-y, maple soaked, Aussie pancakes we know. Shallot pancakes (aka scallion pancakes) are crispy fried, flaky and chewy flatbreads, filled with shallots and fried in oil! They have a consistency similar to that of a roti! Yum! These simply treats are perfect to dip in our sauces, stir fries or basically whatever you want, but they are also cooked and served for a quick carb load, perfect for the dash to work!
LOOKING FOR SOMETHING SWEET?
DEEP-FRIED DOUGH STICKS AND SOY MILK
DEEP-FRIED DOUGH STICKS AND SOY MILK
Deep-fried dough sticks(known as yóutiáo) are kind of like donuts or churros, they’re simply long, brown, deep-fried sticks of dough that you can have on their own, OR, with a dip of your choice. Double yum! This dough is definitely buttery and crispy and all of the good things, but because it isn’t overly sweet, it’s sometimes pared with savoury dips like our soy sauce and chilli oil. But, more often, the delicious dough sticks are paired with warm, creamy soybean milk for a slightly sweeter touch. You can find this classic combo in take-away cups at most convenience stores, making this another great breakfast dish made for the hustle and bustle of busy Chinese cities.
BREAKFAST ON THE GO
Tea eggs are hard boiled eggs that are cracked - just a little - and boiled again in a fragrant broth made up of tea, our delicious sauces and spices to create a dark marble pattern and rich flavour. The main ingredients used are dark soy sauce, star anise, cinnamon, Sichuan peppercorns and of course TEA! China’s cities are super busy, so it’s not uncommon to see people picking up something that’s easy to eat from a café or convenience store on their way. Aside from a few other dishes that we’ve already mentioned, tea eggs are a hugely popular way to get a morning protein hit!
If you can be sure to find one thing while you’re looking for breakfast, Chinese style, it’s going to be steamed buns! They can be filled with finely cut veggies, a range of meat, something sweet or even nothing at all! These are bread buns that can be fried – but most often steamed. They explode with flavour and are more often than not paired with a dipping sauce like ours! Though the savoury buns are most commonly eaten at breakfast, you can also find them filled with custard, red bean paste, and an Aussie favourite, Nutella! There are hundreds of varieties with this simple dish which is why it’s the perfect meal for anyone running out the door.
AND TO WASH IT ALL DOWN
While China has quite the reputation for tea, the morning beverage is generally hot tea, milk tea or the well renowned Dou Jiang – a warmed Soy milk that you can find it just about everywhere you look!
There are so many nuances and varieties of the hundreds of Chinese breakfast foods, so there’s only one way we recommend you get to know this morning cuisine- eat it! Make these delicious ideas a part of your breakfast routine and enjoy.
Visit our recipe pages for more great ideas using our sauces to make your Chinese breakfast extravaganza super amazing!