Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Just look at the word itself: Breakfast. Break fast. You don’t eat during your sleeping hours, you’re fasting. So it stands to reason that the first meal you eat in the morning would be called breakfast. But breakfast foods, and notions of breakfast itself, are not the same in China as they are in the West. Just how different are they? These popular dishes are not only traditional, they’re also quite cheap. You’ll often see them as street food or in the equivalent of roadside diners. So, Chinese breakfasts are as follows:
Soybean Milk and Deep-Fried Dough Sticks
As common as bread and butter, these two items are often paired with each other. Another popular item is the steamed glutinous rice stuffed with the fried dough sticks and dried pork sung. Think of that as an equivalent to a bagel sandwich. The taste is generally sweet. The dough sticks can be eaten plain, or dipped in the soybean milk, which tastes better. This is one of the most common and popular Chinese breakfasts.
Steamed Buns with Fillings
You may be most familiar with these buns as appetizers or sides with your Chinese takeout. They can be salty or sweet. The salty flavors are also savory while the sweet flavors might also seem like dessert fare.
3. Tofu Pudding
Made from soft raw beans, tofu pudding is extremely popular. Salty flavors are favored in the north, while in the south sweet flavors are preferred.
4. Wheat Noodles
Salty, hot, and flavorful, these noodles are preferred in the north, but they have spread all over China and are popular here in America as well.
5. Rice Noodles
The counterpart to wheat noodles, only made from rice. Rice noodles are a tasty alternative if you can’t have gluten.
6. Steamed Glutinous Rice
As common and popular as wheat and corn are in American breakfast favorites, rice fills that same niche. These are dumplings made from steamed rice.
7. Rice Porridge/Congee
Like the Chinese version of breakfast cereal, rice porridge is mild. It has been cooked a long time in lots of water to soften the rice. Since it doesn’t hold much flavor on its own, common toppings include pickled vegetables, eggs, peanuts, or red beans.
8. Wontons and Dumplings
These are so similar the only difference is the shape of their dough wrapping: square or round. They are also cooked differently: bamboo baskets or a high heat wok.
9. Pancakes with Eggs
Now this might not sound different from their American cousins, but they more closely resemble a crepe omelette with crispy dough slices, fried egg, mustard pickles, scallions, coriander, and spicy sauce.
10. Morning Tea and Dim Sum
Dim Sum is widely known around the world, even here in the States. It is a word associated with breakfast, like kitchen. Little dishes are brought around on carts and you pick what you what and how much you want. Tea is a critical component of this meal, as it is for every other meal.
Hungry for Chinese Breakfasts Yet?
Lotte Plaza Market is the perfect shop to supply you with the ingredients you need to make all of your Asian dishes shine with authenticity and flavor. With over 10 locations throughout Maryland and Virginia, we have provided excellent service and quality groceries to our customers for 40 years. Contact us online for more information and be sure to follow us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and Pinterest. For locations, sales, and all of Lotte Market in the palm of your hand download our app!