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Simple Chinese Breakfast Recipes: Quick and Easy Morning Meals

Are you in search of an easy and tasty breakfast to kickstart your morning? Chinese breakfast dishes are a fantastic choice. Chinese food offers a wide variety of tastes and textures, and this extends to their breakfast dishes as well. Whether you're looking for a savoury congee or a sweet bun, there are numerous choices to cater to every taste bud.

A table set with steaming bowls of congee, plates of fried dough sticks, and cups of hot soy milk

To make your own Chinese breakfast, you don't need to be a master chef. With just a few essential ingredients and some basic cooking techniques, you can create a delicious and satisfying meal. In this article, we'll explore some classic Chinese breakfast recipes and provide tips and tricks to help you make them at home. Whether you're a seasoned cook or a beginner, you'll find plenty of inspiration to get started.

Key Takeaways

  • Chinese breakfast dishes are a great way to start your day with a range of flavours and textures.
  • With a few essential ingredients and basic cooking techniques, you can easily make your own Chinese breakfast at home.
  • Classic recipes like congee and buns are simple to make and can be customised to your liking.

Essential Ingredients for Chinese Breakfast

A table set with steaming bowls of congee, plates of fried dough sticks, and cups of hot soy milk. A small dish of pickled vegetables and a jar of chili sauce complete the scene

When it comes to Chinese breakfast, there are some essential ingredients that you will need to make simple and tasty recipes. These ingredients are commonly used in Chinese cuisine and can be found in most grocery stores.

Rice and Grains

Rice is a staple ingredient in Chinese breakfast recipes. You can use different types of rice such as brown rice, white rice, and sticky rice. Brown rice is a healthier option as it is less processed and contains more fiber than white rice. Sticky rice is commonly used in sweet recipes such as rice pudding.

Apart from rice, other grains such as quinoa and oats can also be used in Chinese breakfast recipes. These grains are rich in fiber and protein, making them a healthy addition to your breakfast.

Proteins

Protein is an essential nutrient that helps to keep you full and satisfied. Eggs are a common protein source in Chinese breakfast recipes. You can make scrambled eggs, omelets, or egg fried rice. Pork and chicken broth are also commonly used in Chinese breakfast recipes.

If you are a seafood lover, you can also use fish as a protein source. Some popular fish used in Chinese cuisine include salmon, tilapia, and cod. Seafood can add a unique flavour to your breakfast dishes.

Vegetables and Herbs

Vegetables and herbs add flavour and nutrition to Chinese breakfast recipes. Scallions, ginger, and cilantro are commonly used herbs in Chinese cuisine. You can add scallions to your scrambled eggs or garnish your rice porridge with cilantro.

Mushrooms and leafy greens such as spinach and bok choy are also common in Chinese breakfast recipes. These vegetables are rich in vitamins and minerals and can be a healthy addition to your breakfast.

In conclusion, Chinese breakfast recipes can be simple and tasty with the right ingredients. Rice, eggs, pork, fish, vegetables, and herbs are some of the essential ingredients that you can use to make a healthy and satisfying breakfast.

Classic Congee and Porridge Recipes

A steaming bowl of congee sits on a wooden table, garnished with green onions and a sprinkle of white pepper. Beside it, a small dish of pickled vegetables and a pair of chopsticks

If you're looking for a simple and filling breakfast, you can't go wrong with classic Chinese congee or porridge. Congee is a rice porridge that is usually served for breakfast or at dim sum. It can have sweet or savoury toppings, and the classic version has pork, scallions, ginger, and thousand-year-old egg. Here are some classic congee and porridge recipes you should try:

Cantonese Congee

Cantonese congee is a classic version of congee that is made with chicken broth and rice. To make it, you'll need to boil rice in chicken broth until it reaches the desired consistency. You can add toppings like shredded chicken, green onions, and soy sauce to give it some extra flavour. If you like seafood, you can also add shrimp or other types of seafood to the congee.

Brown Rice Congee

Brown rice congee is a healthier version of the classic congee recipe. Instead of using white rice, you can use brown rice to make the congee. Brown rice is more nutritious and has a nuttier flavour than white rice. You can add toppings like mushrooms, green onions, and soy sauce to give it some extra flavour. If you like seafood, you can also add shrimp or other types of seafood to the congee.

Shrimp Congee

Shrimp congee is a delicious and flavourful version of the classic congee recipe. To make it, you'll need to boil rice in water or chicken broth until it reaches the desired consistency. You can add shrimp, green onions, soy sauce, and other toppings to give it some extra flavour. If you want to make it even more flavourful, you can use shrimp broth instead of water or chicken broth.

Popular Buns and Bread Varieties

A table displays various buns and bread varieties, including steamed buns, sesame buns, and scallion pancakes. A teapot and small dishes of condiments accompany the spread

Bao Buns

Bao Buns, also known as mantou buns, are a staple in Chinese breakfast cuisine. These steamed buns are fluffy and can be filled with a variety of sweet or savoury fillings. There are many types of bao buns, but some of the most popular ones include Char Siew Bao and Red Bean Buns.

If you're looking to add some seafood to your bao bun recipe, try using shrimp or crab meat as a filling. The addition of seafood will give your bao buns a unique flavour and texture.

Scallion Pancakes and Crepes

Scallion pancakes and crepes are another popular breakfast item in China. These crispy pancakes are made with flour, water, and scallions, and can be eaten plain or with a savoury dipping sauce. Jian Bing and Ji Dan Bing are two types of Chinese crepes that are commonly eaten for breakfast.

For a seafood twist on scallion pancakes or crepes, try adding some chopped shrimp or crab meat to the batter. The seafood will add a delicious flavour and texture to the pancakes or crepes.

Overall, bao buns and scallion pancakes/crepes are delicious and simple Chinese breakfast options that can be easily made at home.

Street Food Staples

A bustling street market with vendors cooking up steaming bowls of congee, savory scallion pancakes, and fragrant tea eggs. Aromas of soy sauce and sesame oil fill the air

When it comes to Chinese breakfast, street food is a staple. Shanghai breakfast is especially known for its street food options, which offer a wide variety of flavours and textures. Here are some of the most popular street food staples that you should try:

Youtiao and Dou Jiang

Youtiao, also known as fried dough, is a deep-fried strip of dough that is usually eaten with Dou Jiang, a warm soy milk drink. You can find street stalls selling Youtiao and Dou Jiang all over China. Youtiao is crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, making it a perfect breakfast food. The combination of Youtiao and Dou Jiang is also affordable and filling.

If you're feeling adventurous, you can add seafood to your Youtiao and Dou Jiang recipe. For example, you can include dried shrimp or dried scallops to add a unique flavour to your dish.

Savoury Crepes and Dumplings

Another popular street food staple is savoury crepes and dumplings. Jian Bing, a type of crepe, is a well-loved street food for breakfast. It consists of wheat and grain-based crepe, an egg, deep-fried crackers, savoury/spicy sauces and herbs. The combination of flavours and textures makes it a wonderful breakfast option. You can also try Chao Bing and Ji Dan Bing, other popular Chinese flatbreads.

Dumplings are another popular breakfast food in China. They come in various shapes and sizes, and can be filled with meat, vegetables or seafood. You can try making your own dumplings at home, or you can buy them from a street vendor.

When it comes to seafood, you can use shrimp or crab meat to make your dumplings or crepes. Seafood adds a unique flavour to your dish and makes it more nutritious.

Overall, street food staples are a must-try when it comes to Chinese breakfast. They are affordable, filling, and offer a wide variety of flavours and textures.

Cooking Techniques and Tips

A wok sizzles over a flame as a chef tosses in diced vegetables and crackling eggs. Steam rises from a pot of congee simmering on the stove. A teapot steams on the side, ready to pour hot tea

Achieving the Perfect Texture

When it comes to Chinese breakfast recipes, achieving the perfect texture is key. One technique to achieve this is by using cornstarch. Cornstarch is a common ingredient in Chinese cuisine and can be used to thicken sauces and create a crispy coating on fried foods. To achieve a crispy texture, coat your ingredients in cornstarch before frying.

Another important technique is to use the right amount of oil. Vegetable oil is a common oil used in Chinese cooking and can be used for frying, stir-frying, and sautéing. To achieve the desired consistency, make sure to use the right amount of oil for your recipe.

Marinating and Seasoning

Marinating and seasoning your ingredients is another important technique to achieve the perfect flavour in your Chinese breakfast recipes. Salt and Sichuan pepper are commonly used to season dishes, while chili oil is used to add heat and flavour.

When marinating seafood, it's important to use fresh ingredients and marinate for the right amount of time. For example, marinating shrimp in a mixture of salt, cornstarch and vegetable oil for 30 minutes before stir-frying will help to enhance the flavour and texture of the shrimp.

When boiling rice, make sure to use the right amount of water and cook for the right amount of time to achieve fluffy and perfectly cooked rice.

Overall, by following these simple cooking techniques and tips, you can create delicious and authentic Chinese breakfast recipes at home.

Frequently Asked Questions

A table set with steaming bowls of congee, plates of savory scallion pancakes, and steaming cups of fragrant jasmine tea

What are some classic dishes for a traditional Chinese breakfast?

A traditional Chinese breakfast usually consists of savoury dishes such as congee, dumplings, and baozi (steamed buns filled with meat or vegetables). Other classic dishes include youtiao (deep-fried dough sticks), jianbing (Chinese crepes), and doujiang (soy milk).

How can you prepare a vegetarian Chinese breakfast?

There are plenty of vegetarian options for a Chinese breakfast. You can make vegetable congee, steamed vegetable buns, or jianbing filled with vegetables. You can also use tofu or tempeh as a protein source in your breakfast dishes.

Can you suggest some Chinese breakfast options that include eggs?

Eggs are a popular ingredient in Chinese breakfast dishes. You can make egg fried rice, egg and tomato stir-fry, or egg drop soup. You can also add eggs to your congee or make steamed egg custard.

What are the healthiest Chinese breakfast recipes?

Some healthy Chinese breakfast options include congee with vegetables, steamed vegetable buns, and doujiang made with soy milk. You can also make a simple vegetable stir-fry or have a bowl of fresh fruit.

Which soups are commonly eaten for breakfast in China?

In China, people often have a bowl of hot soup for breakfast. Popular options include egg drop soup, corn and egg soup, and fish soup. You can also make a simple vegetable soup or add mushrooms and tofu to your soup for extra flavour.

What's a simple recipe for Chinese breakfast pancakes?

Chinese breakfast pancakes, also known as cong you bing, are a popular breakfast food in China. To make them, mix flour, water, and salt to form a dough. Roll the dough into thin pancakes, brush them with oil, and sprinkle with chopped scallions. Cook the pancakes on a griddle until they are golden brown and crispy. You can serve them with soy sauce or chilli sauce for dipping.

If you want to add seafood to your Chinese breakfast, you can try making seafood congee with shrimp or fish. Another option is to add seafood to your egg fried rice or use it as a filling for your steamed buns.