Saturday, July 25, 2009

The Chinese eat breakfast

A Chinese breakfast is completely different from the western notion. It's savory, it's warm, and usually involves deep fried dough stick; but don't expect any dairy products or wholemeal. My stomach never agrees with having Chinese breakfasts every single day, but a weekend morning feels tragically incomplete without it.

chinese breakfast

In Hangzhou, miniature dumplings are sold on pretty much every street before midday. It can be assumed therefore that many people eat it for breakfast. Personally I'm not a big fan, as the fillings tend to be mostly gristle and fat. Certainly a feast for a eyes though to see massive a pan filled with rows of sweaty dumplings.

My favorite Chinese breakfast food are the thick, sweet soups with fermented glutinous rice. Usually with a cracked egg and some miniature rice balls, these soups are the ultimate comfort food for me.

chinese breakfast

When glutinous rice (i.e. extra sticky rice) is fermented it turns into very sweet, and is often used in desserts. Ferment it any longer and it turns into rice wine.

Chinese breakfast

This is where we buy our breakfast every morning in China. You'll find everyone from businessmen to school children to construction workers in this very popular alleyway eatery. Its specialty are, of course, deep fried dough sticks.

油条, "oil stick", tastes much better than its direct translation sounds. It's slightly salty with a distinct baking soda flavor. Fresh out of the deep fryer, it's crispy on the outside, light and airy on the inside. Not unlike petit choux, actually. It's usually eaten as it is, but is also chopped up into little bits and put into rice porridge, or wrapped in egg pancakes with savory sauces.

chinese breakfast-3

Our homemade versions are somewhat smaller.

Frozen deep fried dough sticks can be bought in most Asian supermarkets, as long as you know what you're looking for.

1 comment:

  1. ... Amature Eater, why, I ask why, havnt you ever made me Chinese comfort breakfast?

    *drools slowly*