China, the third largest country in the world, boasts of varied landscapes and diverse cultures. As with many cultures, an integral part of Chinese culture is the food. With so much variety and such diverse flavors across the nation, there are hundreds of food options for any given meal throughout the day. Try starting the day with one of these 7 Chinese breakfast treats.
1. Steamed Dumplings with Porridge
While available almost anywhere in China, the best steamed dumplings with porridge can be found in Hangzhou. Steamed in stacks of baskets fashioned out of bamboo, seasoned pork stuffed dumplings make for a wonderful meal served with an appetizing bowl of couscous or rice porridge. The dumplings can be dipped in soy sauce or vinegar.
2. Fried Dough Sticks with Soy Milk
While not the healthiest food option available, fried dough sticks are an essential on any list of Chinese breakfast treats, as they are simply delicious, especially when accompanied with a cup of warm soy milk. Fried dough sticks are essentially strips of dough immersed in a large vat of oil and deep-fried until crispy. They are very popular amongst the Chinese and available not only in China, but also across Southeast Asia.
3. Wonton Soup with Sesame Seed Buns
Wonton soup is familiar to many westerners, but few are aware that it is a considered a breakfast food in China. Wonton soup is a watery and fragrant soup consisting of boiled dumplings and dozens of tiny shrimps. It is best served with a dry and filling accompaniment such as a boiled egg or sesame seed bun.
4. Savory Pancake
A street food favorite for many residents of China, savory pancakes are often sold from street side snack stalls and cycle rickshaws, making them a convenient option for those on the go. Savory pancakes consist of sprinkled herbs and finely cut spring opinions. These pancakes are a specialty of Tianjin but popular across north China.
5. Roasted Barley Flour with Yak Butter Tea
Roasted barley flour with yak butter tea is a Tibetan China specialty. Despite the fact that it may not look appetizing, it is highly nourishing and filling. Furthermore, once you’ve had it a few times, you may find that it is quite addictive.
6. Donkey Meat Pastry Pockets with Egg Soup
Prevalent in the mainly rural province of Hebei, this one of the Chinese breakfast treats is similar to sausage rolls, except it is finely chopped meat of donkey with coriander and chillies, stuffed in flaky rolls that are freshly baked. It is most commonly eaten with egg or some other kind of soup.
7. Fried Dough with Glutinous Rice
This food of Shanghai origin is commonly eaten for breakfast in Eastern China and Hong Kong. It is made of glutinous rice wrapped around fried dough and may consist of other sweet or savory ingredients such as picked vegetables or sugar.
Given the opportunity, for an authentic Chinese experience, one must try at least a few of these 7 Chinese breakfast treats. Holding your next breakfast meeting in Chinatown would certainly make an impression.
Top Photo Credit: Lachlan Hardy