I am fortunate enough to have been able to eat, I mean live, in China for an entire year. Thirteen months, to be exact. While there, I had a hard time adjusting to breakfast. What I’ve typically eaten for breakfast over my life has helped to form this definition in my mind of what breakfast should be. All of this was thrown out the door in China. Breakfast foods didn’t seem to be that different from lunch or dinner foods. Especially the previous day’s lunch or dinner. Leftovers for breakfast are as commonplace as cold pizza in the morning after a wild party. Or oatmeal on a cold winter morning. There were some foods that might be a more typical breakfast – like rice porridge, or steamed buns, or warm soy milk, tea eggs, or a yogurt.
I’ve lately been inspired to create the Chinese version of a western style breakfast. This has had mixed success. Like breakfast in China, the rules regarding the types and times of food are more fluid.
With the root vegetable medley I served an Asian scrambled egg. One evening I made my take on Chinese french toast. Not the prettiest of breakfast foods. Not even entirely a breakfast food. I found this went very well with dinner.
Peanut Scrambled Eggs
2 Tbsp. raw peanuts
1/4 tsp. sesame oil
1/2 tsp. soy sauce
1. Crack eggs into bowl.
2. Add sesame oil and soy sauce.
3. Mix well.
4. Heat non-stick sauce pan over medium heat.
5. Add eggs and cook until bottom begins to set.
6. Gently stir eggs.
7. Add peanuts.
8. Stir occasionally until eggs are cooked through.
Chinese French Toast
4 slices whole wheat sandwich bread
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
1/4 tsp. sesame oil
1/4 tsp. grated ginger
hot sauce (optional)
1. Heat frying pan over medium heat.
2. Coat pan with vegetable oil.
3. Mix eggs, soy sauce, ginger and sesame oil in bowl. Add hot sauce, if using.
4. Dip bread in egg mixture until soaked.
5. Place in hot pan.
6. Repeat with remaining slices of bread.
7. Drizzle any remaining egg over bread.
8. Cook until brown.
9. Flip bread to cook other side.
10. Cook until golden brown on both sides.
11. Serve with Hoisin sauce or chopped scallions.