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13/08 Thursday 10:42PM

what's your breakfast?

text . Pauline Chan .

The most important meal of the day varies around the world.  Here in Brunei, Malaysia and Singapore, our multi-ethnic composition gives us the privilege of a wide selection of breakfast choices such as the fragrant Nasi Lemak complete with crispy anchovies, egg, cucumber and the sweet, spicy 'sambal' chili sauce, the greasy, smoky Char Kway Teow rice noodles fried with bean sprouts and bloody clams and Roti Chanai, a light flaky bread served with dhal (lentil) or curry sauce.

Nowadays, it's 'convenience' that dictates many of our breakfast choices. We stock on cereals and breads, and hurriedly gobble them with a splash of milk and a dollop of jam before we head out to work, school, etc. On the weekend, we try to make a better effort to savour the traditional morning repast. So, as a result of our schedules, our standard 'weekday breakfast' will differ from our 'weekend breakfast'.

Things could be similar in other countries. Traditional local breakfasts may be a thing for weekend family gatherings.  If we could teleport to another country for their 'weekend breakfast', what can we get?  Here's a sampling of what you can find in 12 places:

Hong Kong  Tea house breakfast or 'Yum Cha’ has been introduced to every country with a Chinatown. People typically order a few dim sum dishes with a pot of Chinese tea, generally with free refills. Dim sum is Chinese cuisine that can involve a wide range of light dishes and is usually served in a small bamboo steamer basket or on a small plate.

Beijing Beijing residents have a variety of choices like the you tiao (crispy fried dough) or jian bing (crepe folded around a crispy deep-fried dough) but the most common order would probably be the bao zi (steam pork bun) and a bowl of hot soup.

Turkey In Turkey, tarhana is a traditional ingredient that refers to a dough or powder made using various vegetables, spices, yeast, and yogurt. It is a fermented and dried combination of that mixture and cracked wheat that is usually made into a thick soup with tomatoes and eaten at all meals, including breakfast.



Japan The traditional Japanese breakfast consists of nattō (a pungent, fermented soy bean condiment) on rice with grated daikon or chopped scallion, raw quail eggs, and hot mustard or soy sauce, along with miso soup, green tea and maybe even a small fish and seaweed.

Egypt Ful Medames is Egypt's national dish. Typically eaten with bread in the morning, the traditional ful medames breakfast consists of slow-cooked fava beans (partially or completely mashed) served with olive oil, chopped parsley, onion, garlic and lemon juice.

Morocco Moroccan tagine—a slow-cooked stew consisting of lamb and a variety of traditional herbs and seasonings—is named after the clay pot in which it is cooked. The leftovers are often eaten for breakfast the following day.

Russia Kasha, a porridge made from grains such as buckwheat, oats, and wheat, is a key player in the traditional Russian breakfast. Mothers often start their babies on jarred kasha  that is flavored with sweet ingredients like apples, apricots, pumpkin, and prunes.

Mexico Huevos Motuleños, a hearty Mexican favorite, is a breakfast dish that originated in the Yucatán Peninsula.  It consists of two eggs on a fried tostada with tomatoes, ham, peas, plátanos maduros, queso fresco and often, black beans. 

India Breakfast is nearly always a meal that involves Indian unleavened breads such as pooris, paranthas naans, idlis or dosas and served with a vegetable or meat side dish.  They are made with wheat, sorghum or millet, flattened and heated over the fire, griddle, deep-fried or baked.

 

Dominican Republic
A favourite Dominican breakfast is mangu, a creamy mash of boiled plantains cooked with milk, butter and topped with sauteed onions. Sometimes it is served alongside fried eggs, salchichon (Dominican sausage), salami and even fried cheese.

Ghana This West African country serves a chile sauce known as shitto, usually with local specialties like kenkey, a fermented corn mash, and fried fish. There are two versions of shitto, equally popular at morning meals: one is made with fresh chiles, tomatoes, and onions; the other is a more robust variety, also known as black pepper sauce, which is made with preserved fish.

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