They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day. In China, breakfast is different from the eggs, pancakes, and bacon that most Americans eat in the morning. You’ll find the foods mentioned below throughout China. The next time you visit, or if you’re lucky enough to find them nearby, start your day off right with one of these tasty, mouthwatering delights. These breakfast foods are easy to find, which is perfect for traveling or heading to work. The big hustle and bustle in China’s big cities make it necessary to prepare meals quickly. However, if you aren’t in a rush, you can grab yourself a nice bench along with your breakfast and relax.
Tasty, juicy-filled Baozi are the perfect way to start the day, prepared in large bamboo steamers and piled high. Steamed buns come with all sorts of filings such as pork, vegetable, egg and bean paste. The bun has a unique spongy texture on the outside and a warm filling inside. You can find Baozi at any restaurant or market in China.
Jianbing originated in the Shandong province but can be found all over China. It’s one of the most popular breakfast items, and for a good reason! Jianbing is a crepe filled with scallions, cilantro, egg, sweet soybean paste, and chili sauce. All of the ingredients are wrapped together like a lovely present of deliciousness. You can primarily find them at stands or markets.
This is China’s version of the coffee and doughnut combination. The deep-fried breadstick is made with a stretchy wheat flour dough and pairs well with soy milk. No matter what region you’re visiting, the dough stick is consistently the same. When I lived in China, I had the pleasure of eating this at a tiny restaurant right next to my apartment building. The treat comes in a little bag with a few sticks. These soft, chewy delights are a very comforting breakfast food to start your day.
Scallion pancakes are made using wheat flour dough. These flaky, layered pancakes are similar to Roti, which is an Indian-Style appetizer. The rolling method gives the pancake its signature flaky texture. The chef brushes the dough with oil and then sprinkles some scallion slices on it before being rolled like a sausage and then rolled flat again. It is a simple yet tasty breakfast.
Congee is a thin rice porridge. The name originated in Guangdong province, but it is served everywhere in China. It is a bit plain, but once you add some spices, flavors, and various toppings it can be quite tasty. It is also great if you have a cold or need a bit of warming up. This comfort food can help with both of those things.
You can find all of the aforementioned delights and more at markets, tiny restaurants, and street carts. If you go to China, you will see lines of people forming in front of these places to grab breakfast. If you are nervous about street food, try one of the restaurants or 3 to 4-star hotels where these will be served to you complimentary with your stay.