Asian breakfast, the first meal comsumed by the Asians in a day, is very diversified. The eating patterns vary from country to country. Carbohydrates form an important part of the Asian breakfast meal. Japanese breakfast includes rice served with a miso soup and other accompaniments whereas burmese breakfast consists of glutinous rice or breads. Indian breakfast is the most extensive including dishes like flat breads, rice cakes, lentil cakes. Chinese breakfast is comparatively lighter consisting of mojorly steamed buns and dimsums.
Typical Breakfast Menus of Popular Asian Cuisines
A Japanese breakfast consists of the following dishes -
Rice - steamed rice or okayu, which is rice porridge
Miso soup made of tofu, green onions, deep fried tofu and other vegetables in a broth.
Natto – It is an accompaniment made of fermented soy beans seasoned with soy sauce. It is eaten along with rice.
Nori – Seaweed sheets are served with soy sauce and glutinous rice.
Tsukemono – Japanese style pickles are served along with the main dishes. Radish and plum pickle is very popular.
Japanese tea – Green tea is popularly a part of Japanese breakfast. It also acts as a healthy start to the day.
· Japanese breakfast is high in carbohydrates and low in protein. High protein foods like egg and tofu should be added to the diet.
· It is also very high in sodium as soy sauce, natto are very high in sodium. Sodium intake should be minimized for breakfast.
Traditional Burmese breakfast consists of Htamin jaw. It is fried rice made of onions and boiled peas. Green tea forms a popular beverage amongst people of all genres.
Glutinous rice cooked in different ways with different ingredients like peas, seasame, turmeric is a popular breakfast.
Fried chapatti or naan is served with tea or coffee.
· Fried foods should be avoided for breakfast. Fried chapatti can be replaced with a baked version. Griddle fried version can also be eaten instead.
· Green tea provides the body with a good amount of antioxidants which help to prevent free radical damage.
Indian breakfast varies from region to region. A typical South Indian breakfast consists of filter coffee along with idli sambhar or vada sambhar whereas a typical North Indian breakfast consists of parathas served along with tea.
South Indian – Idli is steamed rice and lentil cake served with a lentil based soup. Fried doughnut like dumplings are also made and served with the same dal. Upma is seasoned semolina preparation served hot with ghee. Filter coffee is a very important part of a South Indian breakfast.
North Indian – Pan fried or tandoor paratha stuffed with a spiced potato and onion mixture. It is served with curd and pickle. Tea flavored with either ginger or cardamom is served as a beverage. Some people also prefer lassi which is a sweet beverage made of thick beaten curd.
West Indian – In Gujarat, breakfast generally comprises of dhokla which is steamed lentil flour cake, khakra served with pickle, thepla served with curd. In Maharashtra, kanda poha is served along with thin buttermilk.
East Indian – Fried puris are served with a spiced potato curry. The puris can also be stuffed with green peas.
· Idli should be preferred as a healthier alternative over fried vadas. Tandoor paratha is healthier than fried parathas.
· Fried puris can be replaced with leftover chapattis.
A typical Chinese breakfast consists of soy milk, steamed buns and dim sums, congee, egg fried rice or noodles. Chinese breakfast also consists of herbal teas. Different types of teas including green tea, white tea, and jasmine tea. Traditional chinese dishes like congee, jook, crullers and egg foo yung are also served.
- Congee - Congee is a classic chinese breakfast dish made of rice grains. Rice grains are boiled in water along with salt. The starchy water is reserved after boiling and seasonings are added to this water. It is served along with crullers.
- Crullers - Crullers are fried dough strips. These fried snacks are eaten along with congee.
- Egg foo yung is also called as the chinese omlette. Inclusions like vegetables, sausages, shrimp, etc are added to the egg batter and cooked in the pan.
- Dou Jiang is sweet soybean milk consumed along with crullers.
- Scrambled eggs is a popular breakfast. Toppings like sour cream and chives, scallions, spring onions, etc are also added.