Popular Chinese Breakfast Dishes


chinese breakfast food

Breakfast dishes in China widely differ from region to region. Chinese people usually eat soybean milk and deep-fried dough sticks, steamed buns, tofu pudding, wheat noodles, or rice noodles for breakfast. Here we introduce some traditional, popular, and famous Chinese breakfast foods. These dishes are readily found in snack streets every morning (take cash).

1. Soybean Milk and Deep-Fried Dough Sticks

This breakfast set usually appears together. The two components are the most common breakfast combination. Some locals also like to have deep-fried dough sticks with rice congee.

Soybean milk is made with a blender. You can find freshly blended or boiled soy milk in disposable cups at most breakfast stalls. It’s very convenient for a take-out.

Deep-fried dough sticks are long, brown, deep-fried sticks of dough. You can eat one as it is or dip it in some soybean milk, which has a better taste.

2. Steamed Buns Stuffed with Meat, Soup, or Nothing

A bowl of food sitting on top of a wooden table

Chinese people eat steamed buns at any meal, but they are especially popular at breakfast. There is an almost endless variety of flavors, both salty and sweet. Salty flavored buns are stuffed with ground pork, eggplant, eggs, and vegetables, such as chives. Sweet flavored buns are stuffed with bean paste, creamy custard, sesame seeds, and sugar. They are also very convenient for a take-out.

Stores can sell steamed buns separately. Usually, two buns for breakfast are enough. Some stores sell steamed buns in a small basket with about eight small steamed buns in it. The price will be about 10 yuan for one basket. These steamed buns are usually called ‘small basket buns.

3. Tofu Pudding

Tofu pudding is a popular Chinese snack made with very soft tofu, which is made from raw beans. Flavors of tofu pudding vary by region. In the north, people like to have salty tofu pudding with soy sauce or salt, or with meat. However, in the south, people prefer the sweet version with ginger and brown sugar syrup.

4. Wheat Noodles

A plate of food with meat and vegetables

In northern China, where wheat is more commonly eaten, a bowl of hot and flavorful wheat noodles is a popular breakfast dish. In Wuhan, hot-and-dry noodles are eaten at breakfast by almost everyone. This dish is prepared by frying boiled noodles, drying them, then scalding them quickly and adding spicy condiments. The result is chewy and quite tasty.

Lanzhou stretched noodles are a popular halal food in China. The added ingredients are usually beef or lamb. Now, wheat noodle stores have spread to other parts of China, so you can have wheat noodles in nearly every city. See Chinese noodles for more introductions.

5. Rice Noodles

Rice noodles are a good choice if you are allergic to gluten. They are made of rice although they look like wheat noodles and the taste is different. Rice noodles are more commonly eaten in the south, especially in Guangxi and Yunnan provinces.

In Guilin, Guilin rice noodles are a very famous and popular cheap meal. Local people eat the dish not just for breakfast, but also for lunch or dinner. This snack is made with boiled rice noodles, fried peanuts or soybeans, thin slices of different meat, chopped scallions, pickled mustard, and other ingredients that you can choose according to your preferences.

6. Steamed Glutinous Rice

Rice dumplings are made of steamed glutinous rice wrapped in bamboo leaves. They can be bought at street stalls and have a variety of tasty fillings, including the sweet flavor of red bean paste, egg yolk, and lotus seeds, or the salty flavor of fatty pork and chestnuts. Zongzi are especially popular as a festival food and are frequently eaten during the Dragon Boat Festival. Learn more about Rice Dumplings.

Glutinous rice balls don’t need to be wrapped in bamboo leaves. Usually, the vendor will make them for you according to your requirements and tastes.

These are some popular Chinese breakfast dishes you can enjoy.

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