I’m with Jellybeans. If I had to pick one style of cuisine to eat for the rest of my life, I would pick Chinese hands down. I love Italian and French cuisine almost as much, but regretfully, I would cast them aside for Chinese.
I only eat congee if it’s done well (in fact, until the end of high school, I didn’t like congee because it reminded me of being ill–my mom fed us congee whenever we got sick because it’s easy to digest and nutritious) and in that shop where I was brought to eat it in San Francisco Chinatown, it was one of the best places ever!
Monterey Park is the place—–although these days it’s been supplanted by San Gabriel, Alhambra and other surrounding communities. I do love the slippery noodles for breakfast——I’ve tried the congee but I just can’t get into that!
What is the usual/traditional breakfast food in China?
I can’t speak for China as a whole since it’s huge but I can speak for ethnic Chinese communities (primarily Cantonese/Fukienese southeast Asian, Hong Kong and first generation Asian American ones):
We eat any of the following in the morning (if we don’t eat the usual cereal etc):
1. Rice congee with fried dough sticks and different Chinese preserves
2. Noodles in a variety of different broths with different topping combinations ranging from meat to shrimp… always with some veggie, usually beansprouts
3. Chinese pastries–fried dough, soft flaky pastries made with lard and filled with sweet mung bean/aduki bean/lotus seed paste
4. Stir-fried noodles with a range of stuff from cockles to eggs
5. Dim sum, dim sum, dim sum!!!
I remember having thin scallion pancake lay one top of egg crepe and rolled up together. It’s served with some garlic soy sauce on the side for dipping. You would need a strong dose of mouth wash afterwards. Of course, rice congee with all sorts of goodies. Sticky rice ball stuffed with fried dough and salted daikon bites. The more modern breakfast items like, custard bun. scallion bun…those of you in NY can check out http://www.taipan-bakery.com/product_e.html
I agree wholeheartedly with you, Paul. I spend a good portion of my time in Chinatown everytime I’m in San Francisco. If you get the chance, go to Imperial Palace for a full service chinese restaurant. Waitstaff is in black tie; food is topnotch.
Geez senor, I say it’s time to move back to the US! 🙂
Is there a reason you moved there, and how long do you plan on staying?
I would imagine so, Sundancer. I didn’t have dim sum when I was in SF but we went to this place that served many variations of Chinese rice congee (Cantonese-style, which meant that it was watery) in huge bowls… and it was hands-down the BEST EVER rice congee I have ever had… all for less than $5 a bowl even with expensive ingredients such as Century egg and abalone! And this is saying a lot since I grew up eating rice congee regularly as part of my diet.
The rice congee is served with long sticks of hollow fried dough that’s been cut into rings, appropriately called ‘oil sticks’ (trans.). Ever had that?
San Fran has the best dim sum in the USA. I have had my entire meal with dim sum in San Fran.
Paul E. Smith
I do believe that the finest Hong Kong chefs fled to the West Coast of the USA as well as Canada during the Communist Era when fine food was considered ‘bourgeois’ and therefore punishable!
I must say that Malaysia (where I was brought up) has some of the finest dimsum around although outside of Southeast Asia, I must admit that San Francisco has the best Chinese I’ve tasted so far! My aunt lives in Thousand Oaks and she used to drive me and her kids into L.A. to get Chinese groceries and stuff. Sometimes, we’d go to Monterey Park (if I remember what it’s called correctly) to get loaded up with all sorts of goodies, including roast duck…
…And by the way–I’m a true Chinese because I think the head should remain just where it is!
Well Jellybeans—–if you’re ever in L.A. you can join me for some of the finest Hong Kong style dimsum around. Unless you prefer the roast duck place I go to (they will even take the head off if you want!). I think some times I could exist solely on Chinese cuisine, but as you pointed out, with the various regional styles, the possibilities are endless!
Wow Edsails, I’m impressed by how much you love the cuisine of my culture 🙂
Even though I have been in the West for many years, I can most assuredly say that Chinese food is the best food in the world! (Of course, when I say "Chinese food", I’m talking about Cantonese and Fukienese cuisine, maybe a bit of Hakka cuisine and Hainanese cuisine).
All I can say to Boogie Woogie is that China is huge and there is an endless variety of food to eat and endless variety of cooking styles–give our cuisine is chance!
I’m envious of you! When I have my choice for going out to grab breakfast, I always try to route my trip to one of the Chinese bakeries in L. A. To me, those are the best breakfasts in the world. A baked BBQ Pork bun, a few shu mai and har gow and maybe a coconut bun or curry bun is one of the best breakfasts in the world to me. Add a cup of coffee (it’s interesting that in the Chinese bakeries here you rarely see the Chinese drinking anything but coffee in the mornings—-I never see cups of tea for breakfast) and it makes a delicious filling breakfast. If you haven’t tried it——search one out. You’ll love it!
Senor, that was interesting reading how the Chinese eat. That is one part of the world I have not visited.
I was in Japan and I had a hard time getting around cause I could not read the road signs. The food was good, but very expensive. There was a lot of western food there.
Paul E. Smith
senor boogie woogie
I am an American living in China. I am married to a Chinese woman here.I like China very much except for most of the food[xx(]. Where I come from, one cannot buy cheese, coffee or decent bread. No mayonnaise (salad dressing) or lunch meat. Very few canned foods.
I miss Mexican food. The corporation (YUM!) that owns Taco Bell is trying to start a Taco bell chain in China, only to discover that the Chinese don’t like hard tacos. So, in Shanghai we have a Taco Bell that does not serve tacos. The only fast food here is McDonalds[xx(], KFC (Chinese love KFC), and Pizza Hut (with some other pizza variants). McDonalds has no breakfast menu, which is the only time that McDonalds is any good anymore! I miss Burger King a lot, I love the Whopper!
I actually went to a Subway sandwich place in a modern Chinese city, I went inside about 1030 in the morning, and they had no meat or vegetables out. Oh well, I thought, it is early still, and my wife, her friend and I had Chinese food. Around 6PM I went back to Subway, and it was the same routine, no meat, no vegetables or condiments. The lady behind the counter asked me rudely what I wanted, and I asked where is the meat and vegetables, and she told me to order off the menu. I just got frustrated and left.
Junk food, no Doritoes here, Doritoes are gold to me. You can find them in the specialty stores in Shanghai or Beijing for $4 dollars a bag, and yes, once I paid that. Soda selection is Coke, Pepsi,(or the Chinese variant called Future Cola), Sprite, Orange Soda, or sweet iced tea called Bing Hong Ta. I can get Gatorade and Mountain Dew in some places. Chinese like pringles and Lays potato chips.
Chinese breakfasts are awful with some exceptions. One billion Chinese eat an egg the same way, fried suny side up. If you go to a hotel and ask the guy to make it another way, he will get confused. Other items include hot soy milk, noodles, beans, boiled eggs, and peanuts. I beg for waffle House at this point. They do make a bread dumpling called Bao-zi which is wonderful, so I eat that. Yes, one can go to a western hotel and have a real breakfast, but those are expensive, and it is buffet style[xx(].
The best thing to eat in China is Beijing Duck. Beijing Duck is a roasted duck served with a type of flour tortilla (for lack of the Chinese word) with plumb sauce (about the thickness of ketchup, sweet) with green onion. You wrap all these together and eat. The best place I went to was in Beijing and damn it was wonderful. So not all Chinese food is bad, there are exceptions. When you people in the west eat a Whopper, or a white castle(Krystal) burger, a taco, or a BBQ sandwich, please think of me!
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