I may have mentioned my issues with the concept of breakfast before. All that stuff about how it’s the most important meal of the day, it helps you concentrate, you are healthier if you eat breakfast blah blah blah. Yeah, I know all of that. And I really really wish I could be one of those people happy to eat the same thing for breakfast every day without fail, at exactly the same time. But I’m just not that person. On weekends, I’m a bit more inclined to eat breakfast, but weekdays pose an issue. I’ve never fully worked out my issues with breakfast, but the following factors have a big influence:
- I never feel like eating as soon as I get up: in fact, eating is never top of mind when I wake up. What is top of mind is a) not wanting to get up, and b) coffee. Whilst I spend the majority of my day thinking about what I want to eat, this rarely happens first thing in the morning.
- I am the slowest eater on earth: you may wonder what this has to do with breakfast. Well, typically in the mornings, I’m in a rush. Making a cup of coffee is sometimes beyond me in my rush to get dressed and get to work. Throw in actually making breakfast, sitting down, and then having to eat it – well, that sounds like hard work. As I am the slowest eater on earth, that is even more of an issue. If I tried to have breakfast before leaving the flat, I probably wouldn’t get into work until 11am (actually, maybe I should start doing this…).
- Most breakfast foods bore me: I know many people who appear to have some fanatical adoration of toast. And others who seem to massively dig cereal. I can eat these things, but do I love to eat them every day? Well no, not really. They’re a bit dull. I’m not a big fan of bread at the best of times, and I’m never going to get into raptures about muesli, however good it tastes. You are probably thinking “why not have some yoghurt, or some fruit compote instead?”. But really, those things bore me too in the morning. Hell, I’m fussy. This poses an issue, as I want to actively love every single meal I eat during the day, not just tolerate them.
- I hate eating the same thing every day: Maybe this is the nub of it. Although this probably means I should be getting a bit more creative about breakfast…
So there it is. I most definitely have breakfast issues. And this is a fairly roundabout way of getting to the fact that if you gave me Asian breakfast items every day, I probably wouldn’t have such issues. Dosa for breakfast? Yes please. Congee? I could go for that, most definitely. Add to that list chee cheong fun. No, I’m not making up fantasy breakfast words for your amusement. That is a real thing. A real Singaporean breakfast thing composed of rice flour noodle type stuff doused in a (un)healthy dose of sweet soy sauce, spring onions, sesame seeds and, err, bacon bits (in my case).
My friend recently gave me a load of cheung fun (of which this dish is made, and which you will often find in dim sum restaurants stuffed with prawns, pork or other such tasty items) acquired from Lo’s Noodle Factory in Chinatown. Now, if you get the chance, go to this place. It’s housed down a very dank back alley in Chinatown, and out the back of the kitchen, they will sell you all manner of rice flour based noodles – hor fun, cheung fun – which are all amazing. I think they also sell turnip cake too, but typically in quite vast quantities.
Anyway, my thoughts turned to a weekend breakfast. And chee cheong fun was made. I’m pretty damn sure typical versions of this don’t include bacon bits. But I wanted bacon. So there. It worked. Once steamed and covered in the toppings listed above, this tasted wonderful. The rice noodle rolls are chewy and slippery and absorb all of the sweet salty sauce. The bacon gives some crunch (in the same way that fried shallots work so well with Vietnam’s version of this – banh cuon) and the spring onions help to cut through some of that salt. I even made it the following week and I’ve already told you how much I hate eating the same things for breakfast frequently. That’s how good it is.
I’m not going to give a recipe for this, as I didn’t actually make the rice noodle rolls. Which makes this a quick assembly job. However, if you do wish to make it, the lovely Shu Han has a fab recipe over at her very pretty and informative blog. And I used her recipe for the sweet soy sauce when I made this too.
So, basically, Asian breakfasts good. Other breakfasts, bad. This doesn’t really get over all my issues with not having time or inclination to eat first thing in the morning. But if someone can think of any tasty Asian breakfasts that can be made and eaten quickly (even by ol’ slow eater here), then that would be pretty amazing, and may change my life forever.
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