Chinese food for breakfast? Absolutely! I can assure you that breakfast in Asian countries is far more intriguing than a simple combination of toast and cereal, not to mention much more delightful!
Even though I was raised in Australia, all of my relatives reside in Tokyo. Every time I pay them a visit, even during my vacation, I eagerly leap out of bed at sunrise, excited about the prospect of the breakfast spread that resembles a mini-dinner buffet in Japan. It includes items like rice, miso soup, salads, grilled marinated fish, pickled vegetables, savory rice porridge, and even sashimi (yes, sashimi for breakfast!). The variety seems endless. There truly isn’t a better way to describe it than as a breakfast that resembles a mini-dinner buffet. (Just to clarify, not every household may offer a 10-dish spread, but the standard fare typically includes rice along with a couple of side dishes).
While it’s not common throughout Asia to find breakfast buffets resembling dinner spreads, one thing is for sure: toast and cereal are definitely not the standard morning fare! Across various Asian countries, you’ll encounter a fascinating array of breakfast options. In Thailand, for instance, you can savor rice in a fragrant broth with a hint of coriander. In Indonesia, particularly in Bali, there’s Burbur Ayam, a traditional breakfast rice porridge topped with shredded chicken. In Thailand, street vendors start their day early, offering Khao Neow Moo Ping, which consists of grilled pork skewers served with sticky rice. In Nepal, there’s roti, a thin pan-fried bread often served with a flavorful vegetable curry for dipping.
As for Zucchini Pancakes, while I didn’t come across them during my travels in China, I stumbled upon a recipe on one of my favorite Asian food blogs, China Sichuan Food by Elaine, and knew I had to give it a try. What intrigued me about this recipe was its simple yet winning flavor combination, delicately flavored with a touch of Chinese Five Spice powder. The accompanying dipping sauce complements it perfectly.
What sets this recipe apart is its approach to handling zucchini. Instead of the traditional method of salting and squeezing out excess water from the grated zucchini, the batter is set aside for 15 minutes to allow the zucchini to naturally release moisture. This moisture transforms the batter from a thick consistency to that of pancake batter, making it a simpler and more convenient preparation method.
I’ve also adapted this recipe to make smaller fritter-sized pancakes, perfect as an appetizer. These are delightful to pass around with the dipping sauce on the side. When I serve them as an appetizer, I often add a generous dollop of chili to the sauce.
I encourage you to visit China Sichuan Food when you have the chance and explore a treasure trove of authentic Chinese recipes, far beyond the typical Chow Meins and Hokkien Noodles. I appreciate how Elaine makes restaurant dishes accessible for ordinary folks like me to prepare at home!