Here's What You Might Eat For Breakfast In China

congee topped with egg
congee topped with egg - Suwit Rattiwan/Shutterstock

Breakfast can look different depending on where you are in the world, but food can be one of the great joys of travel. While meandering across the Chinese countryside, breakfast spreads may vary depending on where you land. Regardless of where your journeys take you, however, your morning meal can start you off on an energy-fueled high, offering comforting bowls of congee, plates of steamed buns, and cups of soy milk.

For travelers seeking to combat jetlag, a quick jaunt through street food stalls may provide the necessary inspiration to begin a full day of sightseeing. In Beijing, fried dough rings with cups of a warm sour beverage made from fermented mung beans can be found, whereas in Northern China, residents of Tianjin can be seen eating deep-fried sticks of dough that have been wrapped inside savory seasoned pancakes. These thin crepe-like pancakes are known as jian bing and can also be found cooked on carts that drag flat griddles through the streets.

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A Culinary Landscape To Explore

steamed stuffed dumpling buns
steamed stuffed dumpling buns - Elena.Katkova/Shutterstock

In other parts of China, be prepared to start the day with warm bowls of brothy, spicy noodles, or should you find yourself in the South, look for filled glutinous rice balls or twisted pieces of fried dough that can be dipped into soy milk. Those looking to soothe any night-before revelry may find comfort in servings of sesame-topped flatbread, or when visiting during special holidays, enjoy trying a traditional dumpling called zongzi that provides flavorful mouthfuls of sticky rice cooked with pork or sweet red beans.

Pancakes folded around veggies can satisfy breakfast eaters craving a bit of texture, and omelets cooked with spring onions can also be ordered for those craving a simpler dish. Soy sauce and sesame oil can add extra flavor to plates, and, of course, ample cups of tea can accompany the first meal of the day. Though you may not find the breakfast cereals or cheesy plates of the bacon and eggs bake you're used to eating at home, keep an open mind and you won't easily go hungry when traveling in China.

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