A Discussion Of Chinese Breakfast Food

Yesterday morning, while I was in the refrigerator trying to spot what I was going to have for breakfast, my eyes fell upon some leftover Chinese food.

I’d guess that some of you don’t like the idea of eating Chinese food for breakfast. But I’d point out to you that pancake suppers are a common fundraiser and a fun change of pace for a lot of families. And who among us hasn’t had cold pizza to start their day?

Wonton soup. It’s what’s for breakfast. ( image by AlejandroLinaresGarcia CCbySA3.0)

So I enjoyed half of a large order of wonton soup and a few pan-fried dumplings for breakfast. They were absolutely delicious. If you haven’t had Chinese food in the morning, you are missing out on a treat.

This Is My Brain.

But my soup and dumplings got me wondering about traditional Chinese breakfast food.

Cultures blend, so I am sure that there are some versions of our breakfast cereal there, but what about waffles? Does let go of my Eggo rhyme in Cantonese and is it equally unfunny?

Breakfast in our country has its own distinct foods that we typically don’t eat at other meal times. I must assume* that there is separate breakfast food in China as well. Sure, that assumption is a bit of a leap, but who isn’t guilty of making an unsupportable assumption based on scant information? I say he who has never made a baseless assumption, let him first cast a dumpling at me.

And while you’re lobbing dumplings, allow me to put forth this gem of an unsupported assumption – breakfast food in China is awful. Furthermore, I think you know that I’m telling the truth.

Just fling them. I’m ready for you. (image by Lars Curfs CCbySA3.0)

Oh, it is raining delicious, yet judgmental, dumplings now my friends. But yes, I stand by my statement. You know that what I said is true because until I told you that I reheated my wonton soup just yesterday morning, you’d never heard of anyone eating Chinese food for breakfast.

“No one eats Chinese for breakfast, Oma, you lunatic. That’s disgusting.” That’s what you thought. And you were partly correct. What you should have thought was “no one eats Chinese breakfast food, Oma. Thanks for pointing out the obvious.”

This Is My Brain On Wonton Soup.

Yes, obvious.

Obvious because you can probably think of a couple of favorite Chinese carry-out joints that you hit when you don’t feel like cooking dinner. And when your lunch buddy at the office says “let’s go to Peking Garden” you say “Kung Pao, baby, I’m in!” But if I spent the night on your fold-out couch and in the morning said “let’s go to Peking Garden for breakfast” you’d say “they aren’t open, no one eats breakfast there”.

That’s right. No one eats breakfast there. Because the owner knows that his particular cuisine, as varied and versatile as it is for the second and third meals of the day, hasn’t hit on a great first meal. He doesn’t even open until lunch time.

We say that “breakfast is the most important meal of the day”.

In China, they say “this sucks, how many hours until lunch?”

The world would be a much better place if people threw dumplings when you were right.


*I know that this whole thing is a bunch of crazy, unsupportable assumptions. The responsible thing to have done would be to research Chinese breakfast food. I don’t want to. Here, you do it.



20 Comments on “A Discussion Of Chinese Breakfast Food”

  1. lbwoodgate says:

    You don’t think “Rice” Krispies is standard fare for Chinese breakfasts?

  2. I’ve had wonton soup for breakfast. But then I’ve had pizza too.

    • omawarisan says:

      I’m proud of you for admitting that. It isn’t even an admission, it is a proud statement!

      • Just had thin-crust pizza at 3:30 am while watching the “old” Pride and Prejudice series starring Colin Firth–on my computer. It’s a much better production than the ballyhooed movie of late. Ms. Knightly is wren-bone thin. The other Miss Elizabeth Bennett is far rosier from her county walking. She would not win Best Skeleton on the Red Carpet Award, though I find her a truer figure from that period (yes, I have read plenty of Brit lit). In fact, I think I will write a blog post abut this. . . . See! You never know where leftover wonton soup will take you. This fortuitous moment did not crack from my fortune cookie.

  3. Betty says:

    Cold pork lo mein. Breakfast of champions.

  4. larva225 says:

    I’ve had wonton soup leftovers for breakfast tons of times. Better than cold pizza!

  5. Funny, the thought of Chinese food and breakfast, together, never occurred to me. Maybe the Chinese don’t eat breakfast? I’ve never heard of any Chinese breakfast food. So please, don’t lob any dumplings my way. You made me laugh.

  6. As long as I am hanging around this comment section, I must say the title of your blog inspires: Blurt! That may be what I do in my better moments. Too much reserve–time to let go a little. Thx!

  7. Six years and winning. Good for you!

  8. In this house, porridge, pancakes, french toast, bacon & eggs, cheerios and many other “breakfast” foods often become supper. We can’t judge what anyone else eats for any meal.

    • omawarisan says:

      Porridge? Wait, that exists outside of fairy tales?

      But your point is just right. People eat what they eat…which in China, may not be different from lunch and dinner.

      • What? They don’t have porridge in the US of A? Porridge covers a multitude of hot cereals…oatmeal, cream of wheat and Red River cereal to name a few. Perhaps it comes from being half frozen all the time.

  9. xacrest says:

    Oma – just saw this and thought to tell you that Chinese breakfast food includes rice porridge (where I’m from, anyway), which is SO GOOD. In the same way that foreign food gets adapted wherever it’s introduced, I propose the theory that Chinese breakfast food is simply too mind-blowing for non-Chinese people to handle 😉

    • omawarisan says:

      See, that’s a shame. I’d love to try it but no one does it. I know the Chinese cuisine we get bears little resemblance to the real stuff too. I’d like that to change.

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