Ten Delicious Southeast Asian Breakfast Meals

Bacon and eggs, hash browns and classic breakfast cereals are just some of the most popular breakfast meals enjoyed by millions of people all over the world today. If you are tired of eating the same type of food over and over again for breakfast and are salivating for a different kind of taste, then why not try something new? Southeast Asia boasts many unique breakfast meals, enjoyed not only by people from this region but by individuals from other parts of the world. So visit your nearest oriental delicacy store and maybe you can try the top 10 most delicious breakfast meals that originated in Southeast Asia.

Brunei’s Mixed Breakfast Items

Top 10: Brunei’s Mixed Breakfast Items

Because of its proximity to Singapore and Malaysia, Brunei shares the same set of breakfast treats as its neighbouring countries, headlined by spicy breakfast dishes with rice and noodles as common ingredients. You can actually have different types of breakfast meals when you visit Brunei restaurants. You can even have a taste of Chinese delicacies on your breakfast menus as well as dishes with Indian and Malay influences. A popular morning meal is Kolo Mee. Its noodles are firmer and curlier than their western counterparts. The noodles are mixed with a concoction of soy sauce, char siew oil and fried garlic oil.

Laos’ Sticky Rice

Top 9: Laos’ Sticky Rice

Laos cuisine is a combination of food that originated in the Lao ethnic group and Northeast Thai cuisine. Just like in Vietnam, their staple food is sticky rice. In addition, Lao people also enjoy French bread such as baguettes. You will see this in its capital city, Vientiane. The country’s national dish is laap or marinated meat or fish combined with spices, herbs, and greens. Some important Laos breakfast ingredients are fish sauce and galangal. Another distinct taste is that of tam mak houng or green papaya salad.

You can usually find Pho or the white rice noodle soup and sticky rice on the table as breakfast staples. Having a taste of Lao food is easy as it are readily available in market stalls.

Myanmar’s Peas and Fried Rice Combo

Top 8: Myanmar’s Peas and Fried Rice Combo

Though Myanmar cuisine has different Asian influences, it retains its uniqueness. It is not as hot as Thai food, nor as spicy as Indian recipes. Chinese food influence is also limited to stir fry vegetables. You can easily grab a taste of Myanmar cuisine as they have lots of street food stalls, local restaurants, and markets. Myanmar families usually have peas and fried rice for the first meal of the day. To complement this, a pot of plain tea is also served. Other breakfast meals include Mont Hin Gar, Ohn Nok Kauk Swe, sticky steamed rice, as well as fried vegetables.

Mont Hin Gar is another popular breakfast treat. This meal is a combination of thin rice noodles and thick fish soup. You can also add flavour with roasted chilli powder, fish sauce, coriander, and some squeezed lemon. Meanwhile, Ohn Nok Kauk Swe is a noodle recipe with coconut soup and chicken. To add more flavour, you can opt to mix onion slices, yellow fried rice crackers, lemon extract, as well as chilli powder.

Cambodia’s Mee Katang

Top 7: Cambodia’s Mee Katang

Cambodians enjoy breakfast with three to four separate dishes. Each dish will usually be sour, salty, sweet or bitter. The meals are greatly influenced by Vietnamese and Chinese cooking. One of their most common breakfast meals is Mee Katang. It is the Cambodian version of Chow Fun, or flat rice noodles topped with vegetables and meat. Its main ingredient is the rice stick noodles or they are sometimes called Khmer noodles. In this recipe, the noodles are placed under the stir-fried beef and some vegetables. On top of it is scrambled egg.

Another breakfast dish is Mi Cha or sweet egg noodles fried with cabbages and pork. (For more information on Cambodia, read From ruins to recovery: The Story Of Cambodia)

Singapore’s Kaya Toast

Top 6: Singapore’s Kaya Toast

The main breakfast item in Singapore is kaya toast, a kind of jam or paste formed by slowly cooking coconut milk, vanilla, eggs, and pandan leaves. You can spread this jam on toasted bread with a little bit of butter.

This bread jam meal can also be accompanied by soft-boiled eggs. Its popularity has even reached the menu of McDonald’s. Another breakfast favourite is Roti parathas, a crispy and fluffy pastry that resembles a pancake, served with a spicy curry sauce. Cooked on a griddle or deep fryer, this is a very in-demand street food.

Indonesia’s Nasi Meals

Top 5: Indonesia’s Nasi Meals

Nasi recipes or rice delicacies are staples on the breakfast tables of Indonesia. Some examples are nasi goreng, nasi uduk and lontong sayur. Nasi goreng is a kind of fried rice accompanied by egg, satay, fried chicken, and krupuk or crackers.

Nasi uduk consists of steamed rice, coconut milk, cinnamon, lemongrass, ginger, nutmeg powder and galingale root. You can serve this with raw tomatoes, lime, tofu, beef, or sambal. Lontong sayur is rice cake wrapped in banana leaf plus served with coconut milk soup and vegetables.

Indonesians are fond of spices and they like their food with fiery green or red peppers. Coconut is also an important ingredient in their cooking. In the morning, they also enjoy chicken noodles or what they call bakmie ayam. (If you want to know more about Indonesia, read Introducing the Amazing Archipelago of Indonesia)

Philippines’ Tapa, Longaniza and Tocino

Top 4: Philippines’ Tapa, Longaniza and Tocino

Just like its neighbouring countries, the Philippines uses rice as its staple food for breakfast. A typical Filipino breakfast includes garlic fried rice, eggs that are scrambled or sunny side up, and your choice of meat such as tapa, tocino or longaniza.

Beef tapa is marinated and then fried. This may taste salty or sweet depending on the marinade. Pork tocino is pork cooked in caramel sauce. The cooked meat is pink in color and tastes sweet and is a perfect dish with garlic rice! Longaniza is a localized version of sausage. As added treats, you can have side dishes like sliced tomatoes, pickle and beans. Coffee usually accompanies a Filipino breakfast. Really experiencing the native Filipino cuisine is almost as important in coming to know it as going to the Must-See Places in the Philippines.

Malaysia’s Nasi Lemak

Top 3: Malaysia’s Nasi Lemak

Nasi Lemak is a dish featuring coconut-simmered rice as its main ingredient. This can be accompanied by curry, egg, cucumber and peanuts. The rice is initially cooked in coconut milk. This is then mixed with pandan leaves, lemon grass, and ginger. To add flavour and texture, you can mix beef, fish, or chicken. This dish is not only famous in Malaysia, but in other countries such as Singapore, Brunei, and Southern Thailand.

Its name in English means “rice in fat”. If you are in Malaysia, you easily have a taste of this amazing breakfast at roadside stalls. It is packed in brown paper, banana leaf or newspaper. Some restaurants also serve this for evening meals.

Thailand’s Khoa Tom and yes, beer

Top 2: Thailand’s Khoa Tom and yes, beer

In Thailand, breakfast items are usually also eaten during lunch or dinner, except for Khao Tom — a rice soup similar to Chinese congee. Khoa Tom can be served in two ways. You can have it as soup along with side dishes. Another way to serve it is by presenting it as a flavoured soup with meat and vegetables.

One of its variations is the johk, a thicker and more porridge-like dish. Fruit is also a breakfast favourite. You may be surprised to know that Thais like drinking beer as part of their breakfast. Beat that!

Vietnam’s Pho, Sticky Rice and French Bread

Top 1: Vietnam’s Pho, Sticky Rice and French Bread

In Vietnam, three famous breakfast foods are pho, French bread, and sticky rice. Pho is a kind of soup that contains wheat or rice-based noodles that taste like chicken, beef or pork meat. Other ingredients can also be added such as cabbage, chillies, peanuts, bean sprouts, basil, lime, parsley and garlic. Sometimes, fish or chilli sauce is served. In meal courses, this is served as the starter course.

Sticky rice or xoi is steamed rice with mung beans and brown sugar. Coconut or bamboo leaves are sometimes used to wrap rice. French bread has also become a staple morning meal because of French influence. Fruits like dragon fruit and mango are also well-loved.

Now that you are more familiar with the different tastes Southeast Asia can offer, why not have a different breakfast experience every day? Start your day with these sumptuous and uniquely flavoured dishes which are as nourishing, varied and always tasty.

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