China has so much to offer when it comes to its food culture, and perhaps the best way to get your fill is by digging into different plates every meal! With breakfast, the Chinese have a variety of offerings; try at least one every day! Your Chinese girlfriend will surely be delighted by your enthusiasm! Here are the best examples of Chinese breakfast meals that you should not miss out on, not necessarily because they are all delicious, but mostly to make your Chinese experience as authentic as possible!
Pea-Flower Cake. Wandou huang is actually more of a sweet snack, but these cakes are also served as breakfast in many places. The cake is made with peas, which are boiled and mashed, jujubues, and some herbs. This light and sugary treat would be a great choice to kick off your breakfast adventure. You can’t go wrong with the Empress Dowager’s favorite snack!
Hot Buns/Steamed Buns. These are known locally as mantou or baozi. These are breads stuffed with meat, beans, rice, or vegetables; the fun part is you never know which filling you’re gonna get! Their sizes range from 3cm (usually eaten with chopsticks) up to 10 cm (eaten with the hands). The bread is moist and chewy; these buns are often sold freshly steamed on sidewalk stands.
Crullers and Soy Milk. The Chinese version of crullers, or youtiao, is also called “deep-fried devils;” these are basically deep-fried donuts, but are long and twisted instead of round and with a hole in the middle. Youtiao is always paired with warm douzhi, or soy milk. The milk has a strong odor, but it tastes both sweet and sour and really is the perfect complement to your Chinese donuts!
Congee/Rice Soup/Water Rice. Whether it’s too hot, too cold, or just the right temperature, Chinese porridge, also known as “poor man’s porridge” or zhou, is a staple that you should try at least once. You can have it plain, really just watered down rice; or you can have it with shredded pork, corn, and/or preserved egg for a more flavorful treat. Perhaps your Chinese girlfriend’s mother can cook it for you; or you can always get some from the local street vendors.
Meat stew. This is a local favorite in Beijing. Called chaogan, it is a stew of pork intestine and pork liver in starch broth and is seasoned with soy sauce, garlic, and vinegar.
Mixed Lamb Soup. Yang za tang is a stew of sheep innards. Before you say “No, thanks,” the soup is actually very tasty; don’t let the floating innards turn your stomach. At least try a few sips with your eyes closed!
Depending on where you are in China, you will also be able to try other local breakfast favorites. Spicy noodles are the typical breakfast fare in Southwestern China; fried, steamed, and twisted wheat bread is the early morning staple in the North. A well-loved seasonal treat is the zongzi, or sticky rice wrapped and cooked in bamboo. You can also enjoy some wonton soup in Guangzhou; custard rolls in Hangzhou; poached eggs in rice wine in Sichuan; and pancakes with braised pork in Xi’an.
A light and healthy breakfast, whether it’s home cooked or from a street vendor or hutong, is the perfect start to your day of sight-seeing with your Chinese love.
Before embarking to China to meet your new Chinese girlfriend for the first time in person, discover tons of great information about Chinese food culture, living in China, Chinese dating and relationships, and Chinese women on the blogs, magazine and forum of ChinaLoveMatch.net (the home of trusted Chinese dating), where international men and Chinese women share their life experiences and bare their souls to give you the real goods on love, cross-cultural relationships, and all things Chinese.