Author Topic: Breakfasts for Chinese homestay guest  (Read 7932 times)

Boganvillia

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 132
  • Location: New Zealand
Breakfasts for Chinese homestay guest
« on: August 11, 2014, 01:19:30 AM »
I have a Chinese homestay guest - I need inspiration for breakfast ideas for her.

We live in a city where all food, including Chinese, is readily available.  No dietary restrictions apply. She needs hot food.
« Last Edit: August 11, 2014, 01:32:55 AM by Boganvillia »

Adventine

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1258
  • Age: 30
  • Location: Manila, Philippines
Re: Breakfasts for Chinese homestay guest
« Reply #1 on: August 11, 2014, 02:14:54 AM »
Congee (rice porridge) is cheap, filling, and super easy to make at home. You can add a lot of different ingredients for variety, too.

SondraRose

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 38
Re: Breakfasts for Chinese homestay guest
« Reply #2 on: August 11, 2014, 07:39:02 AM »
Depending on her reason for visiting, she may be interested in eating a more typical "American" breakfast.  Bacon and eggs?

expatartist

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1756
  • Location: The Big Lychee
Re: Breakfasts for Chinese homestay guest
« Reply #3 on: August 11, 2014, 08:17:23 AM »
Where in China is she from? If the south, congee might be a great idea. If in the north, maybe light wheat noodles. Lhamo might have some good ideas too, I believe her in-laws are from the north?
Re. 'American breakfasts', most people enjoy trying it out once or twice, but generally prefer lighter breakfasts more like those from their home country after a day or two.

Threshkin

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1032
  • Location: Colorado
    • My Journal
Re: Breakfasts for Chinese homestay guest
« Reply #4 on: August 11, 2014, 08:22:10 AM »
Where in China is she from?  Food cultures are very greatly in different areas of the country.

Congee is a very good foundation for breakfast.  Good additions include scrambled eggs, peanuts and fresh ginger soaked in Chinese vinegar (separate jars, kinda like pickles), any left over chopped meat, roast sweet potatoes.......Now I am hungry!

Basenji

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1036
  • Location: D.C.-ish
Re: Breakfasts for Chinese homestay guest
« Reply #5 on: August 11, 2014, 08:30:37 AM »
I assume you asked your guest...

I would think that a shopping trip would be fun. Not just the supermarket but a farmer's market. Then a discussion about what is normally eaten for breakfast and what she would like to eat for breakfast.

limeandpepper

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4491
  • Location: Australasia
Re: Breakfasts for Chinese homestay guest
« Reply #6 on: August 11, 2014, 08:37:50 AM »
Depending on her reason for visiting

I assume you asked your guest...

I would think that a shopping trip would be fun. Not just the supermarket but a farmer's market. Then a discussion about what is normally eaten for breakfast and what she would like to eat for breakfast.

+1 to both the above. I would just ask her what type of food she's interested in having. Everyone is different. Might also depend on how long she has been around here and how much longer she's staying. For example I often find myself relishing all the local food when I'm newly in a different country, but after a while I might be interested in occasionally having something a bit more familiar. Plus, I know not everyone is like me, but if I'm wanting the kind of comfort food I'm used to from back home, it can be very hit and miss if someone else makes it, in which case I might be happy to be the one cooking for everyone to get it just right. ;)

lhamo

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 9753
  • Location: Seattle
Re: Breakfasts for Chinese homestay guest
« Reply #7 on: August 11, 2014, 08:58:35 AM »
Breakfast is not my favorite meal in China, so I don't have a lot of good suggestions.

Agree that you should definitely ask what her preferences are, in simple terms.  Likes eggs?  Lots to work with there.  Same with different types of breads (fun to introduce people to bagels, croissants, muffins, etc. Chinese breakfasts do tend to be on the savory side, so I would ask before providing something overly sweet. 

Congee is a very good suggestion.  Most Chinese people love it.  Personally, I hate it.  But I'm the only one in my family who dislikes it.

You might have fun making tea eggs together -- it is a cool and tasty Chinese twist on the hardboiled egg.  I LOVE them, and this recipe is pretty easy/authentic.

http://appetiteforchina.com/recipes/chinese-tea-eggs

In the recipe she suggests they can be served over ramen.  That or another kind of noodle dish is also a good suggestion.  Noodles for breakfast is one Chinese breakfast idea I do love.


James

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1680
  • Age: 46
  • Location: Rice Lake, WI
Re: Breakfasts for Chinese homestay guest
« Reply #8 on: August 11, 2014, 09:39:59 AM »
I visit people overseas, and would never hope to have them make me a nice American breakfast. And I don't recall ever being made an american meal either.


First, like others have said, simply ask if possible.
Second, provide variety. Some cereal with milk, eggs to be prepared anyway she wishes, some sausages to be fried, some bread (to toast if desired) with butter and jam, etc. I have found when traveling they often set out things like bread and peanut butter for every meal, it is something travelers from any country will recognize and appreciate when nothing else sounds or looks good.


We have a friend visiting from Haiti this fall, and we will treat them the same way they treated us when we visited their house for their wedding. We had a different Hatian meal each evening, trying all of their specialties. We had enough variety each meal that even a picky eater could find something to enjoy.

BooksAreNerdy

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 257
Re: Breakfasts for Chinese homestay guest
« Reply #9 on: August 11, 2014, 09:45:53 AM »
My Chinese neighbor beat a few eggs with some chopped spinach and a spoonful of flour. Then made a little omlette and sliced it into strips. Delicious and easy.

luigi49

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 291
Re: Breakfasts for Chinese homestay guest
« Reply #10 on: August 11, 2014, 10:39:48 AM »
Dimsum is okay too.

Boganvillia

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 132
  • Location: New Zealand
Re: Breakfasts for Chinese homestay guest
« Reply #11 on: August 11, 2014, 01:33:51 PM »
Thanks, everybody, for the great suggestions.

Our guest is from Beijing. I asked her on her arrival what she likes to eat for breakfast. She replied, noodles, and tomatoes and potatoes. I have served noodles a couple of times and they seem to go down well. Tomatoes are not in season here at the moment (New Zealand) and 'potatoes' is a possibility I guess: I've just stumbled across a breakfast recipe where one pan fries leftover mashed potato like a big pancake.

So far to our guest I've served a variety of other breakfasts. I figure I would like to showcase some Western food. Our own family eats separate light breakfasts - cold cereal, quick oats, and toast, which are not substantial enough

I've actually really enjoyed the discipline of preparing hot breakfasts, and eating some of these myself! What I have served so far is: spiced oats porridge, lots of egg dishes (omelette, French toast, scrambled eggs), a great deep fried eggs dish I know: http://www.abc.net.au/kyliekwong/recipes/s952065.htm , and cottage cheese and apple pancakes from the Moosewood Cookbook.

I had found congee as a suggested breakfast for Chinese guests online. It looked all very mustachian (cheap, filling) but then I saw the cooking time was an hour and a half! (I don't have a slow cooker, nor a rice cooker.) So that deterred me, but surely there's a shortcut recipe somewhere ...

I like the idea of omelette with flour and greens too.

Russ

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2213
  • Age: 28
  • Location: Boulder, CO
Re: Breakfasts for Chinese homestay guest
« Reply #12 on: August 11, 2014, 02:58:53 PM »
I visit people overseas, and would never hope to have them make me a nice American breakfast. And I don't recall ever being made an american meal either.

+1 to this, I would prepare whatever awesome breakfast food you eat in NZ.Your guest is probably looking forward to it. If you want to try Chinese breakfast, take them to the farmers market and have them help you (both picking and preparing).

Boganvillia

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 132
  • Location: New Zealand
Re: Breakfasts for Chinese homestay guest
« Reply #13 on: August 11, 2014, 03:08:10 PM »
You might have fun making tea eggs together -- it is a cool and tasty Chinese twist on the hardboiled egg.  I LOVE them, and this recipe is pretty easy/authentic.

http://appetiteforchina.com/recipes/chinese-tea-eggs

In the recipe she suggests they can be served over ramen.  That or another kind of noodle dish is also a good suggestion.  Noodles for breakfast is one Chinese breakfast idea I do love.


Thanks, lhamo, I will definitely explore this!

Russ, you are quite right to point out that maybe she would enjoy some Kiwi food too. Right now in NZ kiwifruit are in peak season, and very expensive in China, and our guest just loves them. (In a twist, they are originally a Chinese fruit, I believe.)

lhamo

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 9753
  • Location: Seattle
Re: Breakfasts for Chinese homestay guest
« Reply #14 on: August 11, 2014, 03:54:35 PM »
Maybe there is some ultra traditional way of making congee that takes that long and produces superior results, but what my family always does is just throw some extra water into already cooked rice and boil it until soupy.  You can also start with raw rice, which will take longer.  My DH loves it with extra whole grains thrown in -- millet is his favorite.  Then you add some hard boiled eggs (tea style or not), Chinese pickles, peanuts, etc. on the side. 

Boganvillia

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 132
  • Location: New Zealand
Re: Breakfasts for Chinese homestay guest
« Reply #15 on: August 11, 2014, 04:09:58 PM »
Now, that is a short cut!

lemonlime

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 44
Re: Breakfasts for Chinese homestay guest
« Reply #16 on: August 11, 2014, 04:27:50 PM »
You might consider asking her if your guest would like to show you her favorite way to prepare breakfast. The whole family could try it too. Sort of a cultural exchange, she teaches you something about her thing, and also a way for her to have her breakfast the way she actually likes it. And an opportunity to bond a bit with your guest. Something about working on a project together can bring people closer (if you're looking for that).

Lyssa

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 491
  • Location: Germany
Re: Breakfasts for Chinese homestay guest
« Reply #17 on: August 11, 2014, 05:12:40 PM »
In the Chinese hotels I have stayed in fried dough (Youtiao?) was a breakfast stable. If you're guest likes those he/she would probably appreciate doughnuts without sweet glazing as well.

Blue girl

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 15
  • Location: Vancouver
Re: Breakfasts for Chinese homestay guest
« Reply #18 on: August 12, 2014, 01:45:12 PM »
Another shortcut to congee is to soak the rice for at least a couple hours of overnight.

Threshkin

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1032
  • Location: Colorado
    • My Journal
Re: Breakfasts for Chinese homestay guest
« Reply #19 on: August 20, 2014, 10:07:44 PM »
In the Chinese hotels I have stayed in fried dough (Youtiao?) was a breakfast stable. If you're guest likes those he/she would probably appreciate doughnuts without sweet glazing as well.

The quick and easy way to make these is to take a tube of french bread dough, roll out pieces a little bigger around than a pencil, twist two pieces together loosely and fry them in peanut oil until golden brown. They will puff up quite a bit.

Virtually indistinguishable from the store bought version and fresh!

eyesonthehorizon

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 118
  • Location: Texas
Re: Breakfasts for Chinese homestay guest
« Reply #20 on: August 21, 2014, 09:19:58 AM »
My immediate thought is she's probably abroad for the experience, so I'd cook normally. But! One Chinese standard breakfast everyone should at least try once: fanqie chaodan, scrambled eggs with tomatoes mixed in. Delicious. Or add some quick-scrambled onions, bell (or other!) peppers and crumbled tortillas or tortilla chips (and maybe some chorizo) - and you get migas, San Antonio style.