With coronavirus making travel a tricky and even potentially dangerous prospect this year, we’re embracing the summer staycation. All week (and all summer) long, we’ll bring you transportive flavors and travel-inspired ideas from around the world, so you can take your tastebuds on a trip and give your mind a mini vacation while you’re still at home. Here, some of our favorite international breakfast recipes from around the world.
We often save our culinary explorations for lunch or dinner. But breakfast should get a break too from our ordinary, domestic treatment. These breakfast traditions from across the globe are delicious, more exciting ways to start the day. So morning-meal makers, accept this challenge to look at your eggs, fruit, and grains in a new light.
1. Ethiopia: Teff Porridge with Honey and Dates
Tired of oatmeal? Try this whole grain, most commonly seen in fermented Ethiopian flatbread, to make a quick porridge. With dates and honey, it’s not only a nutritious meal full of iron and calcium, it’s more interesting. Get our Teff Porridge with Honey and Dates recipe.
2. France: French Ham and Cheese Quickbread
Gâteaux, or French rustic quick breads, fuses with the classic ham and cheese on baguette, and the result is a hearty, savory breakfast bread. To make this recipe even faster, pour the batter in a 12-well muffin pan. Get our French Ham and Cheese Quickbread recipe.
3. Thailand: Rice Congee with Pork Dumplings
This is the Bangkok street breakfast we often crave—we have fond memories of sitting on a plastic stool on some sidewalk, as the city lurches to life, eating warm, comforting rice porridge, garnished with fish sauce, chiles in vinegar, and a soft egg. The pork dumplings in this recipe are delicious and super easy. Get our Thai Rice Congee recipe.
4. United States: Joe’s Special
An old diner specialty from San Francisco, this is a scramble of eggs, ground beef, and spinach, as comforting at 7 in the morning as it as at midnight. Some food historians speculate that it might have been the specialty of Chinese-American short-order cooks, fusing Western scrambled eggs with classic Cantonese stir-fry. Get our Joe’s Special recipe.
Related Reading: The Ultimate Guide to Eating a Healthy Breakfast Every Day
5. Turkey: Menemen
Bring a bit of Istanbul to your breakfast table with menemen, a scramble of eggs, tomatoes, green peppers, and olive oil served in a copper pan with a side of good bread. Top it off with a soft feta cheese for extra-creamy effect. Get the Menemen recipe.
6. India: Parsi Pora (Parsi-Style Omelet)
The Serrano pepper and raw mango are optional in this traditional Indian omelet, but the chickpea flour isn’t. With fresh mint and cilantro, this could be your new favorite way to eat your morning eggs. Get the Parsi Pora (Parsi-Style Omelet) recipe.
7. Vietnam: Pho
The broth-centric noodle soup called pho is breakfast to most Vietnamese. Unlike in Ho Chi Minh City, there are no street stalls in America to gather ’round at daybreak, but simmering your own pho at home is surprisingly simple. Get this Vietnamese Pho recipe, or try our Easy Chicken Pho recipe for a quick fix in the morning (or evening).
8. Brazil: Açaí Bowl
Açaí is a South American berry enjoying a lot of attention in recent years as a superfruit because of its antioxidant power. Brazilians often eat frozen, mashed açaí in smoothies or bowls topped with granola, other fruit, and agave syrup. Get our Açaí Bowl recipe.
9. Hong Kong: Dim Sum
Contrary to popular belief, dim sum isn’t eaten for breakfast across China every day. It’s actually a specialty of the Guangdong Province, and a tradition full of small plates and dumplings to be savored with tea on weekends. Get this Har Gow Dumpling recipe, and see this ode to dim sum for more.
10. Northern China: Jian Bing Ji Dan Bing
Breakfast is big in China, but at the same time, it’s almost always an on-the-go affair. Jian bing, or scallion- and chile-filled egg crêpes, do the trick. Get the Ji Dan Bing recipe.
11. Mexico: Chilaquiles
Chilaquiles—crispy tortilla triangles simmered in red or green chile sauce, topped with crema, queso, and avocado, and often served with eggs—are one of Mexico’s greatest gifts to mankind. Get our Chilaquiles recipe.
12. Egypt: Ful Medames
Even if you can’t travel to Cairo right now, you can still indulge in one of Egypt’s famous morning pleasures: ful, or fava beans, mashed with olive oil and cumin, then topped with garlic, onion, lemon, and parsley. Serve it with hard-boiled eggs and pita on the side. Get the Ful Medames recipe.
13. Costa Rica: Gallo Pinto
In Costa Rica and Nicaragua, the first meal of favor is gallo pinto, a wholly comforting platter of white rice, red or black beans, garlic, and green bell peppers, accompanied by plantains or scrambled eggs on the side. Get the Gallo Pinto recipe.
14. Tunisia-Israel: Shakshuka
You can enjoy this simple dish of eggs poached in spicy tomato sauce for breakfast or dinner, with pita or some sort of bread on the side. A North African dish originating in Tunisia, shakshuka has become so popular in Israel, it’s often referred to as a Middle Eastern dish. Get our Shakshuka recipe.
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15. United Kingdom: Full English
In the UK and Ireland, a complete breakfast—also referred to as a fry-up—typically includes eggs, back bacon, and sausages, cooked mushrooms and tomatoes, baked beans, and toast with butter or fried bread. Opt for the blood-based black pudding as sausage, and wash everything down with a cup of tea. Get the Full English Breakfast recipe.
See all our breakfast recipes for even more delicious ideas.
Original story by Susannah Chen, updated by Amy Sowder