Surprising breakfasts are one of the joys of foreign travel, even if you’re just armchair traveling. Here are 10 recipes that, though they skew a wee bit (or a lot) American, still offer up a taste of the world.
1. Vietnamese Chicken Rice Porridge (Cháo)
This is the homiest of homey breakfasts, a soothing porridge of jasmine rice, simmered until soft in freshly made chicken broth, flavored with ginger. With all rice porridges, though, it’s the garnishes that make it sing. This one has soft, shredded chicken, scallions, cilantro, and lightly toasted peanuts. Get our Vietnamese Chicken Rice Porridge (Cháo) recipe.
2. Thai Rice Congee with Pork Dumplings
A fixture on the early-morning streets of Bangkok, rice congee is comforting, and the perfect neutral vehicle for rich garnishes. Here, easy little pork meatballs lurk in the congee, whole on top, fish sauce mingles with pulverized dry chiles and pickled fresh ones. Get our Thai Rice Congee with Pork Dumplings recipe.
3. Breakfast Nachos
Even if you’re not that into Tex-Mex, there’s no denying that Tex-Mex breakfast food is pretty unbelievable. Think of these as an easier version of chilaquiles: a pile of tortilla chips loaded up with beans, salsa, guac, Monterey Jack cheese, hot sauce, and scrambled eggs. Get our Breakfast Nachos recipe.
4. Breakfast Rice Cakes with Chinese Sausage
This twist on the breakfast sandwich places a fried egg, scallions, and bias-cut slices of Chinese dried sausage, lop chong, on a fat, chewy seared rice cake flavored with rice vinegar and mirin. Its chewy, soft, rich, and a little fatty—all the things a breakfast sandwich should be. Get our Breakfast Rice Cakes with Chinese Sausage recipe.
5. Harissa-Pancetta Breakfast Pizza
These personal-sized pizzas are, at heart, more American than anything else, but the ingredient list carries the echo of the Mediterranean: pancetta, mozzarella, Tunisian harissa. Anyway, who doesn’t love pizza for breakfast? Get our Harissa-Pancetta Breakfast Pizza recipe.
6. Eggs Baked with Irish Bangers and Cheddar
Irish-style bangers (sausages) and sharp white Irish cheddar are the heart of this simple and satisfying breakfast. Combine everything in ramekins and bake until the egg is set to your liking—though remember, runny yolks are essential for stabbing toast points into. Get our Eggs Baked with Irish Bangers and Cheddar recipe.
7. Breakfast Toad in the Hole
This is a substantial tweak of British toad in the hole, perfect to prep in advance for a brunch party. Breakfast sausage links are baked in a baking powder–raised batter made from flour and cornmeal, milk, and eggs. Serve with maple syrup for a delicious sweet and salty, one-dish breakfast. Get our Breakfast Toad in the Hole recipe.
8. Carnitas-Avocado Breakfast Burritos
Chewy, rich, juicy Mexican carnitas—sourced from the market—meets its worthy counterpart in cool, smooth, umami-packed avocado. Scrambled eggs complete the best trio possible first thing in the morning. Get our Carnitas-Avocado Breakfast Burritos recipe.
9. Egg, Ham, and Cheese Crêpes
Mix up a batch of classic French crêpe batter, make some thin, lacy crêpes, and go to work layering ham, Gruyère cheese, and a raw egg on top. Transfer to the broiler until the crêpe’s edges get crispy and the egg sets. Get our Egg, Ham, and Cheese Crêpes recipe.
10. Chorizo y Papas Breakfast Tacos
Egg tacos are one of the joys of morning strolls through Mexico City. Our homemade version skews yankee, but it’s no less delicious for it. Firm Spanish chroizo cooks with potatoes, browning and crisping, then gets piled onto corn tortillas with runny fried egg. Get our Chorizo y Papas Breakfast Tacos recipe.