Wondering what to have for breakfast? Take inspiration from these weird and wonderful round-the-world dishes
Published: Monday 13th June 2016
Breakfast: irrefutably the most important meal of the day, but the one that's most often neglected. We don't understand why – we think breakfast is a truly miracle meal. It's got the power to cure hangovers; gives you energy; boosts your mood and is essentially an excuse to eat waffles for breakfast.
Not sold yet? We've put together an ode to breakfasts from across the globe, from weird-looking fruit to hefty chicken porridge. They may sound odd, but don't knock it till you've tried it; we can vouch for their deliciousness.
You know what they say – breakfast like a king. Like we needed an extra reason to eat as much as possible.
Chilaquiles is a dish consisting of totopos (similar to nachos) smothered in spicy sauce with a fried egg and various toppings like avocado. For the more adventurous, there's huitlachoche – a diseased corn that's considered to be a breakfast delicacy in Mexico. Yum.
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Steamed rice cakes
Pictured above are idli, traditional steamed rice cakes eaten for breakfast in southern India – they're designed to be eaten quickly, standing up. Other breakfast dishes from the region include dosas, pancakes made of rice and lentils.
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In Korea, people break their fast with eggs rolls, which are similar to a rolled up omelette and can be made with both meat and eggs.
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Steamed custard bun
Got a sweet tooth? This Chinese breakfast – a custard-filled take on dim sum – might be right up your street. Another popular dish is the century egg, an egg preserved in a mixture of clay, ash, salt and rice hulls for several weeks or months.
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This Colombian breakfast make look a bit similar to an egg McMuffin, but it's a whole lot tastier than that. The bun is made out of ground maize dough, and is either served whole with things like chicken, salty cheese and avocado on the side, or is split into two to make sandwiches.
This protein-rich, one-pot meal is a traditional Thai breakfast. It's made with rice, chicken breast, soy and East Asian spices, and is often served with steamed broccoli or cauliflower on the side.
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Fish, rice, miso, soy beans and nori seaweed
Alongside the standard dishes of steamed rice and miso soup, the Japanese break their fast with grilled fish or a rolled egg omelette, or some more unusual items like natto (fermented soy beans), tsukemono (pickles) and nori (dried seasoned seaweed).
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This colourful flatbread is flavoured with za'atar (a family of Middle Eastern herbs including oregano, basil thyme and thyme), tomatoes and cheese.
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In Russia, 'kasha' refers to whole roasted buckwheat or buckwheat groats, while in other Slavic countries the word denotes porridge in general. Buckwheat comes from the same family as amaranth and quinoa, and is similarly touted as a superfood grain – in the UK it's more common to see it uncooked.
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Ackee is essentially like big berry, coming from the same family as the lychee. It originated in West Africa, but is now a common feature of many Caribbean cuisines, where ackee and saltfish is Jamaica's national dish. When cooked, it has a flavour and consistency not dissimilar to firm scrambled eggs.
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Kuy teav is a soup made with rice noddles, pork stock and toppings – commonly chicken or vegetables. It's often sold for breakfast at market stalls and roadside vendors, and it's popular because of the nutritious value of the clear broth and the flavour from the use of aromatic East Asian herbs.
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While South India has idli, Central India has uttapam, a thick pancake with vegetables cooked into the batter, and chutney on the side. The batter is made with a combination of urad dal and rice, which are ground and fermented. The perfect uttapam should be crisp on the outside, with an idli-like consistency on the inside.