You can’t go wrong with a serving of fried rice with a serving of meat products and a fried egg on the side in the morning. From longganisa to tapa and tocino, Filipinos take their breakfasts seriously, serving a wide spread of silogs, tropical fruits, and pandesal paired with a hot cup of coffee. That got us curious about what other ASEAN countries have for breakfast.
Bruneians love their spicy food and will gladly take a plate of it even in the morning. Their national rice dish, Nasi Katok, is a serving of rice and battered fried chicken traditionally wrapped in brown paper. Of course, it wouldn’t be complete without chili.
This noodle soup dish is a hearty breakfast dish in Cambodia. Num Banh Chok’s main ingredient is rice noodles and is mixed in with fish gravy and other local produce like water lily stems, banana blossom, cucumbers, and fresh herbs.
Congee is not exclusive to Indonesia, but their take of the rice porridge is what sets it apart. Babur Ayam, or Indonesia chicken congee, is topped with shredded chicken and aromatics like fried onions and sweet soy sauce. Some even include omelet strips to truly make it a breakfast dish.
It’s not unusual for Asians to have noodle soup for breakfast as it’s a filling dish, and the Khao soy/soi is no exception. The spicy broth comes with chopped pork, bean sprouts, and garnished with scallions and cilantro.
Their food is a fusion of Indian, Chinese, and Western cultures, and it shows in their national dish. The Nasi Lemak is their version of the fried rice that’s infused with local flavors. Expect a plate of coconut rice, topped with anchovies, cucumbers, roasted peanuts, and eggs, and Malaysian hot sauce on the side.
What’s more comforting than a bowl of soup for breakfast? Myanmar’s Mohinga has a fish broth base and includes rice noodles along with fragrant ingredients like lemongrass, ginger, and onions. To make it even more satisfying, they add fritters, chickpeas, or boiled eggs.
Singapore’s popular breakfast dish is not your typical toast. Slices of toasted bread are spread with kaya, a traditional coconut spread, and paired with butter and soft-boiled eggs. Kaya Toast is best had with a cup of teh tarik or local kopi.
Another ASEAN country that takes pride in its congee is Thailand. Their rice porridge, locally called Jok Moo, is served with meatballs and is very savory thanks to the generous amount of ginger. It’s then garnished with spring onions and chili oil for that extra flavor.
Pho is a widely-known Vietnamese dish but it’s not general knowledge that it’s a breakfast staple. The rice noodle soup is best served hot with overnight bone broth to power you through the morning. Bún bò Huế is another soup option if you’re craving something spicier.
With the online trend of YouTubers trying different breakfasts from around the world, it’s interesting to see how similar our staples are to the neighboring countries. We obviously love our rice and noodle dishes.