Congee Congee (rice porridge, rice soup) is a typical breakfast in Hong Kong! However, there are number of interesting breakfast dishes in the metropolis on the South China Sea, regardless of whether they are classic Asian or "Western style". Some of them - especially Congee - Congee - I would like to introduce to you in this article. Finally, I will also let you know a pretty easy and delicious recipe for Congee.Jump to Recipe
Noodle Soup "Gong Zai"
Breakfast with noodle soup is common in Asia. This also applies to Hong Kong. In Hong Kong, instant noodles of the local brand Gong Zaiare traditionally used for the popular breakfast noodle soup. Hence the name: noodle soup Gong Zai. But you can also use any other instant noodles. The noodles are poured over with the enclosed sachet of ready-made stock and hot water. After a couple of minutes cooking in the broth, the soup is ready to eat. If you want, you can spice up the soup with fried breakfast meat, fried eggs, chives, sesame or similar. Noodle soup Gong Zai is definitely tasty, filling and promises a perfect start into the day.
Would you have believed that macaroni soup is a must-try breakfast in Hong Kong? I honestly don't. Regarding the picture above, I rather remember the good old noodle stew prepared by my mom during my childhood ... But the more I did research about typical Hong Kong breakfast dishes, the more often I came across the macaroni soup. What's it all about? Macaroni noodles are cooked in broth and spiced up with ham, egg and some vegetables (e.g. peas and carrots). If you want to have an authentic Hong Kong-style breakfast, the soup is an absolute must!
Do you also like the chewing gum-like consistency of sticky rice as much as I do? If so, you will not be able to avoid Ci Fan! Ci Fan is a filled roll of sticky rice. The steamed / cooked sticky rice is filled with Chinese pickles (pickled vegetables), Pork Floss (a kind of dried meat that has the consistency of cotton wool and tastes very interesting, slightly sweet) and one piece Youtiao (deep-fried dough stick). Ci Fan is particularly suitable for a quick breakfast "to go". The sticky rice roll is compact and can be easily eaten on the hand.
Cheong Fun are steamed rice noodle rolls. They are often filled with seafood, chicken or meat. Garnished with sesame seeds and spring onions as well as a dip made from soy sauce and sesame oil, Cheong Fun are the ideal way to start the day for many Hong Kong residents. By the way, Cheong Fun belong to the so-called Dim Sum (steamed or fried appetisers), in Hong Kong also known as Yum Cha . In Hong Kong, people like to meet up for an extensive and opulent Yum Cha breakfast, especially on weekends.
A little history as a reminder :-): On July 1st, 1997, after 156 years of British colonial rule, China regained sovereignty and control over Hong Kong. Since then, Hong Kong has been a special autonomous administrative region.
However, the British heritage is still unmistakable. This is especially true for the traditional “Western-style” Hong Kong breakfast. Western-style Breakfast is available in many variations: toast, fried eggs, scrambled eggs, omelets, sausages, baked beans, hash browns, ham, and sometimes - quite decadent - truffles decorate and fill the plates.
Hong Kong is known for unusual types of bread. Pineapple buns neither contain nor taste like pineapple. They just look like that. These rolls are made from a lightly sweetened yeast dough with a topping made from shortcrust pastry. The shortcrust pastry is scored in a diamond shape before baking so that the roll looks a little bit like a pineapple. Pineapple buns are freshly baked in the morning and sold in the bakeries and "Hong Kong-style" cafés (the so-called: Cha Chaan Teng). Hot and spread with a piece of butter, they almost melt in your mouth! Simply divine!
„Hongkong-Style“ French Toast
Take three slices of white toast and remove the crust. Then, spread a more or less thick layer of peanut butter between the toast slices, turn the stacked toast slices on all sides in a whisked egg and bake them gold-brown in hot butter or oil. Cut it once diagonally, et voilà: the "Hong Kong-style" French toast is ready to eat. It tastes even better if it is spread with sweetened condensed milk or butter. With a glass original Milktea from Hong Kong the day can start.
A typical Breakfast drink in Hong Kong is Milktea. It is made from strong Ceylon black tea and condensed milk and is usually brewed in a sackcloth bag. Milk tea is served warm or with ice cubes. This tea is only available in Hong Kong. Please do not confuse it with the pre-packaged milk teas that can be bought "en masse" in Asian supermarkets. They taste completely different (and I don't like them)!
By the way, coffee is usually served with Western-style breakfasts.
But now finally to Congee (Rice porridge, rice soup). From my point of view, Congee is the best-known breakfast not only in Hong Kong, but generally in China and South-East Asia. Those of you who have already been to South-East Asia have Congee most probably already seen on the breakfast table / buffet in the hotel and maybe also tried. In the past Congee was in China a meal especially for poor people, children and old or sick people.
But what exactly is Congee? Why do so many Asians swear by their bowl Congee early in the morning? Very simple: the preparation is foolproof. Congee Congee essentially consists of two components: rice and water or broth. Rice and liquid are simmered in a ratio of 1:12 for several hours over low heat. That's all. Congee can perfectly be prepared in advance, as it can easily be kept fresh in the refrigerator for several days. In addition, Congee very inexpensive and at the same time very healthy. It is a light and easily digestible meal that does not stress the organism at tropical temperatures. In winter time Congee has a warming effect.
Water and rice? And then still healthy? Sounds boring, doesn't it? But it is not. Because the unique taste of Congee result from the numerous Toppings aimed to create your own rice soup according to your individual taste: try it Congee e.g. with some cooked chicken, a piece of deep-fried tofu, a few strips of Chinese Pickles and a little bit of Pork Floss (a kind of dried meat that has the consistency of cotton wool and tastes very interesting, slightly sweet). Don't worry, you can easily buy fried tofu, Chinese pickles and pork floss in Asian stores. Garnish your Congee with chives rolls, grated ginger, roasted sesame and a few drops of sesame oil.
And: Bäääm, I guarantee that you will find yourself in a typical Hong Kong breakfast café, a so calledCha Chaan Teng, and you will never ever want to eat Nutella for breakfast again 🙂
So long, you can finally start preparing your own and unique Congee!
- 120 g Rice (e.g. jasmine rice)
- 1,4 l Water (or chicken stock)
- 1 tsp. salt
- Toppings of your choice, e.g .:
- 200 g cooked and shreddered chicken
- 1 small sachet deep fried tofu (available in Asian supermarkets)
- 2 – 3 Sachet (70g each) Pickled Chinese vegetables of your choice (e.g. radish, mustard cabbage), also to buy in Asian supermarkets
- 1/2 sachet Pork Floss (you can buy it in an Asian supermarket)
- 1 pieces freshly grated ginger
- 1/4 bunch chieves (finely chopped)
- some drops of sesame oil (for sprinkling)
- 2 tbsp. roasted sesame seeds for garnish
- salt, pepper
- For the congee, firstly wash the rice well under cold water and then soak in cold water for about 3 hours.
- Bring water and salt to boil, add rice and let it simmer on the lowest level for 1 - 2 hours. Stir regularly so that the rice doesn't stick at the bottom. If you like it more waterly (like a real soup), you can add more water/broth. As a rule of thumb: take water and rice in a ratio of 12: 1.
- Spread congee on bowls and garnish with the above toppings as desired.
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Sources: Hongkong Wikipedia, 9 Hong Kong breakfasts you have to try, Hong Kong breakfast, 8 quintessential Hong Kong breakfast foods you must try, Essen in HK
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