Since China is large, cuisines in different area is so different. When I moved to Beijing, I tried to find 小笼包(xiǎolongbāo) and 生煎(shengjiān), which are common for breakfast in Shanghai, but I failed. Instead I found 肉夹馍(ròujiāmó) near my office, which people never eat for breakfast in Shanghai. So today, we will explore what we can eat for breakfast in Beijing.
You may have heard the most famous breakfast in Beijing is inclusive of 焦圈(jiāoquān) and 豆汁(dòuzhī). Although that’s true, they are old fashion now. If you are a traveler and full of spirit of adventure, give it a try. You will never forget it.
People’s tasty change in recent 20 years because more and more “immigrants” are packed into this city (people were not allowed to move to other places without government admission before). So nowadays you can see food here from all over China.
馒头(mántou)/包子(bāozi) are both steamed bun. The different between 馒头(mántou) and 包子(bāozi) is stuffing. If there is no stuffing, it’s 馒头(mántou). If there is stuffing, it’s 包子(bāozi)。 Usually stuffing can be pork or cabbage.
煎饼(jiānbǐng) looks like a pancake with egg. You can add different ingredients in it, such as green onion, sausage. For me, it’s more like omelet.
油条(yóutiáo)/油饼(yóubǐng) are both deep fried. 油条(yóutiáo) is like a stick while 油饼(yóubǐng) is like a pancake. I will say they are similar as doughnuts but they are salty not sweet.
馄饨(húntun) is a kind of dumpling with soup. The stuffing can be pork, cabbage, shrimp, mushroom…
粥(zhōu) is considered as drink for breakfast. Of course, it’s not a real drink. Most 粥(zhōu) have no flavor, so it’s served with 小菜(xiǎocài), a kind of pickle. Some 粥(zhōu) are sweet, which is a combination of rice with red-bean/pumpkin/sweet-potato.
豆浆(dòujiāng) is soy bean milk. Chinese people are addicted to it. Compare to milk, 豆浆(dòujiāng) has much longer history. You can easily find it everywhere.
A typical breakfast is usually a combination of “solid food” and “liquid food”. You can see a girl ride the subway with her 包子(bāozi) + 粥(zhōu) or 油条(yóutiáo) + 豆浆(dòujiāng) every morning. It’s inexpensive as well. One combination costs at 6 RMB (1 USD) around.
If you go to Beijing, don’t spend your time on McDonalds’ breakfast. Try these typical local food. You won’t be disappointed.