A Quick Glance to know Guangzhou Breakfast


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Rice congee, soup dumplings, pan-fried dumplings… those are the breakfast I had when I was little.


Today’s words:

Zǎo cān


I am from Yangtze River Delta (Eastern China). There, the food is sweet and light.

When I was little, my mother will cook rice congee for me, we eat it with leftover or hot pickles. Sometimes, we would go out to have some pan-fried dumplings with a large bowl of sweet soja.

In my city, the breakfast goes always like this: rice congee with hot pickles, soup dumplings with vinegar, pan-fried dumplings or steamed fried pork buns with a large bowl of sweet/salty soja, sometime we will have fried bread stick with clay oven rolls, or just noodle.


rice congee with hot pickles 


Soup dumplings with vinegar (xiǎo lóng bāo)


Fried Dumplings (shēng jiān jiǎozi)


Pan-fried Pork Buns (shēngjiān bāo)


But now I’m living in Guangzhou – A very southern city with a lot of heat and enthusiasm. The breakfast here is similar to that of my hometown, but it is also quite different from the ingredients they use.

If I mention Guangzhou food, probably most of you will first think about Cantonese Morning Tea (广东早茶), or better known as ‘ Dim Sum’ (点心)in overseas countries

We can image, a large size restaurant is full of people, waiters or waitresses are busying with shuttling around tables with a stream trolley to serve customers.


Cantonese Morning Tea 


Yes, this is the quintessence of a Cantonese breakfast.


However, this is not all and not every Dim Sum dish is their favorite.

If you get up early in the morning, walking along some streets, you will see many small restaurants or breakfast cars are already open and pulling over on both sides of the streets.

Food pedlars are either preparing food or are busying accepting the guests.

There are many different types of breakfast. Some of them are strange to me. Here is some common breakfast selling in the early morning of Guangzhou:


different types of steamed-buns


Lo mai gai (glutinous rice chicken)


Steamed corn and chives dumplings (very strange to me)


Porridge stalls


Fried rice noodles



Although we cannot have the food as eating at a restaurant, food is cheap and the quality is acceptable.


Rice noodles roll

I just found that Cantonese is really into Rice Noodle Roll. We can easily find many restaurants here only sell Rice noodle roll (with different flavors), but it is very hard to find a restaurant that sells only (for example) chicken feet, spring rolls, etc.


From Wikipedia:Rice Noodle Roll is a thin roll made from a wide strip of Shahe fen (rice noodles), filled with shrimp, beef, vegetables, or other ingredients.


 Steamed rice rolls (picture from Wikipedia)


Animal innards porridge

Cantonese like soups,especailly nourishing soups. Also, they are famous for eating strange things, which including rates, scorpions, monkey brain, etc.

Recently, I have another discover is that they have a special preference with animal innards!


here is a breakfast I had in Guangzhou East Railway Station


As you can see, I had two steamed pork buns, a bowl of porridge, one rice noodle roll and a cup of sweet soja.

It should be noted that the rice congee I ordered was full of pork liver and pork insides. Although the tastes are good, I can accept it, to be honest, this was the first time I had this kind of porridge. In my city (near Shanghai) we never add any animals’ insides into the porridge. Because for us, the porridge should be maigre.

Hope you also have some new discovers as mine in Guangzhou!:)

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Oh! this post made me sooo hungry!! (but where are the garlic flavor-bing?)
John S.