One of my earliest memories of breakfast might probably be Coco pops, chocolate coated rice puffs swirling in a whirlpool of creamy cold milk. Till today, I still enjoy the convenience of grabbing a box of good ol’ box of cereal and shaking its contents out vigorously into my bowl of milk. However, there will definitely be days where I would crave for something else to satiate my growing appetite. As I’m writing this, my mind is flooded with other delectable taste sensations that I enjoy for breakfast due to the myriad of choices we have.
Being an Asian, and more so a Malaysian, you know you can never stray away from hot, fluffy ‘roti canais’ that are heavily doused with chicken or fish curry, my personal favourite. The ‘mamak’ shops would always have stacks of freshly tossed ‘roti canais’ or ‘thosais’ waiting to be dished out to its morning customers as they quietly browse through their paper and sip their cups of hot coffee or Milo.
I still enjoy walking into a Chinese coffee shop for scrumptious ‘dim sum’ too, comprising of bite-size prawn dumplings and ‘chee cheong fun’ or rice rolls swimming in soya sauce and stuffed to the brim with ‘char siew’ or roasted pork. The ‘char siew paus’ or pork buns are always a perennial favourite and is always on the breakfast table. Steamed glutinous sticky rice or ‘loh mai kai’ with black mushroom and ‘lap cheong’ is another must-have!
Apart from that, I even judge the quality of a dim sum shop by its crumbly, eggy egg tarts. These were delightful morsels of joy to bite into! I also love the ‘dim sum’ restaurants in Melbourne during my university days and I still miss them, miss saying that I was going for ‘yum cha’ at the city.
Sometimes my dad would go to the morning market and return with plastic bags of ‘you char kway’, fried, long, golden-brown dough of goodness and peanut ‘apoms’ that I never get sick of. Me and peanuts are good buddies, which explains my obsession with toasted peanut butter sandwiches, the crunchy type please. I like having the texture of roasted nuts as I bite into my sandwich every time.
Living in PJ, there is a Malay man who would drive by in the morning along the alley in his motorcycle that is laden with parcels of ‘nasi lemak’ wrapped in banana leaf with fabulous spicy chicken ‘rendang’. Now that is what many would call the ultimate Malaysian breakfast and I’d have to agree immediately without a doubt! Although it already comes with a half boiled egg, I would pick up the pan and fry a ‘mata kerbau’ or sunny-side up egg and watch the egg yolk ooze on the hot rice and mix it with the red, tantalizing ‘sambal’.
Even if we couldn’t buy breakfast, my mum never fails to amaze me with her amazing repertoire of easy and delicious comfort food. This included a simple pancake laced with sugar and the sinfully decadent French toast. Or if the tummy aches for something more substantial, we’d cook our own simple English breakfast which comes with runny eggs, toast, baked beans and bacon. No blood sausages although I would love to have those. Watching Heston Blumental obsess over his English breakfast on the ‘Big Chef takes on Little Chef’ tv programme was extremely tempting.
All in all, this post is a tribute to one of my favourite meal times of the day (but then again, I love my lunches and dinners too!) I intend to explore the joys of cooking breakfast favourites with the hopes that they’ll be your favourites as well. Breakfast is the best!