ILLUSTRATION: 5 Traditional Breakfasts in Taiwan

ILLUSTRATION: 5 Traditional Breakfasts in Taiwan
Photo Credit: Loso Kao

What you need to know

The News Lens shares five common traditional Taiwanese breakfasts.

“Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” In the U.S., people eat cereal, pancakes, waffles, toast with bacon and eggs and so on to start their day. But what if you are in Taiwan?

While western-style breakfasts can be easily found across the island-nation, here are five traditional breakfasts one is bound to come across in Taiwan.

Photo Credit: Loso Kao

Baked Wheat Cake (Shao Bing), Twisted Cruller (You Tiao), Soybean Milk

Twisted cruller, or "you tiao," which literally means oil stick, is a common Taiwanese breakfast. It can be eaten plain or sandwiched in a baked wheat cake (“shao bing”), another iconic Taiwanese breakfast item.

Both pastries are generally washed down with the staple drink soybean milk, either hot or cold. Soybean milk is usually served as a sweet drink but a salty version (soy sauce, vinegar, chili oil and scallions added) is also offered in most traditional breakfast shops.

Photo Credit: Loso Kao

Taiwanese Omelet (Dan Bing)

The Taiwanese omelet is a soft green scallion pancake with an egg fried on top and then rolled and chopped up. It comes with your choice of filling, from bacon, cheese and tuna to chocolate sauce.

Photo Credit: Loso Kao

Rice Porridge and Side Dishes

Bowls of rice porridge come with side dishes of all kinds — pickled vegetables, fermented bean curd and stir-fried dishes. The combination can also be a late night snack.

Photo Credit: Loso Kao

Turnip Cake

A mixture of shredded turnip, dried shrimp and rice flour is pan-fried and can be served with a fried egg on top.

Photo Credit: Loso Kao

Beef Soup

While beef noodle soup is a specialty of Taiwanese cuisine, beef soup is a breakfast dish, often found in Tainan, southern Taiwan. Unlike beef noodle soup, the southern breakfast beef soup is a simple bowl of boiling hot soup poured over thin, tender fresh beef. It is usually topped with shredded ginger and comes with a bowl of rice and, if needed, sauce for the beef. Roadside stands can be found serving the hot breakfast as early as 4 a.m.

Editor: Edward White