Delicious Breakfast Eggs Dishes from Around the World
Breakfast eggs dishes are what I’m browsing on my weekend mornings, before checking mail or reading the news. I’ll happily sit and scroll as I dream of a delicious home-cooked breakfast served on the balcony.
Because the first place I go to look for delicious breakfast eggs dishes to decide what Terence should whip up for us is his series of Weekend Eggs recipes from around the world.
Breakfast Eggs Dishes from Around the World
Terence started his Weekend Eggs series back in January 2010 when we embarked on our yearlong grand tour, settling into holiday rentals around the world for two weeks at a time, in partnership with HomeAway. It was a different travel landscape this time six years ago when we were halfway through our project, trying to inspire people to rent apartments and houses to live like locals, learn to cook the local food, shop the markets, and cook in their ‘homes away from home’.
While there’s a long history of renting holiday houses for the summer, especially in Australia and Europe, there weren’t too many travellers choosing to stay in apartment rentals for a few days instead of hotels. Few people were talking about Airbnb in 2010 and HomeAway was the established go-to site for holiday rentals. My, how things have changed.
So Terence’s breakfast project Weekend Eggs, like his series The Dish, about cooking the quintessential dishes of places, was one of our strategies aimed at inspiring people to opt for a rental over checking into a hotel, by showing how easy it was to make a home-cooked breakfast when you’re away.
It was terrific fun for us, seeking out local breakfast eggs dishes and cooking them in our many ‘homes’ around the world. In the process, Terence developed quite a collection of Weekend Eggs recipes, some authentic, some he created, inspired by the local produce, in the absence of a quintessential eggs dish for that place. Our aim was to produce a cookbook on breakfast eggs dishes from around the world, but you know how these things go…
It wasn’t until lunch with Rene Redzepi in Bangkok this time last year, that Terence’s breakfast eggs project came out of hibernation. Rene has an incredible curiosity, so it was during lunch that we found ourselves being asked more questions by the chef about ourselves than we could ask of him – and our grand tour and Terence’s two cooking projects came up, The Dish and Weekend Eggs.
“Man, you’ve got to do a breakfast eggs book! That’s a great book!” Rene told Terence excitedly in between mouthfuls of David Thompson’s fiery curries. “I’d buy that book! I’d write your foreword! Do it, man, just do it!”
And so we took Terence’s Weekend Eggs book off the backburner. Although it’s taken another year to fire it up again, because we also have a Cambodian cookbook simmering away.
While Terence has a long list of delicious breakfast eggs dishes from around the world from our 2010 trip and travel since, we’ve been so busy that we’ve not had a chance to explore Asian eggs dishes enough. That’s starting right now.
This week on Facebook, I asked friends for their tips for Asian egg-based breakfast dishes that Terence should cook. Locals and expats from around the region suggested everything from the Cambodian omelette with climbing wattle to Thai rice Porridge with pork and boiled egg (joke moo sai kai), Chinese steamed eggs with prawn, tofu and preserved vegetables to Malaysia and Singapore’s kopi and kaya toast. If you have any more recommendations as to Asian breakfast eggs dishes we should seek out and Terence should make for the book, we’d love your tips in the comments below.
In the meantime, here are my favourite breakfast eggs dishes from around the globe of the many Weekend Eggs recipes Terence has made. Hint! Hint! Yep, this is what a woman’s gotta do to get her husband to cook her breakfast on the weekend.
My Favourite Breakfast Eggs Dishes from Around the World from our Weekend Eggs Series
Scrambled Eggs with Arabic Sausage and Za’atar Toast
Sometimes you just want to leave perfect creamy scrambled eggs alone and have something on the side. And that’s what Terence does with this Arabian-inspired breakfast eggs recipe where he serves the eggs with Arabic lamb sausages served with za’atar spread on toast. This is the dish that kicked off the series when we launched our grand tour project and site in Dubai. I get a bit nostalgic when we eat this, as this is one of a couple of his breakfast eggs dishes that reminds me of living in Abu Dhabi, when my students used to bring za’atar croissants to college every day. And then there was heavenly manaeesh topped with za’atar.
North African Chakchouka
This North African Chakchouka recipe is another of Terence’s breakfast egg dishes that reminds me of our many years living and working in the Middle East and North Africa, so it also inspires some melancholia. The dish is also written as Shakshouka if you’re googling other recipes and it’s often called ‘Israeli chakchouka’ in food magazines, but this dish of eggs poached in tomato sauce is found right across the MENA region, and is thought to have originated in Tunisia or Algeria. While we had a wonderful chakchouka in Tel Aviv, we tucked into some of our most memorable chakchouka dishes in Marrakech, where Terence made this rendition.
Huevos Revueltos Con Chorizo
This is my all-time favourite breakfast eggs dish. We first tried huevos revueltos con chorizo (scrambled eggs with chorizo) at Cafe El Popular in Mexico City on our first trip to Mexico many years ago and ended up eating it a few times a week on our six-week backpacking trip around Mexico. This scrambled eggs dish is made with fresh crumbly chorizo that’s combined right through so that the chilli oil colours the eggs – Terence describes it as ‘becoming one with the eggs’. We ate the dish again on our 2010 trip and it took us back to the days when tortillas were still made right on the footpaths of the old city.
Huevos Con Chorizo
This is another breakfast eggs dish we can’t get enough of when we’re in Mexico and Spain. While the eggs are still scrambled, where this huevos con chorizo recipe (eggs with chorizo) differs to the revueltos con chorizo recipe, above, is that the chorizo is cured not fresh, it’s chopped up so that it’s not as well combined with the eggs, and the eggs are lightly scrambled. See the photos to see what I mean. We still eat both of these dishes fairly regularly as we can fortunately get decent Spanish chorizo here in Siem Reap. I love rolling up both styles of eggs in Mexican soft tortillas (corn or flour are fine), which we can also get here.
Scrambled Eggs with… Almost Anything
Let’s face it, there are countless ways you can cook scrambled eggs. The secret of course to a great scrambled eggs is in how you scramble the eggs. But of course different kinds of breakfast eggs dishes call for different kinds of scrambles. If it’s a special occasion, I love the decadence of rich, creamy eggs like these scrambled eggs with smoked salmon, caviar and dill (which Terence made for Christmas breakfast in Krakow) or scrambled eggs with truffles (which he whipped up after we found some truffles at our local market in Vienna). And of course they must be accompanied by a glass or two of an elegant sparkling. But for any old weekend breakfast I prefer a lighter style of scrambled egg, loosely combined with herbs or spices or savoury ingredients (if that wasn’t obvious from my picks above). Such as this Turkish-inspired breakfast dish of scrambled eggs with sucuk sausage, bell peppers, eggplants, and parsley, or these scrambled eggs with Njeguski kobasica (a smoky pork sausage from the village of Njeguski in Montenegro) and ajvar (‘Serbian salsa’), which Terence made in Kotor. Scrambled eggs are so versatile, but about fried…
Contemporary Huevos Rancheros
So, yes, I’m still fantasising about Mexican eggs. This is Terence’s contemporary take on Mexico’s huevos rancheros or ranch style eggs. These are essentially runny fried eggs (and they have to be runny, they can’t just be soft) smothered in a spicy tomato sauce and served on top of soft tortillas. You need extra tortillas on the side to mop up the egg and sauce. Terence concocted this elegant presentation (eaten with a spoon) of what is a very rustic dish, for a dinner party we had with new friends (and one old mate) in one of our Austin holiday rentals. Terence also has a ‘how-to’ video for the recipe (on the link above), which he made in our Mexico City apartment to go with the recipe.
Spanish Potato and Onion Tortilla
I have to admit that I could eat eggs all day, so I really love those breakfast eggs dishes that you can also eat for brunch or lunch – or dinner! And that’s what’s so wonderful about a traditional Spanish tortilla with potato and onion. Tapas! While I love a slice of tortilla for breakfast with a cafe cortado, it’s hard to beat tortilla served with some chorizo in wine, perhaps prawns in garlic oil, some crusty fresh bread, and a big bold red. This recipe makes the most perfect Spanish tortillas.
Classic Salade Lyonnaise
I love a classic salade Lyonnaise, which can be found all over France these days. We saw it on menus in Perpignan and Céret, which is where Terence made it, in the beautiful stone house we stayed in, which transformed into a market street on Saturdays. It’s another one of those versatile breakfast eggs dishes that is also terrific for brunch and lunch. And it’s washed down very nicely with a crisp glass of white. Everyone drinks wine with breakfast, right?
While we’re on the subject of poached eggs, Terence is pretty damn good at doing a poached egg too – which I guess is why he’s doing a breakfast eggs book – and one of the most quintessential of poached eggs dishes must be eggs Benedict right? He made an incredibly decadent version in the home of these heavenly eggs, New York City.
Poached Eggs, Asparagus, Pancetta and Parmesan
Another fantastic poached egg combo is this Italian breakfast eggs dish that Terence made in the palazzo apartment in Venice: poached eggs with crunchy asparagus, crispy fried pancetta, and parmesan, poached eggs with asparagus, pancetta and parmesan. As Terence says, the soft yolk of the poached egg acts like a sauce for the asparagus, the pancetta adds a salty flavour and texture with its crunch, and the parmesan cheese rounds out the flavours. He also did a more contemporary version of this dish, which is fun to serve when you have guests.
A Perfect Omelette
And sometimes I just feel like a really great omelette and I’ve seriously never had an omelette as sublime as Terence’s. Nobody I’ve met makes an omelette as quickly (this is his fast omelette recipe) or as perfectly as my husband does. Trust me on this. Or simply click through to his secrets to making the perfect omelettes. (I’m getting very hungry now…)
Kai Yat Say
Speaking of omelettes… we do have a couple of Asian breakfast eggs recipes and kai yat say or Thai ‘stuffed eggs’ is one of them. Although it’s not necessarily a breakfast dish. It’s one of those Thai street food snacks that you’ll find on the streets of Bangkok can really be eaten at any time of day. Pork mince, diced vegetables and oyster or fish sauce, stir fried, and wrapped in a thin omelette made in the wok, it’s super-tasty and super-filling. This is definitely a weekend breakfast or brunch dish, as it’s so filling.
Also quite filling is bubur ayam, the Balinese version of an Indonesian congee or rice porridge with poached chicken, the semi-dried ‘peas’ from long beans called kacang panjang (which taste like peanuts), and shredded strips of a thin omelette sprinkled on top. Unlike the other dishes, the eggs are not the basis of this dish, yet they really make it for me. As do the condiments. Because, like most street food dishes in Asia, you’re meant to add your own seasoning. Kecap manis (sweet soy sauce) is typically served on the side with finely sliced green birds eye chilis. It’s a must, even if you only add a touch of this fiery stuff.
Originally from China, the crab omelette is found all over Asia. One of our favourites is made by ‘Sister Mole’ at Raan Jay Fai in Bangkok, however, I love this Vietnamese style crab omelette that Terence made look almost as good as it tastes. While I’m quite happy to eat crab without any dressing, this dish is a knockout served with plenty of fresh coriander (cilantro), oyster sauce and Sri Racha. Again, it’s one of those dishes I can eat for breakfast, brunch of lunch. This one washes down well with an icy cold beer.
You’ll find many more breakfast eggs dishes filed under our Weekend Eggs series (link at top of post).
Are you a fan of breakfast eggs dishes? What’s your favourite? And don’t forget to leave any suggestions for Asian breakfast eggs that Terence should make in the comments below.