My Southeast Asian breakfast salad recipe with jammy soft boiled eggs makes a bacon, lettuce and tomato breakfast salad drizzled in a quintessential Southeast Asian dressing, topped with soft boiled eggs, and sprinkled with fresh fragrant coriander and crispy fried shallots. It makes a fantastic shared breakfast, brunch or lunch that’s perfect for sultry summer weekend mornings.
If you enjoyed my more European style breakfast salad recipe – also inspired by the BLT or bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich, as well as my late grandfather Ivan’s simple breakfast of a boiled egg (from his own hens), raw garlic (yep), a cucumber and a tomato (from his own garden), and pickles (homemade) – then you’re going to enjoy this. Especially if you’re a fan of Southeast Asian flavours. You heard right.
Because after 12 years living in Southeast Asia, in Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia, plus a couple of dozen years on top of that cooking Southeast Asian cuisines with Terence, I can’t help but reach for the fish sauce in the same way that I once reached for a balsamic vinegar from Modena when making a salad.
Only I look to a fish sauce to add umami-ness, saltiness and savoury flavours to more European style salads as much as to Southeast Asian salads, and that was the case when I first conceived this Southeast Asian breakfast salad recipe based on a BLT breakfast salad for this week’s edition of Weekend Eggs, our series on quintessential eggs dishes from around the world.
If you’re visiting us for the first time, we started Weekend Eggs back in 2010 when we launched Grantourismo with a yearlong global grand tour aimed at promoting slow, local and experiential travel, more sustainable, ethical, engaging, and immersive forms of travel, which we felt made for more meaningful and more memorable travel.
We spent two weeks in each place, staying in rentals to get an insight into how locals lived their lives, and in each place we settled into, we explored the local food, connected with local cooks and chefs, and learnt to cook local specialties. We shared those in a series called The Dish, for which Terence cooked a quintessential dish of each place, and in our Weekend Eggs series, for which Terence cooked local breakfast eggs dishes.
If you’re an eggs lover and particularly a lover of breakfast eggs dishes, do dig into our Weekend Eggs archive (link above) for inspiration and ideas, or browse our collections of our 21 best breakfast recipes of 2021 and our all-time 12 most popular Weekend Eggs recipes in 12 years of Grantourismo, which we compiled as part of Grantourismo’s 12th birthday celebrations.
Now before I tell you about this Southeast Asian breakfast salad recipe, we have a favour to ask. Grantourismo is reader-funded. If you’ve enjoyed our recipes or other content on the site, please consider supporting Grantourismo. You could buy us a coffee and we’ll use that donation to buy cooking ingredients for recipe testing or contribute to our epic original Cambodian cuisine history and cookbook on Patreon.
Another option is to use our links to book accommodation, rent a car or campervan or motorhome, buy travel insurance, or book a tour on Klook or Get Your Guide. Or purchase something on Amazon, such as these James Beard award-winning cookbooks, cookbooks by Australian chefs, classic cookbooks for serious cooks, cookbooks for culinary travellers, travel books to inspire wanderlust, or gifts for Asian food lovers, picnic lovers and travellers who love photography. We may earn a small commission but you won’t pay extra.
You could also shop our Grantourismo store on Society6 for gifts for foodies, including fun reusable cloth face masks designed with Terence’s images. Now let’s tell you about this Southeast Asian breakfast salad recipe.
Southeast Asian Breakfast Salad Recipe with Jammy Soft Boiled Eggs
So first things first: my Southeast Asian breakfast salad recipe isn’t an actual dish you’re going to find here in Southeast Asia – breakfast soups, breakfast rice soups, breakfast rice porridges, breakfast noodles, and breakfast eggs are all typical breakfasts here in Cambodia and neighbouring Vietnam, Laos, Thailand and Myanmar.
But breakfast salads aren’t really a thing here, although Southeast Asians love their salads. In our decades living abroad, I don’t we’ve come across a part of the world with so many salads as we have in Southeast Asia. And yet we’ve not yet found a Southeast Asian breakfast salad. So here you go…
I adore a great breakfast salad, especially on a hot summer’s morning and most especially for a late weekend breakfast on a scorching summer morning, and that’s how my Southeast Asian breakfast salad recipe came about.
I had some sweet ripe tomatoes, crunchy cucumbers, lettuce, and fresh coriander in the fridge that needed to be used up, along with a packet of bacon I’d transferred from the freezer to fridge that hadn’t got used. The first thing that came to mind was a BLT or bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich. Except we didn’t have bread.
Plus it was breakfast time – although it may have been nearing brunch time, but what’s an hour or two between meals – and I was craving eggs for breakfast and salad for lunch, and Terence was experimenting with boiled eggs – because he’s the boiled egg guru and that’s what he does, especially when he’s working on his breakfast eggs book and website.
And that’s how my Southeast Asian breakfast salad recipe came about… just a few tips, as it’s a cinch to make and comes together quickly.
Tips to Making this Southeast Asian Breakfast Salad Recipe with Jammy Soft Boiled Eggs
I only have a few tips to making this Southeast Asian breakfast salad recipe with soft jammy boiled eggs, as it’s ridiculously easy. Let’s start with the eggs.
First, boil your soft-boiled eggs following Terence’s reliable guide to how to boil eggs perfectly. Concentrate on those so you get them right. While the eggs are cooling down in a bowl of cold water, you can do the bacon: in a small fry-pan, slice the bacon rashers into strips and fry until crisp or to your liking, then set aside.
Next I recommend making the salad dressing, so the flavours meld together. Use a good quality fish sauce. We love Thailand’s Megachef as its sodium levels are consistent, although some of our American readers recommend the Vietnamese-American Red Boat Fish Sauce, although we haven’t tried it as we’ve never seen it in Southeast Asia.
I like to toss the salad ingredients with the dressing first in a mixing bowl and then assemble it on a serving plate or a salad bowl. I also suggest slicing the eggs in half one at a time over the bowl, in case the yolks spill, as you want them spilling on the salad not wasted on a cutting board.
Sprinkle the rest of the coriander leaves on top, as well as the crispy fried shallots, and perhaps a little sea salt on the eggs, although the salad probably won’t need more salt, as it has fish sauce. Serve immediately. It makes enough for four for light meals or two big portions if you’re hungry.
Southeast Asian Breakfast Salad Recipe with Jammy Soft Boiled Eggs
- 3 tbsp fish sauce
- 3 tbsp juice of fresh lime
- 1½ tsp white sugar
- 1 long red chilli finely sliced (optional)
- 4 eggs soft-boiled for 5 mins – see our guide to perfectly boiled eggs
- 4 bacon rashers sliced into strips and crispy-fried
- 12 lettuce leaves washed and pat-dried
- 4 small tomatoes washed and chopped into pieces same size as the cucumber
- 2 small cucumbers washed, sliced into rounds, then quartered
- 1 small purple shallot finely sliced
- 1 tbsp coriander fresh, leaves only
- 1 tbsp crispy fried shallots
- Sea salt optional – fish sauce should provide enough salt
- Put the eggs on to boil for 5 minutes for jammy soft-boiled eggs, using our method in our guide to perfectly boiled eggs.
- While the eggs are cooling down in a bowl of cold water, you can do the bacon: in a small fry-pan, slice the bacon rashers into strips and fry until crisp or to your liking, then set aside.
- Make the salad dressing: transfer the fish sauce, lime juice, sugar, and optional finely sliced red chilli to a lidded glass jar, screw the lid on, vigorously shake, then set aside so the flavours meld until you’re ready to dress your salad.
- In a mixing bowl, toss the chopped tomatoes, chopped cucumbers, sliced purple shallot, half the coriander leaves, and half the bacon, with the dressing.
- Assemble the salad: on a large serving plate or salad bowl, arrange the lettuce leaves so they cover the bottom of the dish, pile the salad on top, and sprinkle on the remaining bacon.
- Slice the eggs in half one at a time over the bowl (in case the yolks spill) and position them, sprinkle the rest of the coriander leaves on top, along with the crispy fried shallots, and sprinkle a little sea salt on the eggs, and serve immediately.
Please do let us know in the comments below if you make our Southeast Asian breakfast salad recipe as we love to hear how our recipes turn out for you.