Let’s Do Brunch!
It’s hard to find a person who doesn’t love brunch food. Sunday brunch and Easter brunch are basically cultural institutions in America and Western Europe. It is relatively common knowledge to grab a croque monsieur in France, sip espresso in Italy, and indulge in bottomless mimosas in the United States. But what does the rest of the world eat for breakfast? Get inspiration for brunch ideas at home with these 10 dishes from around the world.
Mexico: Huevos Divorciados
Mexican food is known the world over for its salsas, and they don’t let up on the heat — even at breakfast! Brunch food in Mexico, like the ubiquitous huevos divorciados, looks a lot like lunch, featuring red salsa, salsa verde, and corn tortillas. Tortillas topped with eggs and either salsa are divided (hence the name) by a wall of hearty refried beans. Find Mexican brunch recipes like this one at MamaMaggiesKitchen.com.
A classic South Indian food, idli lentil and rice cakes are vegan, gluten-free, and highly nutritious. Serve these round, fluffy, white cakes with your favorite flavor of chutney or a side of sambar (lentil and vegetable soup). Discover how to make idli and other traditional Indian recipes at HolyCowVegan.net.
Many Western cultures reserve savory, filling meats for lunch or dinner, but the same is not so for Eastern cultures. In the Philippines, tapsilog is a popular first meal, consisting of egg, garlic fried rice, and marinated, fried beef. Other similar Filipino breakfast and brunch recipes include dangsilog with dried fish, and tosilog with sweet pork.
Nalisniki (rolled, cheese-filled crepes) are beloved not just in Ukraine, but across Eastern Europe. Countries like Russia and Poland also consider this sweet and savory brunch food to be part of their food culture, and it’s easy to see why so many nations are eager to claim it: It’s simple, scrumptious, and can be made in bulk ahead of time to serve large groups.
China: Dim Sum
Dim sum is a kind of catch-all term for small plates of steamed buns and dumplings enjoyed family-style. Dim sum has actually become very popular in the United States as an alternative to a typical American Sunday brunch — especially in cities with thriving Chinatowns. Find various dim sum recipes at TheWoksofLife.com.
Turkey is another nation that offers a veritable buffet at breakfast. Like dim sum in China, kahvalti in Turkey consists of many small plates sampled by an entire family. Olives, cheeses, jams, breads, eggs, and meats come together for a bountiful spread. And don’t forget the Turkish tea!
Scandanavian pastries are some of the best in the world, and Swedish cardamom buns called kardemummabullar are included in that category. These soft, braided pastries are flavored with cardamom and vanilla, and glazed with sugar for a spiced yet sweet taste.
Malaysia: Nasi Lemak
Nasi lemak is so beloved in Malaysia that it is touted as the country’s national dish. Rice made with coconut milk is accompanied by anchovies, fried peanuts, cucumber and egg topped with sambal, an Indonesian chili paste. This Southeast Asian meal is certainly not short on flavor!
No matter where you live, doughnuts are one of the best street foods you can buy. They’re airy, crispy, warm and sweet. Kenyan mandazi doughnuts are made with coconut and are often also flavored with spices such as nutmeg or cardamom, as in this recipe from AfricanBites.com. The true way to enjoy mandazi is with a cup of Kenyan chai.
Egypt: Ful Medames
Next to the life-giving Nile, fava beans are the soul of Egyptian cuisine. Ful medames, a dish of stewed fava beans seasoned with cumin, lemon juice, herbs, and topped off with extra virgin olive oil, is a daily affair in Egypt. The commonplace late breakfast or brunch recipe can also be served with hummus, boiled eggs, and pita bread. Use Mediterranean and North African flavors to inspire your brunch ideas at home!