If you’re looking for something to breathe new life into your morning routine, these Asian breakfast recipes are just the ticket!
We all get stuck in an oatmeal and cold cereal rut once in a while, but these easy dishes will fix that.
One of my favorite things about Asian-inspired recipes is learning about new ingredients and ways of cooking things.
With that in mind, you might want to head over to your nearest Asian supermarket to stock up on a few things!
Whether you’re the kind of person who likes to wake up to something sweet, or if you need something quick and savory to take out the door, I have you covered.
From simple egg and onion crepes to buttery roti and a recipe for okonomiyaki, this list of 21 Asian breakfast recipes has everything you’ll need to spice up your morning routine.
1. Delicious Coconut Tarts
Between the flaky, buttery pastry, sweet custard, and chewy coconut filling, these are the perfect way to start your day.
I used to make a variation of these when I was younger and always added a small spoonful of raspberry jam underneath the filling.
That added flavor will really make these pop.
Still, they’re incredibly tasty without any jam, and if you use store-bought mini-pie crust, you’ll have them in the oven in less than 20 minutes!
2. Lemongrass Chicken Banh Mi
Not only is this sensational Vietnamese sandwich super filling and colorful, but it’s perfect to make ahead for breakfast on the go.
Since the chicken needs to marinate for at least a few hours, I like to make everything the day before, including roasting the chicken, and then I just put it all together in the morning.
Or, you could always pre-make a sandwich before bed and eat it on your commute.
3. Egg Bhurji (Spiced Indian Scrambled Eggs)
It’s easier than you think to ruin a batch of scrambled eggs.
They can have too much or too little salt, be too dry or too runny, or not have enough added seasonings.
Though I tend to lean towards cheese and bacon for mine, this is one tasty recipe that will make your morning a little brighter.
You’ll gently cook onions, tomatoes, green chilies, and spices for this recipe before adding the eggs to the pan.
Be sure not to have the heat too high, and gently stir until it comes together.
4. Okayu (Japanese Rice Porridge)
This savory rice pudding dish is great for those dark, cold mornings when you need something extra to fill you up until lunch.
Unlike regular rice pudding, which is usually made with lots of sugar and cinnamon, this recipe keeps it super simple.
I prefer to cook my rice in stock for extra flavor, but the traditional way is to use just water and rice, then season it once it’s cooked.
Feel free to add a bunch of tasty extras to this to bulk it out, like scallions, leftover chicken, and poached eggs.
5. Easy Chicken Fried Rice
Since I always eat fried rice with a runny fried egg on top, it’s firmly in the “breakfast food” category in my house.
The trick to making the best ever fried rice is to start with cooked and cooled rice.
I like to cook a whole bunch and keep some in the fridge for when the craving strikes (or freeze it in portions and pull out what you need for a quick meal).
With your rice cooked and cold, you’ll start by softening any veggies in the pan.
When tender, push them aside and scramble your eggs, which you can skip if you like the fried egg idea.
Once the veggies are soft, add the cooked rice, and any cooked meat you’re using. Be sure it’s piping hot and serve it right away.
6. Kimchi Pancakes (Kimchi Buchimgae)
Kimchi can be a hard sell to some. The sour, fermented flavor and taste are a lot like sauerkraut, which can be overwhelming.
But if you’ve ever tried it, you know that it’s so complex and can add something unique to your food.
These pancakes are a fantastic way to use up kimchi, and the batter will help to mellow the flavor a little.
Plus, the combined crunch of the kimchi with the soft pancake is to die for.
7. Miso Oatmeal with Kale and Avocado
I don’t know about you, but I’ve seen an explosion of savory oatmeal all over social media.
We might be used to cinnamon and brown sugar, but I think this will be your new favorite.
The flavor you get from the miso is so distinctly savory yet wonderfully rich with a sweet and salty after taste.
There’s nothing quite like it, and it will knock your socks off.
This is another recipe that would be even better with a fried, runny egg on top!
8. Egg and Green Onion Crepes
You’ve probably tried these light little pancakes with Nutella and whipped cream, but did you know they make a fabulous, fast breakfast when the fridge is all but bare?
They need just five ingredients, including eggs, flour, salt, scallions, and oil.
Mix these pantry basics into a thin batter and lightly cook over medium heat.
Between the eggs and scallions, these are very clean and pretty filling.
Of course, a side of sausage or bacon wouldn’t be out of place either!
9. Mini-Egg Cake
Soft, delicate, and just sweet enough, these mini-cakes are the perfect muffin alternative.
To ensure these are as light as possible, you’ll whip the eggs and sugar until pale and very thick.
This is best done in a stand mixer since it can take a little while!
Once the egg mix has more than doubled in size, sift the flour and baking powder over the top and gently stir until it comes together.
You’ll want it very light, just like an angel food cake.
10. Ogura Toast
Sweet azuki red bean paste is a blend of beans and sugar, and it is often found in deserts all over Asia.
With a flavor quite similar to sweet potato, I just know you will love this simple and unique ingredient.
It’s best served with shokupan bread, but any thick-sliced white bread will do the trick.
11. Kiribath (Sri Lankan Milk Rice)
As far as “rice puddings” go, this one is a little different.
First, you’ll cook the rice until it’s tender and all the water has been absorbed. Once it’s fluffy, you’ll add coconut milk and mix thoroughly until it’s a little bit mushy.
Next, you’ll pour the mix into a lined baking dish while it’s still hot. Let it cool and slice into little bars or squares.
Though the recipe calls for added salt, I tried it with sugar and topped it off with a few mango slices. It was divine!
12. Roti Canai – Roti Paratha
Being a big lover of all things bread-related, I tried this one out right away, and it didn’t disappoint!
Crispy? Check. Buttery? You bet. Melt-in-your mouth delicious and perfect with everything from cheese to Nutella? Absolutely!
I made the dough the day before, so I could finish everything and have them for brunch.
I also made 16 instead of 8 because I didn’t need them to be so big.
When they came out of the skillet, they were utterly irresistible, and I served them with a selection of toppings including jam, Nutella, cheese, ham, and fresh fruit.
13. Japanese Inspired Avocado Toast
I know we all love avocado toast, but you have to admit it can get a touch boring after a few days.
So, why not try this Japanese-inspired avocado toast recipe made with ikura, roasted seaweed, arugula, and toasted sesame seeds?
Since avocado is notoriously mushy, the added crunch this recipe provides makes for such a lovely change.
Feel free to leave out the ikura if you want it vegan-friendly, or maybe swap it out for bacon bits instead?
14. Vegan Congee Recipe
Congee is a savory rice and water dish made with pork or chicken for added protein.
Much like the Okayu from above, it’s a breakfast staple made to fill you up first thing in the morning.
Unlike Okayu, this is almost always made with vegetable broth for added flavor and served with a few different toppings.
It can be kept vegetarian and topped with mushrooms and scallion, or more often, you’ll see it with dried seafood.
15. Chinese Egg Tarts
Much like the British egg custard or Portuguese egg tart, this fantastic Chinese treat is made with a pastry case and a silky smooth egg custard filling.
Though they may sound easy enough, there is a knack for getting these just right.
You’ll be surprised how easy it is to over-bake the filling!
The trick is to bake them at a higher temperature initially and then open the door to release some of that heat before turning it down and letting them finish cooking.
Another key step is to place the tray near the bottom of the oven.
The closer the base is to the heat, the less likely it is you’ll be left with soggy bottoms.
16. Condensed Milk Bread
When I lived in Toronto, I lived near several incredible Japanese bakeries.
Not only did I regularly snack on fluffy Japanese cheesecake, but I couldn’t walk by on my way home without stopping in for some soft milk bread.
This bread is so incredibly light and wonderfully creamy.
It’s lightly sweet, but not too much, making it perfect with both sweet and savory fillings.
Another great option is adding some fun extras, like mini-chocolate chips or a vanilla custard filling.
17. Tamagoyaki (Japanese Rolled Omelet)
This is such a fun recipe to try! Yes, it’s the same taste as a normal omelet, but the texture is slightly different.
I think it’s better, but I’ll let you decide!
You’ll need a Tamagoyaki Japanese omelet pan if you want this to look perfect. They’re not super expensive, and you can use them for other things, too!
Or, you can try it in a regular pan and see how it goes. As I said, it’s just a fun recipe to try out.
18. Oats Idli
I need to warn you that there are a lot of steps for this recipe.
It’s not something you can whip up in half an hour, especially the first time you give it a go!
But, if you’ve got some time on a rainy Sunday, I highly recommend giving this recipe a try.
The little oatcakes are savory, with a bit of sweetness from the grated carrot, and they’re super light and airy since they’re steamed.
19. Soft and Custard-y Japanese Tamagoyaki Inspired French Toast
Remember that milk bread you made? I hope you made enough to make this unbelievable French toast recipe!
To get the most flavor out of the custard, be sure to soak the bread overnight (or for as long as possible), and be sure the bread is sliced nice and thick.
For the best possible finish, cook it on low heat so it can cook all the way through without burning on the surface.
20. Youtiao (Chinese Doughnut Sticks)
These donuts are not the sugary delights we all know and love. Instead, they’re chewy, a little savory, and super addictive.
The sticky dough can be a little finicky and should get ready to get messy.
But once you smooth it out, there’s no need to be overly careful with shaping.
So long as you get a nice strip of dough, you’re good to go.
Serve these with some melted chocolate, a dusting of cinnamon sugar, or maybe a bit of vanilla glaze.
21. Okonomiyaki (Osaka-Style Japanese Pancakes)
I can’t describe how much I LOVE okonomiyaki! I first had it for a “family meal” (staff meal) when I was working in a steakhouse, and I was hooked after the first bite.
It’s crunchy, savory, oniony, and if you have the time to make okonomiyaki sauce, you’ll have a hard time sticking to just one.
I like mine with leftover fried chicken, but you can eat it as is and be more than happy.
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