By Marjorie Watkins with Suzanna Leigh
While I was writing this column for The Loop, my son Steve, daughter Suzanna, and I got to talking about breakfasts we’ve eaten in other countries. Steve and I remembered a Japanese breakfast of hot rice with egg. The raw egg was put into a depression in the rice and the heat of the rice was supposed to cook the egg. It didn’t cook mine, but Steve said his was cooked.
That was the closest we came to an American-style breakfast In Japan. Usually, we were served miso soup and rice, which was also served for lunch and dinner. In Korea, we had rice with red beans cooked into it. In Okinawa, we were served steamed eggs in a beautiful cylindrical pottery cup. The egg was mixed, put into the cup, and cooked in a pan of boiling water. In China, a popular dish for breakfast – or anytime – was steamed rice buns stuffed with a sweet bean paste. In Macau, a basic dim sum served with cheap green tea was especially popular with old men at the local eatery. Suzanna remembers a thin rice gruel and plates of fresh papaya and pineapple in Indonesia.
One of my favorite breakfasts now is made with leftover rice:
A cup or two of leftover cooked rice
1-2 eggs, to make the rice stick together
Mix beaten eggs into cooked rice.
Heat a skillet. When the skillet is hot, add olive oil. You know if the skillet is hot enough to cook the rice cakes if a drop of water on it sizzles. Drop several dollops of the rice and egg mixture onto the pan to make 3″ pancake-sized rice cakes. Cook until the rice cake doesn’t squish when you tap it with a fork, then turn it to finish cooking. Serve with a little Hoisin sauce on each rice cake. Enjoy with slice of melon or an orange, and a cup of green tea or coffee.
Grab a banana and a piece of bread or toast, slap a slab of cheese on it, and run to catch the school bus or dash to the car. Whatever you do, eat something tasty and nourishing. Nutritionists say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so get some protein, some fruit, and a bit of grain.