“Women ordered 76 types of breakfast in one go on the first day of post-lockdown Wuhan.” This Daily Mail headline caught my attention as I was doing research on the breakfast routine of Wuhan people. 76 types of breakfast? How many types of breakfast on earth does the city of Wuhan has?
You might wonder why it is Wuhan, a city which only recently gained international attention because of COVID-19, that is the Breakfast Heaven, not the capital of China, Beijing or Pearl of the Orient, Shanghai? Therefore, it is important to give you an overview of the history on the breakfast culture.
Wuhan is the capital of Hubei Province. The city lies in the eastern Jianghan Plain, at the confluence of the Yangtze River and its largest tributary, the Han River. The unique location and the advantages of water transportation has gained Wuhan its names of “River City” and “Nine Provinces’ Thoroughfare.” As a major water transportation hub since 1763, thousands of labors start their day in early morning by the river, moving goods on and off the ships.
In order to support their heavy physical work, having a nutritious and filling breakfast is the key. In addition, the fast working pace requires the dishes to be served quickly. Nutritious, filling and quick, the three elements formed the various, carbohydrate dominant, and flavorful dishes. The breakfast culture flourished over time and continued to this day.
Today’s Wuhan is the political, economic, financial, commercial, cultural and educational center of Central China, but most importantly, it is the Breakfast Heaven in the world.
An hour in the morning is worth two in the eveningAn old Chinese saying
Wuhan people are firm believers in the aphorism, and they cannot start their day off right without the “Breakfast routine (过早),” which is similar to the morning coffee ritual in the Western world.
We’ll take a look at the Top 3 breakfast dishes in this blog. The most famous breakfast dish is the Hot Dry Noodles (热干面: Re Gan Mian). “Hot” and “Dry” describe the texture of the dish. The noodles are yellow in color, but they look more saturated than spaghetti because of the alkaline added in the flour. Adding alkaline is for the intended chewy texture. Sesame sauce, the primary seasoning which has a thick and smooth texture, expressing the “dry.” When the sauce is mixed up well with the alkaline noodles, sesame fragrance saturates in the noodles. The “hot” flavor comes from the other seasonings: chili oil, Chinese five spice powder and minced garlic. Soy sauce, a pinch of salt, and pickled radish are also added to enrich the flavor. The dish is ready to serve after adding some chopped green onion on top for presentation. Although the dish requires various condiments, the steps are easy, which can be easily recreated at home. Watch the following tutorial created by Rosemary to learn how to make the famous dish at home!
A popular complementary with Hot Dry Noodles is the Egg Drop in Rice Wine Soup (蛋酒：Dan Jiu). The soup is made from Chinese rice wine concentrate diluted by water in a perfect ratio. Bring the mixture to boil and add whipped egg liquid. Stir! Stir! Stir! Viola! Another dish that you can make at home. The light sweet soup is a perfect combination with Hot Dry Noodle as it quenches the thirst and painful sensation on your tongue caused by the spices. Moreover, the egg soup replenishes your protein intake while the noodles fulfilling your daily need for carbohydrates. Finishing your breakfast with something sweet, how nice is it!
At the Breakfast Heaven, people with different preference can find their love here in Wuhan. That’s the charm of it! If you don’t tolerate spicy food well or you crave for some more protein in the morning, Tri-delicay Rice and Meat Pancake (豆皮：Dou Pi) is an excellent choice. The name implies that the dish has three layers. Topped by the egg flour skin are a layer of glutinous rice and a layer of seasoned beef & dried bean curd in cubes. A nutritious combination of ingredients. The glutinous rice is more fragrancy than regular rice and more fulfilling as well. The way that this dish is served is similar to Pizza. They make a large pot of Doupi and then cutting it into small pieces.
“Wuhan, different everyday!” Indeed, you can try out different types of breakfast every morning with no repetition for one month.
Check out this instagram post!
Wuhan has experienced the unprecedented outbreak, but when it is safe to travel, come visit Wuhan to see for yourself how many types of breakfast are out there.
Breakfast Heaven welcomes you!