I’m not sure if it’s just the Taiwanese in me (I lived there as a one-year-old baby, does that count?), but the sight of Taiwanese breakfast foods makes my heart flutter. It’s funny though, since I discovered many of these extremely late in my life. I only discovered the existence of fan tuans (savory rice rolls) just several years ago. I felt a slight betrayal at my parents not introducing these to me earlier in my life.
Now whenever a craving strikes, I have to hit up my local Taiwanese breakfast restaurant for a vegetarian rice roll (with added egg.. you MUST add an egg!) and a dan bing (egg crepe pancakes) for good measure. All my knowledge of the ingredients are so second nature to me that I forget most of the stuff they put in theses dishes are extremely foreign to… well… foreigners. I mean, pork floss, pickled mustard greens, and Chinese donuts? You can’t always explain these things… just eat it!
My usual vegetarian rice roll contains a vegetarian pork floss (or traditionally known as pork sung). To be honest, due to my lack of proper Mandarin, I never know how to order any of these things unless I bring the boyfriend with me. If you have to go “uhhh, that one” and point at menus, that’s when you know you’re somewhere legit.
Honestly, it’s not the healthiest breakfast. Not what I usually order anyway. There are a ton of different breakfast dishes that I have actually yet to try, but it’s so difficult to stray from my favorites. Another dish I absolutely love are the cong you bings (scallion pancakes). They’re so crispy and lovely. You’re allowed to add an egg on top, but it’s still super delicious as is.
My favorite go-to no-frills place is Four Sea Restaurant, but I’m aware of several others now popping up around my location. My goal is to hit them all up and compare :). But really, it’s an excuse to eat a lot of egg and rice.