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Yet another breakfast enquiry - but this time a Chinese one!


#1

Hi Folks; just testing the water here. In a couple of weeks’ time we have a middle-aged Chinese couple staying with us for a few days while they attend their daughter’s graduation at Lancaster Uni (UK). We fully intended to treat them as we would any other guests, providing our normal breakfast of cereal, fresh fruit, fruit juice, yoghurt, toast, &c. Coincidentally, however, a guest has just departed who is an Australian woman who spends six months every year in China. Just out of curiosity I asked her if the breakfast we supplied would be OK for our Chinese guests and she immediately went into a long description of the things our Chinese guests would prefer, eg congee (which I understand to be a type of boiled rice porridge), dumplings, hard-boiled eggs, pickles, black tea, &c. Neither my partner nor I are convinced about this - there would appear to be a lot of cock-up possibilities - but would be prepared to go along with it if absolutely necessary. What do other contributers think?


#2

Hello stranger; where have you been? I, for one, have missed you!

I think I would stick with what you offer already; of course it will be ok. Their daughter has managed after all, and it gives them an opportunity to experience what she’s experienced. Hard boiled eggs at best.

Hope it goes well.


#3

I have been hosting a Chinese woman long term. She doesn’t really like “American” food and thinks everything is too salty and too sweet. Mind you, the foods prepared in my household are low in both for reasons of health. She’s very particular and won’t eat many kinds of foods, even fresh healthy ones because they are “cold”. And apparently cold doesn’t mean of low temperature, but rather has something to do with not promoting good circulation.

Anyway, it’s possible your Chinese guests, like mine, won’t like the local food, but I don’t think that’s a reason for you to revamp your breakfast offerings for them. Isn’t part of traveling experiencing local cuisine? That being said, I agree with a previous poster. Hard boiled eggs are easy, so you could offer those. As well, Chinese people, from my experience, like hot drinks in the morning, and they like to use those electric kettles. My Chinese guest also would not use the microwave, so an electric kettle was essential, because she also didn’t like the stovetop kettle.


#4

@southendbootboy – your Aussie guest was spot on for Chinese breakfast choices. Rice congee is as simple at Scottish porridge, really, and even a non-cook can whip up some hard-boiled eggs. Lay in some soy sauce, toasted sesame oil and sriracha (hot sauce) and you should be good to go.

Make the congee the night before, the heat it again in the morning, adding more water/broth as needed. Here’s my basic recipe:

Bring 3/4 cup of long grain rice to a boil in about 6 cups of broth or water, reduce heat and simmer for at least 1 hour until the rice starts breaking down and much of the water is absorbed. Season during cooking with a splash of toasted sesame oil and black or white pepper.

Re-heat in the morning, adding a bit more liquid, as needed. You don’t want soup, but you don’t want a lump either. When it’s cooked down to a nice gruel consistency, top with any or all of these: sliced scallions, mushrooms, chopped peanuts, shredded radish, 1-3 cooked shrimp or a bit of pork sausage.


#5

In traditional Chinese medicine cold foods damage spleen chi aka digestion. Freshly boiled eggs seem a good option. Cook the congee if kitchen experiments appeal to you, otherwise don’t worry. Room temperature fruit might work.


#6

I just came from China. They like to eat those little Chinese steamed buns with pork or veggie filling. Congee yes, even that is served at MacDonalds in China and it is pretty decent. I notice The Hyatt and other hotels if they have a free breakfast buffet that comes with the room they always have a rice bar and a light chinese broth and maybe tofu for Asians. I would offer hard boiled eggs and rice,thats it.


#7

If I was visiting China and staying in an Inn or someone’s home I wouldn’t expect them to provide me with western cereal or scrambled eggs. As long as there is coffee! I have a rice cooker so I also provide rice and packet noodles if an Asian guest is visiting and can’t stomach toast or cereal. But it is just there on the shelf I don’t point it out to them. I have also had Asian guests (from Singapore) look at me like I am accusing them of being cannibals when I pointed out there was an Asian food takeaway in the next town over. “I was hoping to get a steak” was the curt reply. Lesson learned. I have worked with many Chinese who come from very affluent backgrounds in cities like Shanghai and they are quite used to and expect western food. Anyway, if in doubt, ask. Green tea is also popular.


#8

That would be traditional Chinese Sriracha made in California from a Vietnamese recipe. I love it and drive 60km every six months to buy 4 bottles. Have it on everything. I wonder if perhaps it is has the chilli balance just right for western tastes or more garlicky than genuine Asian chilli sauces as I get through quite a lot. Have you ever compared it to real Asian hot sauces?


#9

Sriracha isn’t Chinese in origin – it’s Thai, originally from the coastal city Si Racha. It is however widely used thoroughout Asia. I usually buy sriracha made in Thailand – it’s tangier (more vinegary) and more liquid than the American stuff. I get mine from any of several oriental markets in my area


#10

Would you expect to get Baked Beans on Toast if you visited China?


#11

Well I got seriously dinged because I didn’t have bloody chop sticks! Now every house has bloody chop sticks and my thoughts were along the same lines as the baked beans!


#12

I buy the American one we call “rooster sauce”. Good to know you are buying the real stuff. You should write a cooking blog for people catering for AirBnBs. Sounds like your stuff is much better than the bacon and eggs or cereal usually on offer.


#13

I have chopsticks, they don’t take up much space, and some nice bowls from Vietnam. I get a few Asian visitors. But then I use chopsticks myself when I do a stir fry.


#14

I was more cranky that they presumed that everything would be the same as at home and these were the most entitled bunch I have ever had stay. They book a Heritage listed old home and then wander around saying- it sooooo ooold! Everything work??? Why no Uber?
Demanded that I pick them up so they could food and dinged me 4 stars for no bloody chopsticks!
And ate in the bedrooms and stained everything!
Not the last time my palm has itched to bitch slap someone that you have gone over and above for!


#15

Not specifically for Airbnb Hosts, but I do write a food blog called Fooding Around With The Kilted Cook (The Kilted Cook is my Personal Chef business)

I believe all my breakfast recipes are out there; certainly the best of the best. If people subscribe, its a good thing. Comments welcome. I’m currently experimenting with Crunchy French Toast, which will appear there in the not too distant future…


#16

Awesome. 25’ is like so small. Where do you fit the cooking stuff? My family used to sail a 24’ yacht when I was kid. Years later I would go sailing on the Med with friends and made sure we got a 48’ Beneteau. My job was to plot the course and my friend Emma would do the cooking while her husband Andrew was the skipper. We had one bad experience where I had brought some chorizo and cut it up for afternoon snacks. She blew a gasket and said “how dare you you use my chorizo!” until I explained it wasn’t hers but the one I had brought. We still call it “The Chorizo Incident”.


#17

@KenH - your website is terrific. I intend to make Sally’s birthday aubergine non-parmesan stacks soon!


#18

Hi, I cook for my Chinese home stay guests.
Breakfast is currently hard boiled eggs & hash browns, I have recently managed to introduce vegetable hash browns from Aldi supermarket.
The current supper favourite rave is tinned sardines in tomato sauce on toast.
(lightly grilled)
Our very pedestrian sardines on toast have been admired, photographed and shared with their families back in China.
Also tinned salmon slices in tomato sauce on toast.
Steak always a firm favourite too.
Salad, and green vegetables are generally ignored.
Our guests have also been amazed by seeing us eating soft boiled eggs in egg cups, with soldiers (strips of buttered toast)
I must say it’s always fun to introduce something new to our Asian guests, and I have enjoyed their input and advice around the table on my Chinese style dishes.


#19

I can understand most of the things that have been mentioned here but hard boiled eggs? That seems pretty strange.

Some time ago at this forum, @KenH said that if ever we go to spend time in his rental he would cook us beans on toast for breakfast. Just perfect :slight_smile:


#20

I always find it confusing that Americans cook “eggs” whereas we cook “scrambled eggs” as “eggs” could mean fried eggs, poached eggs or soft boiled eggs. In (continental) Europe “eggs for breakfast” often means hard boiled eggs as they boil them en masse and then leave them hot on the buffet table to go even harder.

If anyone is visiting the UK and finds the idea of blood pudding (sausage made from blood, fat and oatmeal) revolting do try it, it is delicious. I used to flush it down the loo when staying in London hotels and it was included in the “full English breakfast”. What a waste! In Ireland they also have “white pudding” (presumably for people too poor to afford a bleeding pig) which is made from fat and salt and sucks all the moisture out of your mouth. That can definitely be ignored.


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