Top 12 Chinese Breakfast Foods For a Delicious Start to the Day

Breakfast is the day’s most important meal, and your choice can majorly impact your overall health. But when it comes to Chinese breakfast food, many people are unsure what Chinese people consume in the morning. If you’ve ever been curious about what traditional Chinese breakfasts food consists of, this article is for you!

chinese breakfast food intro

Soybean Milk and Deep-Fried Dough Sticks

The Chinese have a rich tradition of enjoying soybean milk and deep-fried dough sticks at breakfast. This is an ancient part of the Chinese diet and remains popular today. It’s a simple but delicious meal that many families enjoy together in the morning.

Soybean milk comes in different varieties, with some adding sugar or flavoring for extra sweetness. Deep-Fried Dough Sticks are made from flour.

Soybean milk and deep-fried dough sticks are crowd-pleasers for adults and children alike. This centuries-old tradition has been passed down through generations as one of the key staples of Chinese culture.

Enjoying soybean milk and deep-fried dough sticks at breakfast is more than just a meal – it’s a way to experience the unique traditions of China every single morning.

Soybean Milk and Deep-Fried Dough Sticks chinese breakfast food

Wontons and Dumplings

Wonton and dumplings have been a part of Chinese culture for centuries. These familiar dishes are beloved by people all over the country, and they remain a staple in the Chinese diet today.

Wontons are small pocket-sized parcels filled with pork, shrimp, or vegetables, while dumplings can be stuffed with anything from beef to tofu. These dishes can be served as a main course or a side dish, making them incredibly versatile.

Enjoying wontons or dumplings in the morning is an opportunity to experience some of China’s deep-rooted culinary history on your plate. Whether you’re eating at home or in a restaurant, it’s like getting a taste of tradition each time you savor these beloved dishes.

Wontons and Dumplings chinese breakfast food

Rice Porridge

Rice porridge has been a staple in the Chinese diet for centuries and is especially popular at breakfast. Typically made with white rice boiled in water, this simple dish can be served plain or combined with other ingredients such as eggs, pork bits, mushrooms, or pickled vegetables.

Rice porridge is nutritious and easy to digest, making it a perfect meal to enjoy first thing in the morning. It’s often eaten with side dishes such as steamed buns or sweetmeats, so the flavors vary widely according to individual taste. Many Chinese families have their favorite recipes for rice porridge and pass them down through generations.

No matter how it’s prepared, one thing is for sure: Chinese people love starting their mornings with a bowl of warm, comforting rice porridge!

Rice Porridge chinese breakfast food

Tea eggs

Tea eggs are one of the most beloved and ancient breakfast staples of Chinese culture, with documented references to tea eggs as far back as the Ming Dynasty in the 1400s.

The traditional method of making tea eggs involves gently simmering them in a mixture of black tea, soy sauce, and spices before cooling them down and cracking the shells. The result is a delicious egg with a unique marbled pattern on its surface and a rich, salty, and savory flavor.

Tea eggs are often served with congee or porridge, providing additional nutrition to help start your day off right.

Tea eggs

Chinese Steamed Buns (BaoZi)

In China, steamed buns are a traditional morning meal eaten for centuries. The dough is typically made from wheat flour and stuffed with various fillings, ranging from savory pork, beef, or chicken to sweet red bean paste.

It’s common for Chinese families to gather together every morning and enjoy steamed buns as part of their breakfast routine. Many provide an enjoyable start to the day and essential nutrition and energy. Steamed buns have become so popular in China that you can find them at almost any convenience store—a convenient option for those who don’t have time to make them at home.

Steamed Buns(baozi)
Related Article:
What Do Chinese People Eat? Foods in China

Wheat Noodles

Chinese people have a long-standing tradition of eating wheat noodles for breakfast. The dish is considered the “essence of Chinese breakfast” and has been served in various forms across the country since ancient times. For many, it’s a favorite morning meal option to start their day with energy and nutrition.

Wheat noodles are often prepared with stir-fried vegetables or broth-based soups, depending on personal taste preference. They provide an easy and quick way to get their morning dose of protein and carbohydrates.

Chinese people also believe that wheat noodles represent longevity, which is why they are often eaten during celebrations such as birthdays or anniversaries.

Wheat Noodles

Glutinous Rice Rolls

The glutinous rice roll is one of Chinese culture’s most common breakfast items.

The dish consists of sticky rice rolled up into small cylinders and served with various accompaniments like pickles, eggs, vegetables, and dried meats. Its simple but delicious taste makes it a favorite for morning meals, as it is easy to prepare and nutritious.

Glutinous Rice Rolls

Pancakes With Eggs

Pancakes with eggs is a popular breakfast dish in China made from a simple batter of flour, eggs, and water. This versatile dish can be served plain or with shredded pork, shrimp, onions, and other vegetables. 

The pancakes are thin and crispy on the outside and soft and flavorful on the inside. Pancakes with eggs are popular because they provide an easy-to-prepare, tasty breakfast option full of nutrition and texture. Eggs are high in protein, providing long-lasting energy throughout the day. 

pancake with eggs chinese breakfast food

Zong Zi

In Chinese culture, Zong Zi is a traditional breakfast food enjoyed during the morning. It is usually prepared with sticky rice, chestnut, and pork belly and wrapped in bamboo leaves.

During the morning hours, the sweet aroma of Zong Zi wafts through the streets as people enjoy their breakfast. Eating Zong Zi in the morning has been a source of comfort and joy for generations of Chinese people, especially when life might be unpredictable or hard.

Modern times, it is also used to show hospitality to guests or visitors.

Zong Zi

Shu Mai

Shumai is a traditional Chinese dumpling made from pork, shrimp, and vegetables. It is usually served with soy sauce or vinegar and sometimes with chili sauce. 

Shumai is an ideal breakfast food because it can be prepared quickly and in large quantities. It is also highly nutritious and provides ample amounts of protein, which helps keep people energized throughout the day. 

Shu Mai

Tofu Pudding

Tofu pudding is another traditional Chinese breakfast dish enjoyed throughout the morning. It is usually made with silken tofu, sugar, and soy milk and served in a bowl or cup.

This creamy, delicious Chinese food has been part of Chinese cuisine and is appreciated for its health benefits and flavor. Eating tofu pudding for breakfast is a regular part of life for many Chinese families. Mothers or grandmothers often prepare daily to ensure their family has a nutritious start to their day.

Traditionally, tofu pudding was believed to have cleansing and balancing qualities which helped one stay healthy and energized.

Tofu Pudding

Dim Sum

Chinese people have a long-standing tradition of eating dim sum at the start of the day. For centuries, dim sum has been enjoyed as a way to kickstart one’s morning and fill up on energy before taking on the tasks of the day. From warm buns filled with shrimp to rice porridge served with pork chops, many delicious dishes make up dim sum and bring flavor every morning. With its variety of tastes, subtle texture, and heartwarming aromas, it’s no surprise that Chinese culture is so closely bound with dim sum. Every morning around China, locals can be seen lining up outside restaurants waiting for them to open to enjoy an early start to their day with a steaming bowl or plate of dim sum dishes. It brings comfort and joy year after year, as it has done for many


Dim Sum


Chinese breakfast fare is known for its variety and quality. You can find them in restaurants across the country, from wontons to dim sum. For those who are yet to explore this world, the best way is by heading out with a local friend or family member and just having an awesome time trying all these delicacies.


What Dishes Are Typically Eaten For Breakfast In China?

Common popular Chinese foods for breakfast include steamed buns, noodles, dumplings, congee (rice porridge), and soymilk.

Is There a Traditional Drink Favored By Chinese People?

Tea is the traditional drink of choice for many Chinese people. Green tea is popular as well as oolong, with some regions having unique blends. You can also try the Dragon Well Tea.

Are Eggs Commonly Eaten For Breakfast In China?

Eggs are a popular breakfast food in Chinese cuisine. Scrambled, fried, and boiled eggs are popular choices that can be enjoyed with other items such as vegetables, rice, and noodles.

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