Monday, January 30, 2012

Traditional Singaporean Breakfast - Kaya Toast and Soft-Boiled Eggs

Breakfast culture has gone to hell for me. I blame staying up late, sleeping in and early morning classes. These days, breakfast is a bagel, maybe some cereal, and if I'm really lucky, toast. Gone are the days where I had real breakfasts before school.

Of course, growing up in Singapore, I have a very different idea of what a real breakfast is, because breakfast could well be dinner - there is less of a differentiation between which foods follow which meals. However, as a kid, I usually had a plate of noodles, or some delicious protein-packed sandwich, or porridge, or all sorts of kuehs (cakes) and if I'm really lucky - my all-time favorite, fried carrot cake! Breakfast is a big thing, well actually, anything food is a big thing.

The biggest and probably the most popular breakfast meal in Singapore is kaya toast, soft-boiled (half-boiled) eggs and a good strong cup of kopi (coffee). It is delicious, and it is everywhere. It is fast, simple and is a great meal to wake up to. 

Here's your typical Singaporean breakfast...

Ingredients for Kaya Toast (1 serving)
  • 4 thinly sliced pieces of sweet bread (I used my Amish Sweet Bread)
  • 2 tablespoons kaya
  • 2 slices butter, cold

Ingredients for Soft-Boiled Eggs (1 serving)
  • 2 eggs
  • hot water
  • dash of white pepper
  • soy sauce to taste
  • black soy sauce  to taste

  • Boil some water, and pour the boiling water over two eggs in a bowl, and set the timer for five (to six) minutes.
  • Toast 2 slices of bread in a toaster until it is warm and crisp on the outside (but still soft on the inside). [Traditionally, this is done over a charcoal grill. If you have one and want to take the trouble to use it, good for you.]
  • Spread 1 tablespoon of kaya over one slice of bread, and place 1 slice of butter on the kaya. [We don't spread the butter. We just slide a slice of it in there - its cold, it melts, and it is delicious.]
  • Place the other slice of toast over it.
  • Do the same for the other 2 slices. Serve on a plate.

  • When the eggs are done, crack them into a bowl, and top with a dash of pepper, and soy sauce and dark soy sauce to taste.
  • Crack the yolks and mix everything together.
  • Serve with kaya toast.
Some people eat the kaya toast and eggs separate, but others dip the kaya toast in the egg mixture. Some people use spoons for the eggs, while others just slurp it from the bowl. Either way, enjoy your Singaporean breakfast. It's a good way to start the day! Make sure your cup of kopi is fragrant and strong, unlike the coffee-flavored water they sell at Starbucks. :)

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