It’s National Vegetarian Week and the theme of this year’s veggie week – which has been annual event for the last 20 years, is breakfast.
Now we at Ella Mag are what we call pescatarians – i.e we eat mostly veggie with the odd fish dish thrown in (normally sustainable sourced salmon). But we do happen to love our veggie breakfasts, although it has to be said we tend to rely on mock meat products like soya sausages and fake bacon which can get a bit boring.
So to celebrate National Vegetarian Week Chinese supermarket Wing Yip has come up with a few imaginative and very yummy alternatives.
We are going to have a go at making Yu Tiao, which is usually known in English as Chinese fried bread sticks. They are deep-fried strips of dough which are eaten for breakfast in East and South East Asian cuisines and often dipped into hot coffee.
Other Asian vegetarian breakfast choices include the Malaysian Paratha, which is a type of flatbread that’s apparently delicious with breakfast staples like omelette or scrambled eggs and of course Chinese Man Tao (steamed buns) are fluffy and perfect with hot soy milk – these are great, I ate them all the time when I was travelling around Malaysia and Singapore!
Mr Wing Yip, founder of Wing Yip, said: “We’re trying to help break the perception that vegetarian breakfasts are a bland alternative to the traditional British fry-up or sausage sandwich. “With a little imagination, you can create a fantastic meat-free exotic meal to surprise your breakfast guests and get a perfect start to the day.”
- ¾ teaspoon instant yeast
- Two tablespoons of lukewarm water
- One teaspoon of Mai Siam Palm Sugar
- 250 ml water
- One teaspoon of bi-carbonate of soda
- ½ teaspoon of ammonia powder – available from Wing Yip
- ½ teaspoon of alum – available from Wing Yip
- 315 gms bread flour
- One teaspoon pink salt
- Mix the yeast, lukewarm water and sugar and set aside for 10 minutes until foamy.
- Mix the water, bi-carbonate of soda, ammonia powder and alum.
- Sift the bread flour and pink salt into a mixing bowl then add the two other mixtures and, using a wooden spoon, mix the dough until it is combined.
- Knead for five minutes and add a little bit more flour if the dough is too sticky to work with.
- Cover with cling wrap and let the dough proof for two hours. After that, turn the dough onto a well-floured work surface.
- Sprinkle some flour on the dough and roll it into a long rectangle.
- Cut into strips that are four centimetres-wide and roughly the length of a chopstick.
- Place one of the strips one on top of another and leave for five minutes. Then heat vegetable or sesame oil for frying.
- Press lightly on the two strips of dough with a chopstick. Then hold both ends of the combined dough and lower into hot oil. Deep fry, turning constantly until each it turns puffy and golden brown.