A Simple Breakfast Pleasure
Monday Musings by Melinda M.
It was maybe two days after I had moved to Hawaii more than 25 years ago that I was introduced to a breakfast I had never before put together. A breakfast so simple and basic that maybe you’d think I lived under a rock to not have had it before. Nope. It’s just that I lived where bagels and cream cheese, maybe sometimes lox, ruled the breakfast table. But here, where rice is king, it’s the egg and rice combo that takes center stage. And man, is it good!
So this morning, when I saw we had leftover rice in the fridge (my husband still hasn’t reconciled his childhood habit of making a certain amount of rice with how much – or little! – rice we actually eat these days), I knew right away what I’d be making. A better food writer than me could probably expound on why this starch-protein combo works so well so I won’t attempt to describe the ways the savory, salty, rich flavors make my brain and belly so happy. Just know that it does. And I know that a true local would have a sizzling side of meat to make the meal complete, but I’m trying to be a good girl so I didn’t include the Portuguese sausage that so desperately belonged to my morning’s meal. Mmmm…the way the grease mixes so beautifully with the egg and rice, like a symphony in your mouth….!
The meal is pretty straightforward: take warm, preferably fresh, rice – white is the standard, brown is acceptable, half and half is what we happened to have in the fridge – and then slide your fried egg on top. You choose how well-done you want it, but it’s got to be at least a little runny so that when you stab, tear and mash the egg in the rice, it becomes like gravy and is so, so good!
Now here’s the part where it gets personal: the condiments. I love the marriage of ketchup and shoyu and black pepper all mixed in with the gravy-like yolk, starchy rice and – when I deserve it – the greasy Portuguese sausage. It just makes it all pop like happiness on my tongue. Washed down with my hot cup of Ka`u coffee, I am ready to face the day!
This is a treat I learned to love in Hawaii, too! And maybe that’s why it says, “aloha” to me! Also, the loco moco is a breakfast that I had never put together until we were there. And I am embarrassed to say, it took me some time before I was even curious enough to try it because gravy and hamburger just didn’t feel like a breakfast combo. I was missing out! Today, I am in India and the breakfast of choice here is also a surprise to a mid-westerner but quickly addictive. Dosa is a flat, bready pancake filled with a think potato curry. You tear off pieces and dip it in amazing sauces such as chutney (this white one that seems typical is my favorite) or lentil sauce. At any rate, it is so fun to expand one’s breakfast horizons, right?! (Funny side note, the computer I am typing on spell checked my typing and suggested the correct spelling as favourite : )
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