WRITTEN BY: Kirsten Peterson
Now I’ll be honest, I’m a very food-motivated person. When it comes to getting out of bed, sometimes a yummy breakfast makes the difference between me rising and shining or staying in bed to avoid the day as long as humanly possible.
The only tragic thing about breakfast is that it’s been branded as a carb-loaded smorgasbord. Which often makes us feel sluggish and desperate to dive back into bed. If we can’t, and we’re off to work, we might reach for a (delicious) sugary concoction from a convenience store or the multitude of coffee shops.
As an American, the go-to protein-rich breakfast is bacon and eggs, but I find that this gets boring quite fast. So! With that in mind, here are three protein-rich and fun breakfasts to get you bouncing out of bed with at least a dash more pep in your step.
Here’s a good place to take some advice from our Korean friends. Soup for breakfast! It’s hydrating, flavorful, and a fantastic way to polish off those leftovers from the day before. Plus, for maximum laziness, there are plenty of pre-made soups readily available for sleepy humans like myself. If you’re looking to increase the amount of veggies in your life, a big pot of soup to be eaten throughout the week is a great way to go! But if you’re looking for a quick fix- here is a simple soup to try right away.
Savory Egg Drop Soup
Water - 3-4 cups
Eggs - 3 - 계란
Soy Sauce - 2 tablespoons or to taste 간장
Meat based powder seasoning - to taste - 다시다
Sesame Oil - 1 tablespoon - 참기름
Minced garlic - 3-6 cloves to preferred taste 마늘
Optional: mushrooms - 버섯, onion 양파, leftover veggies and meat.
*Bonus: Corn starch for thick and creamy texture - 1 tablespoon - 옥수수 전분
If using cornstarch, start by whisking (or… forking, if you don’t have a whisk ;) the cornstarch in a small bowl with some water. This ensures it will stir into the soup base without any clumps.
Chop up any veggies or meat you’d like to add in.
Get water for the soup base boiling and slowly add in the cornstarch so the broth is smooth.
Add in all the flavorful things- garlic, mushrooms, onions, oil, etc.
Beat the eggs in a small bowl before pouring them in. This is so they harden into ribbons rather than little egg clumps.
Slowly stir in the beaten eggs. Stirring too quickly will create tiny little egg ribbons rather than the big pretty ones. The eggs will quickly harden in the hot water and you’re ready to eat!
Yes- another soup! And it’s the easiest of our options. This savory soup is prepared in a mason jar the night before- step aside overnight oats! This recipe can easily be thrown together with just four ingredients and will get you out the door faster than you can say “맛있어”.
Miso paste - 1-3 tablespoons - 된장국
Tofu - 두부
Green onion - 파
Leafy Greens like chard or bok choy - one bunch - 근대 or 청경채
Optional: Minced garlic - 마늘, nori 김 or seaweed flakes 김자반, rice 밥, additional meat and veggies to taste.
Chop the veggies and tofu into bite-sized pieces. Don’t touch the nori or seaweed flakes though, they must be added last or they’ll be too soggy.
In a bowl, whisk together about 2 tablespoons of miso paste with only enough water to fill ⅓ or ½ of your jar. It should be very concentrated and too salty (so we can dilute it later).
In the broth, add in tofu and any additional veggies that will add flavor such as green onion and garlic.
Set the leafy greens on top of the mix so they are not submerged in the broth, this will keep them fresh and crisp.
The next day, simply heat up some water on a stove or kettle and fill the mason jar. Screw on the lid and your soup will be ready as soon as you get to work!
Stir everything together and add on the seaweed flakes or nori at the last moment. You can take a little pack of nori to work easily and have some lovely added flavor.
This is my favorite recipe to make in a ttukbaegi- those traditional looking ceramic pots. Don’t have one? No worries! It’s just as easy with pots and pans. This recipe provides fantastic leftovers, you might find yourself making it for dinner and finishing it off the next day! Aim to have a greater ratio of meat and veggies to rice. We want the rice to be a yummy feature of the meal rather than the base to avoid an energy slump.
Rice - 200ml - 밥
Ham or Bacon - up to you! -
Olive oil - 1-2 tablespoons - 올리브오일
Minced garlic - 3-6 cloves to preferred taste 마늘
Vegetables - I like to use a cup of frozen peas and carrots, available in big box stores and online - 완두콩과 당근
Salt - a dash 소금
Pepper - a dash
Optional - Kimchi, an egg.
Get the pot nice and hot with the olive oil and bacon.
Crisp things up before adding in the garlic (garlic becomes bitter if overcooked).
Pour the dry rice directly over the bacon and fill with water (two to one ratio of rice to water).
Top with the veggies- yes they can be frozen!
Place the lid over the mix and turn on high heat for two minutes.
Reduce to medium-low heat for ten minutes and allow the rice to simmer.
Remove from the heat and allow to cool for five minutes. The rice will continue to absorb water and settle into the flavors. Don’t worry if some rice has been overcooked! The ttukbaegi will give it a lovely toasted flavor.
Sprinkle salt and pepper to taste and enjoy! A little kimchi or gochujang can also be used for added flavor.
Optionally, a fried egg would also be delicious with this meal and adds even more protein.
For easy storage I let the ttukbaegi cool and throw the whole thing in the fridge! It’s much easier to heat up later and I get to do fewer dishes- win!
Cook your rice as you normally would or grab some leftovers.
Saute the bacon in olive oil on medium-high heat and add in the garlic after it has those nice crispy edges. Remember garlic becomes bitter if overcooked!
Optionally, you can scootch all the bacon and garlic to the side and fry an egg in the same hot pan. It’s delicious and adds extra protein! Break it up into pieces before adding the rest of your ingredients.
Mix in the pre-cooked rice and vegetables. If using frozen vegetables, it may be a good idea to let them thaw overnight in a bowl.
Cook on medium heat until hot and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and optionally, kimchi or gochujang.