'The unique breakfast beverage of Singapore is tong ho choy. It's referred to as a tea, but a westerner would be inclined to call it a soup. It's made from pork rib (sic), various herbs and soy sauce. It can also acts (sic) as a dipping sauce for roti parathas or Chinese crullers.'
What the . . . !
For those who don't know, this is tong ho choy:
Which part of tong ho choy looks like a beverage, never mind whether it's for breakfast?
I think what MrBreakfast means is Bak Kut Teh (肉骨茶), which sometimes has tong ho choy (茼蒿菜, aka chrysanthemum greens or tan o) added.
Bak Kut Teh is usually served with Chinese tea, hence the word 'Teh' – meaning tea – in the name. Be that as it may, no Singaporean thinks Bak Kut Teh is a 'beverage'. To us, it's a soup, as it would be to westerners. The Chinese tea served on the side helps cut down the richness of the soup that's full of meaty pork ribs, spices and herbs. It's not Bak Kut Teh's focus, which is the soup.
Usually eaten with rice and Chinese crullers, Bak Kut Teh is a substantial meal that's suitable for lunch or dinner. True, some people have it for breakfast. But that's quite rare because it's too heavy, and by no means unique to Singapore. Malaysians also take Bak Kut Teh for breakfast. In fact, I think it's more common for them to do so than Singaporeans.
Chinese crullers, served on the side like tea, are to Bak Kut Teh what French loaf is to French Onion Soup. Bak Kut Teh isn't a sauce for Chinese crullers, just as French Onion Soup isn't a sauce for French loaf. And please, no one dips Roti Pratas in Bak Kut Teh, ever. That would be totally bizarre, an utter waste of the pratas and soup.
Apparently, MrBreakfast is 'the world's undisputed #1 expert on breakfast'. Who says so? Why, it's MrBreakfast himself! My grandma would have told him, as she told me many a time, 'Self praise is no praise!'
Check these out:
|Drunken Prawns||Oyakodon||Assam (Tamarind) |
|Steamed Pork with|
|Lemon Tarts ||Sesame Chicken ||Durian Seeds ||Babi Assam|