The Stir-Fried Breakfast


I was going to say “I don’t want to become the spokesperson for the oddball, savory breakfast,” but then I realized I do want to become the spokesperson for the oddball, savory breakfast. Or if not the spokesperson a leading advocate.

This is nothing new for me – I wrote about Asian breakfasts, which are almost all savory, in the New Haven Register in, I would say, 1984. But since the vegan-before-six thing started, it has taken on a new life, probably because there are always vegetables around. And I wake up hungry.

There’s a third component, and that has to do with having enough counter space so that, for the first time since around 2004, I have a food processor on call, right there, plugged in. So when I woke up and found three medium zucchinis threatening to go over the hill, I shredded them, a carrot, a celery stalk, an onion, and a potato. I had to peel the carrot, the onion, and the potato, and as you might be able to see I didn’t shre

d this stuff very carefully, but it still only took my five minutes. And as much as I usually cook quickly, in the morning I cook really quickly. (I may not have a “real” job, but many mornings I’m out the door by 7.30 and hardly ever do I leave later than 8.30.)

While that stuff was browning (in sunflower oil), I chopped a clove of garlic and threw it in there; I strung some snap peas and tossed them in too. I kept the heat high, looking for a kind of hash-brown consistency, which I got. At the last minute – this was probably 15 minutes after I first started – I tossed in a handful of mint, along with one of basil and the few leaves of cilantro I found. I added salt and pepper, nothing else.

It was a lot; I only ate half of it (the rest became lunch for my wife, who was pretty happy about that). And if it wasn’t the best breakfast of my life, it was the best of the month, and among the most fun ever. Pretty, too.

Posted in Vietnamese


  1. Anonymous said...

    I have been all about the oddball savory breakfasts lately. In fact I am enjoying a quinoa and grilled pepper salad for breakfast right now.

  2. Anonymous said...

    My latest oddball savory breakfast is cooking Irish steel cut oats like risotto. Saute onions and the oats then add chicken stock. Towards the end of cooking time add in diced asparagus and Parmesan. A yummy, high fiber savory cereal.

  3. kerry surface said...

    i’m all about savory breakfast…i just had egg and chive omelet…i saw jacque pepin make one on anthony bourdain. i had a vine ripened tomato too….. i usually have anything leftover from dinner….with a splash of hot sauce…..

  4. operagirlcooks said...

    Looks great! Yesterday I made myself a bit batch of kinpira for breakfast and it totally hit the spot.

  5. epicuriosa said...

    Ahh Mark Bittman, thank you for helping me address my breakfast dilemma!

  6. Anonymous said...

    Gorgeous breakfast. I am an eggs many ways for breakfast person, so I probably would have stir fried in a couple for that lasting protein I love so well. I am constantly inspired by your writings and I thank you!

  7. Anonymous said...

    My word, that looks delicious. How about a recipe for savory granola?

  8. mdjD11 said...

    reminds me of a breakfast I whipped up not to long ago, although veg, not vegan:

  9. Anonymous said...

    Mark Bittman you’re great! I’m all about the breakfast for dinner but never thought about trying the dinner for breakfast.

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