Cha Chaan Teng (Hong Kong-Style Breakfast) Recipe

This traditional, complete Hong Kong breakfast features a bold coffee with tea, satisfying macaroni and ham soup, sweetened milk toast, and fluffy scrambled eggs.
Photo by Farideh Sadeghin

Serves: 2
Prep time: 15 minutes
Total time: 45 minutes

for the yuenyeung:
⅓ cup plus 1 tablespoon|40 grams black tea leaves, preferably Lipton Orange Pekoe
3 cups|750 ml brewed coffee
evaporated milk, to taste
granulated sugar, to taste


for the macaroni soup:
kosher salt, to taste 
1 cup|140 grams elbow macaroni
1 (10 ½ ounce|298 gram) can condensed cream of chicken 
1 cup|250 ml chicken stock or water
2 tablespoons Shaoxing wine
3 slices deli ham, thinly sliced
sesame oil, to taste
white pepper, to taste 

for the toast:
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, plus more to taste
2 thickly sliced pieces milk bread, crusts removed
2 tablespoons sweetened condensed milk
flaky salt, to taste

for the eggs:
2 tablespoons whole milk
2 teaspoons vegetable oil, plus more 
4 large eggs
kosher salt, to taste


  1. Make the yuenyeung: First, brew the black tea. In an aluminum Hong Kong style tea pot, bring 3 ½ cups|830 ml of water to a simmer. With the cloth strainer, add the black tea leaves. Bring the tea to a boil and return it to a simmer for 7 minutes.
  2. Using a second teapot, pour the hot tea over the tea leaves, pouring it as high of a height as you can do. Repeat this three times. Discard the tea leaves and set tea on the side. In each heavy bottomed coffee cup, fill the cup ⅓ of the way with evaporated milk. Add another ⅓ cup|80 ml of brewed coffee and another ⅓ cup|80 ml of tea. Sweeten with sugar if you like. Keep warm until ready to serve.
  3. Make the macaroni soup: Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil. Add the macaroni and cook 2 minutes over whatever the box says is al dente. Drain and set aside.
  4. Meanwhile, bring the soup, stock, Shaoxing wine, and 3 ½ cups|830 ml water to a boil over high in a medium saucepan. Reduce the heat to maintain a simmer and cook 5 minutes. Season with salt and keep warm.
  5. Make the toast: Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large skillet over medium. Add the bread and toast, flipping once, until golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes.
  6. Spread some butter on the toast and transfer to a plate. Drizzle the sweetened condensed milk generously over the top. Add a pinch of flaky salt.
  7. Make the eggs: In a small bowl, whisk together the milk, 2 teaspoons of the oil, and the eggs. Season with salt.
  8. Heat a small non-stick pan over high. Wait for it to smoke. Add enough oil to barely coat the pan. Remove from the heat and pour in the egg mixture. Immediately tilt the pan so the egg covers the entire pan. With a rubber spatula, push the edges of the egg decisively into the center, while constantly tilting the pan to fill in the gap with raw egg mixture. Once the egg is barely set, about 10 seconds, the egg is ready. Transfer to the plate with the toast.
  9. To serve, divide the macaroni among two bowls and top with the soup and some slices of ham. Drizzle with sesame oil and sprinkle with white pepper. Serve with the scrambled eggs and toast and a cup of the tea.

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