I think most expats would agree that the hardest type of food to find in China is Mexican food. There are definitely Mexican restaurants in Shanghai; from the high-end brunch at Maya to the Chipotle knock-off burritos at Dos Locos. The Mexican food scene here is definitely a step up from the options in Nanjing, but it never seems to hit the “bang for your buck” trademark of the cheap but delicious Mexican & Tex-Mex food you can find in the States. You can get it cheap, but it won’t be delicious, and you can definitely get delicious Mexican food in Shanghai, but it’s not gonna be cheap.
It’s really not even cheap to make your own Mexican food as an expat cook, because one of the key ingredients — cheese — is quite expensive. I managed to find a great deal on a huge package of corn tortillas at Avocado Lady’s store, about 30 tortillas for 28RMB (4.50USD). So if I leave out the cheese, I can manage to whip up some delicious, economical homemade Mexican food. Enter: Egg & Sriracha Breakfast Tostada.
I tend to use eggs as my main protein source when I cook in Shanghai because I am a little weary of the meat I buy at the Tesco. I can get Tyson brand chicken, but it is definitely not free-range or antibiotic free, so I really try to eat it only a few times a month max. I am sure the eggs are not much better, but somehow I convince myself that they aren’t as bad as the meat.
This breakfast tostada has black beans, a fried egg, fresh pico de gallo, avocado and sriracha. It has lots of flavor, so even though cheese would definitely be a yummy addition, it isn’t 100% necessary.
Making the fresh pico de gallo is key for this tostada. It only takes a few ingredients and a few minutes. Pico is traditionally tomato, onion, cilantro, lime juice and salt. I replaces the lime juice with lemon, because that is what I had on hand. I also used these yummy little orange cherry tomatoes that I found at the store, turned out great!
For the Pico:
- 1/2 small onion (or a few small shallots) diced
- 6-7 cherry tomatoes, diced
- 1 bunch cilantro, chopped
- 1/4 of a lemon (or lime)
- salt to taste
For the rest:
- 1 egg
- 1 corn tortilla
- 1/2 avocado
- 1/4 cup black beans, mashed
- salt & pepper
- sriracha to taste
- finely dice the onion, tomato, and cilantro. Mix together in a small bowl, squeeze the citrus juice over the mixture and season with a few pinches of salt to taste, mix and set aside
- Mash about 1/4 cup of black beans in a small bowl (I mash them so they are easier to spread onto the tortilla)
- While you fry the egg to your liking (I like it over-easy) put the tortilla in the toaster over for a few minutes so its crisps up.
- Take the tortilla out of the oven, and spread the black beans of the tortilla (I usually put the mashed beans in the microwave for about 20 seconds so they are slightly warm and easy to spread)
- Put the egg on top of the bean layer, then scoop a large spoonful of pico over the egg.
- Slice up half of an avocado and place on top
- Season well with salt & pepper and drizzle desired amount of sriracha or hot sauce.
- Pig out
Tostadas are great because you can add whatever you want. It would be good with a dollop of sour cream, or salsa, or copious amounts of cheese, you can pretty much go crazy. This is a super easy and a pretty healthy breakfast, so don’t feel so guilty if you eat two!