Rise and shine: nine quick and easy breakfasts – from on-the-go onigiri to deluxe pilchards on toast

·4-min read
<span>Photograph: Katsiaryna Belaya/Alamy</span>
Photograph: Katsiaryna Belaya/Alamy

‘Interesting’ baked beans

Sauté one small onion, chopped as finely as possible, in a little olive oil at a low heat for 10 minutes. Add half a teaspoon each of ginger, cumin and coriander, plus a teaspoon of turmeric. Stir for a few seconds, then add a tin of baked beans, plus a slug of tomato ketchup. Heat and eat with toast. Believe me, it’s surprisingly good.
Angus Maxwell, Bristol

‘Hot rolls’

If we are off to the beach on a weekend, I make hot rolls to eat on the journey. They usually feature bacon, potato scone and sausage in an oven bottom muffin with red or brown sauce, wrapped in foil to keep warm, and eaten with a travel mug full of freshly ground coffee with hot frothy milk. It’s a proper treat.
Rachel Clark, Catrine, East Ayrshire

Tostada con tomate

This is served in every bar in Andalucía, where I used to live. Take a thick slice of sourdough toast (ordinary pre-packaged bread doesn’t work), rub a clove of garlic over it, drizzle with some good olive oil and cover with grated tomato. Sprinkle with salt and black pepper.
Jenny Walters, retired teacher, Ashburton, Devon

Just add horseradish &#x002026; pilchards on toast.
Just add horseradish … pilchards on toast. Photograph: Michael Neelon/Alamy

Deluxe horseradish pilchards on toast

This is my favourite breakfast and it hits all of the big four: healthy, tasty, sustainable, and cheap. It combines my love of a tuna melt with the nostalgia of having a tin of pilchards in the fridge as a kid. Take a slice of seeded loaf, or cornbread, and toast. I don’t use butter – instead, I spread a generous amount of horseradish and top with Glenryck pilchards, followed by a splash of lemon juice, black pepper, chopped garlic, turmeric, ginger and grated cheese. Delicious.
Rick Porter, Cardiff

Herby eggs

Simple is always best when time is of the essence. I love this dish as you can keep it simple or jazz it up if you have the energy. Thinly slice some garlic and start to fry it in olive oil in a small pan. Grab any fresh or slightly old herbs hanging about – today it was some sad-looking parsley and thyme, but dry herbs and spices work, too – and add to the garlic oil. Get the pan fairly hot and crack one or two eggs into it – I like the edges of the eggs to crisp up slightly. Meanwhile, toast a slice of bread and drizzle over a little bit of olive oil. Whack your eggs on top, and you’re good to go. I added roasted cherry tomatoes and a little feta, too.
Ellen Fisher, Syracuse, New York

Roll with it &#x002026; onigiri rice cakes.
Roll with it … onigiri rice cakes. Photograph: agefotostock/Alamy


My favourite on-the-go breakfast is onigiri, a type of Japanese rice cake made by gently moulding cooked and lightly salted sushi rice into a ball (or a triangular or cylindrical shape), with a filling of your choice. For breakfast, my choice would be grilled, salted salmon, and pickled Japanese plums (umeboshi). The salmon should be satisfyingly salty, with a hint of smokiness from the grill. The sourness of the pickled umeboshi wakes you up nicely, too. Both pair very well with crisp nori seaweed sheets, wrapped around the onigiri to provide texture and aroma, as well as preventing the rice from sticking to your fingers.
Maya, translator, Tokyo, Japan

Ham, egg and cheese toastie

Put a small, dry, non-stick pan on the hob, on a fairly high heat. Drop two pieces of granary bread in the toaster, then crack your egg into the pan. Once the toast pops, butter it, lay a slice of ham first and then a slice of cheddar cheese. Slide your egg out of the pan, straight on to the cheese. Add salt and pepper, break the yolk to prevent a hot yellow explosion down your work shirt, and drop your second piece of toast on top. Squeeze it together and you’re out of the door.
Anonymous, Birmingham

Ciabatta with Spanish cured ham

I like to split a small ciabatta and warm it up in the oven. I add a sliced tomato, a sprinkling of sea salt and some extra virgin olive oil, then a couple of thin slices of Spanish cured ham. It’s a breakfast that will put a smile on your face.
Fernando Gabriel, Birmingham

An Irish breakfast roll

My favourite is from Ireland: the classic and frankly unbeatable Irish breakfast roll. This is traditionally a baguette stuffed with sausages, rashers, black and white pudding, and fried egg. Your choice of red or brown sauce – but it must be one or the other, never none. Some heathens include hash browns, but they have no place in a proper breakfast roll. These are best procured from your local Centra, SuperValu, or petrol station the morning after the night before.
Seamus O’Reilly, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA

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