Warning: if you don’t know what a Full English Breakfast is and you aren’t a fan of grease start to your day, look away!
This blog post is a contribution from my English husband, Mr Sunny, and he doesn’t hold back when it comes to cooking a proper English fry up in the morning. As foodie travellers, we love exploring local cuisine and often we try to replicate the recipes when we return. We bought waffle mixture after visiting Brussels, as well ravioli cutters, pasta dyed with squid ink and balsamic vinegar at Eataly while we were in Bologna.
However, it’s understandable that eating traditional English food is a majority of our life at home in London. Having enjoyed Mr Sunny’s full English breakfast on countless occasions, I thought it well overdue to share it with you on this foodie blog. If you’re American, you will find a few similarities to our traditional American diner breakfast. However, keep reading to see what’s different when you are eating a Full English Breakfast in London cooked by a proper Londoner.
Full English Breakfast- Key Ingredients
A traditional full English breakfast means a morning plate served with sausage, bacon, eggs, tomatoes, mushrooms, black pudding, beans, and fried bread. You will probably want to accompany it with ketchup or brown sauce too. You can also incorporate different types of bagels in your breakfast if you’re fond of them, which, unfortunately, Mr Sunny is not.
With regard to selecting ingredients, Mr Sunny has some key advice for your English fry up.
- Purchase good quality ingredients. For example, visit your local butcher for sausage that is preferably a high meat content. Mr Sunny suggests plain pork, not Cumberland, Lincolnshire or pork and apple sausage.
- Be generous with the vegetable oil and under no circumstances should you substitute it with olive oil. His direct quote is, ‘Olive oil makes eggs go green and tastes like sh*t.’
- While you can get ‘streaky bacon’ in the UK, nearly every Full English Breakfast uses back bacon. He doesn’t used smoked, but he feels it depends on your taste preference.
Full English Breakfast- What You Need
You can see a big list of my foodie product recommendations on Amazon UK. For this recipe we suggest the items below.
Full English Breakfast- Cooking Tips and Order
We aren’t going to share a direct recipe with you, because a traditional Full English Breakfast only requires basic cooking skills. Plan 25-30 minutes cooking time This is really the time it takes to cook the sausage, so you’ll want to start with that first.
You could probably get away with one pan. But, if you want to make it exactly like Mr Sunny, he suggests two frying pans. The smaller one is for the fried bread and eggs.
Here is the order for a successful English fry up.
- Put a decent amount of vegetable oil in the large frying pan on medium heat and add your sausage links.
- Next, place the black pudding in the same pan.
- After 5 minutes, it should be time to put in the bacon.
- While Mr Sunny is letting this food fry, he cuts mushrooms evenly. His preference is button or close cup.
- With regard to a tomato, he chops it in halves and then cuts a cross on the rounded side with skin so they cook evenly. He also sprinkles them with salt before cooking.
- In the smaller frying pan, Mr Sunny adds a generous amount of vegetable oil on medium heat. As you fry the bread, don’t be afraid to add more oil because the bread absorbs it. Because I was interrupting him a million times for video and still shots the day we cooked the one shown in the post, his bread ended up a little too fried.
- After you remove the bread, you probably need to add more oil because again the bread will have soaked up most of it.
- Crack the eggs and add them to the pan. You should move them around so they don’t stick to the pan. His bonus frying eggs tip is to use a teaspoon to flick oil an to the top of the eggs so you don’t get the ‘snotty’ bits. (I know every American just cringed at the sight of the word ‘snotty’ but that is the word they use here.)
- Finally, Mr Sunny removes the food items from the pans and puts them on paper towels to remove excess grease before serving.
- In our breakfast the day we filmed he didn’t include beans. But, if you want to make beans, you can remove them from the can and splash them with a dash of black pepper and Worcestershire sauce. He zaps them in the microwave for 45 seconds to 1 minute, gives them a quick stir and throws them back in for another 15-20 seconds.
Full English Breakfast- When Do English People Eat It?
Mr Sunny and generations of his family were born and bred in London. He says that the Full English Breakfast was more of a staple breakfast in the 50’s-60’s. To him, it seems like now this type of breakfast is reserved for lazy weekend mornings or holidays. But, he said if you go to your local caf in the morning, it’s common to see builders enjoying a hefty Full English Breakfast on a weekday.
If you visit London, you will likely have this option for breakfast at your hotel. If you holiday in Europe, you might see a Full English Breakfast on the menu. But, the standard European continental breakfast is different. As you can see in images from our Brussels hotel and Nice hotel in France, it features a selection of cold meats and cheeses, fresh fruit and pastries.
Full English Breakfast- Final Thoughts
If you would like to see a Full English Breakfast in the making, you can watch Mr Sunny cooking it below. We also go through tons of differences between an American breakfast and a British breakfast.
So if all that grease didn’t put you off and you made it to the end of this foodie blog post, what do you think of the Full English Breakfast? If you are English, is there anything you can suggest with regard to cooking tips? Do you do anything differently when making your Full English breakfast?
Americans, did you notice what was missing from the traditional English breakfast compared to what you find in America?
Want a Freebie for London?
Subscribe to the Sunny in London weekly email and immediately get the ‘Local’s Pocket Restaurant Guide to London.’ It’s the ultimate free travel accessory for your London trip. The Guide has top recommended restaurants from a local, organised by neighbourhood. With it you can easily find a place to eat when you’re on a London street. Downloading the file to your phone means skipping Wi-fi and finding a fab foodie place- fast!
As part of the welcome, you will also receive several other free downloads, plus a weekly edition of the hottest happenings in London.
- The Best Time to Visit London
- What Airport to Choose for London
- What You Must Know About British Food
Related Food and Travel Blog Articles and Videos:
- Eating Traditional British Food– What You Must Know
- Best London Restaurant Guide for Foodies
- What You MUST Book in Advance for London
- What to Know about Healthy Food and Drink Trends 2020
- What to Book Ahead in London (YouTube video)
- Tips for Food to Eat When Visiting London (YouTube video)
- The Best Hidden Pubs in London (YouTube video)