Egyptian Breakfast: Ful Medames

By Bill Bradley, R.D.
Updated October 21, 2021

When I think of the typical American breakfast, I am reminded of those long lines of cars at Dunkin Donuts full of people waiting impatiently for morning coffee, doughnuts, and egg sandwiches.  Would they give up their vanilla creme donut and caramel covered latte for some beans and bread?

Many countries throughout the world enjoy a breakfast that would be foreign to most of us.  From the fragrant pho soup of vietnam to the simple and incredibly popular Waakye (rice and beans) in Ghana, breakfasts vary greatly throughout the world. Even in the United States, the typical breakfast of yesteryear consisted of foods made from corn such as grits or cornmeal (johnny cakes and hoe-cakes).  For the younger folks, American pioneers did not drink frappucino’s or eat Cap’n Crunch for breakfast.

One of the most popular breakfasts in the Arab world is Ful Medames, a simple dish consisting of rice and fava beans which is often accompanied with eggs, cheese, olive oil, lemon, tahini, or tomato sauce.  In Egypt and many other Mediterranean countries, it is sold on the streets and is the the Mediterranean equivalent of the American bacon, eggs, and toast (yet decidedly healthier).
Anthony Bourdain eating Ful Medames in Egypt

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Claudia Roden (one of our favorites Mediterranean cookbook authors) has a great recipe for Ful Medames from her amazing book “The New Book of Middle Eastern Food”.

Claudia Roden's Ful Medames Recipe

Claudia Roden’s Ful Medames recipe


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