Want to tempt the taste buds of Brits in Sri Lanka? Give them the Full English Breakfast!

British visitors to Sri Lanka always fall in love with the food. How could they not? Curry is practically the UK national dish, the hotter (spicier) the better.

But if there’s one foodie favourite even closer to a peripatetic Briton’s culinary heart, it’s the Full English Breakfast, especially when eaten with the Sunday papers in a greasy-spoon caff.

So for the benefit of all you Sri Lankan cooks, here’s the full lowdown on the perfect Full English, courtesy of ex-Bibendum chef Simon Hopkinson writing in the Economist (of all places!)

‘One of the most difficult things to accomplish’

“A full English breakfast is one of the most difficult things to accomplish in a domestic kitchen—or even in a professional one.

“The ingredient count was about nine items per plate, with the logistics manifesting themselves most horribly when an order came in from a table of six, all braying for the grill. Never again.”

The secret, he says is that “to be a really fine meal, a full English needs much thought and exact forward planning; after all, we are not just talking about poached eggs on toast.”

The magic ingredients of the perfect Full English


First the sausage. I beg you not to choose anything that is not a normal pork sausage (or beef, if you don’t eat pork).


Mushrooms come next, those nice, big, dark-gilled fellows. Shops often call them “field mushrooms”, a nomenclature that is, generally speaking, horseshit; in fact, that mild expletive is exactly what has never been involved in their growth.


Tomatoes should be ripe and juicy and not too big, or they’ll take too long to cook right through. And there is nothing worse than a half-raw, just-warm tomato skeetering around the plate.

Fried bread

Never fry the bread in hot fat in a frying pan; this will make it too greasy. Instead, thinly spread both sides of the bread with dripping or bacon fat, or spray or brush them with oil. Let the bread cook quietly in a thick-based frying pan, turned once, until pale golden and crusted.


Bacon should be rind-on and dry-cured, because then it won’t throw out so much of the milky stuff when you cook it. I always fry mine, so that I can keep the precious dripping, but I know many people prefer a gentle grilling.


Eggs are the number-one ingredient, yet you cook them last. They should be as fresh as can be, preferably from chickens at the bottom of someone’s garden.

So there you have it. Bon apetit!

Read more here.

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