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Japanese Breakfast

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Traditional Japanese breakfast is a substantial meal and usually consists of a bowl of hot, freshly steemed rice, miso soup, toasted seaweed sheets (nori), pickled vegetables, a grilled/broiled fish dish, a simmered dish, a vegetables/tofu dish, and/or Japanese omelette roll (tamagoyaki).
The combinations might vary, but you get the basic idea.
(Japanese Breakfast / Image)

(A) Steamed Rice

Steamed rice is the most basic Japanese food. A basic Japanese-style meal consists of a cup of miso soup, steamed rice, and main and side dishes.

(Steemed Rice / Image)


* 2 1/4 cups Japanese-style rice
* 2 1/2 cups water *the amount of water is just a little more than the amount of rice.


Put the rice in a large bowl and wash it with cold water. Repeat washing until the water becomes almost clear. Drain the rice in a colander and set aside for 30 minutes. Place the rice in rice cooker and add water. Let the rice soak in the water at least 30 minutes. One hour is ideal. Start the cooker.
(Note)If you are cooking rice in a pot, put rice and water in the pot. Cover the pot with a lid and bring to a boil on high heat. Turn the heat down to low and cook about 20 minutes, or until the water is almost gone. Stop the heat and let it steam for about 15 minutes.

Makes 4 servings.

(B) Miso Soup

The most common soup in Japan is miso soup which is seasoned with miso (soy bean paste). As typical Japanese-style meals include a bowl of miso soup, making miso soup is the basic of Japanese cooking.

Basic Steps for Making Miso Soup:

1. Prepare dashi soup stock in a pan and bring to boil.
2. Add hard ingredients and cook until softened.
3. Scoop out some dashi soup from the pan and dissolve miso paste in the soup.
4. Gradually return the moistened miso in the dashi soup and stir gently.
5. Add soft ingredients and green vegetables and heat for a short time.
6. Turn off the heat before the soup boils.

The flavor of miso soup varies depending on the type of miso, soup stock, and ingredients. It's best to choose your favorite type of miso and ingredients. In fact, several different kinds of miso soup is served daily in Japanese homes.

Suggested Ingredients for Miso Soup:

Tofu, Japanese pumpkin (kabocha), spinach, potato, onion, daikon radish, wakame seaweed, clams, Chinese cabbage, fried bean curd (abura-age), green onion, green peas, cabbage, natto, enoki mushrooms, eggplant, somen noodle.

(C) Tamagoyaki - Rolled Omelet

Japanese rolled omelet is called tamagoyaki or dashimaki. It's also known as a Japanese-style egg roll. Tamagoyaki is often served for Japanese-style breakfast. Also, it's one of the most popular dishes in Japanese bento lunch boxes.

(Tamagoyaki / Image)

There are many types of tamagoyaki. Some are sweet and some are salty. Also, you can add fillings in tamagoyaki to make it colorful.

Tamagoyaki is usually cooked in a rectangular omelet pan. Rectangular omelet pans are commonly sold in Japan, but it might not be a common cookware in other countries. It's OK to use a regular frying pan if a rectangular omelet pan is not available. In that case, shape rolled omelet into a rectangle, using a bamboo mat. When you add sugar in tamagoyaki, it tends to get burned easily. Watch the heat carefully.

(D) Tsukemono - Pickled Hakusai Recipe

Japanese pickles are called tsukemono. Hakusai or Chinese cabbages are common vegetables for tsukemono.

(Picled Hakusai / Image)


* 2 heads Hakusai/Chinese cabbage
* 3% (of the weight of cabbage) salt


Wash hakusai or Chinese cabbage. Cut the cabbage into 6 pieces lengthwise. Sprinkle salt over Chinese cabbage. Put salt at the bottom of a barrel. Pack Chinese cabbage in the barrel and sprinkle salt. Place another layer of Chinese cabbage and sprinkle salt. Repeat the process. Put a lid and place a weight on top of the lid. Pickles should be ready to eat in two days.

(E) Natto

Natto is a traditional Japanese food and is commonly eaten for breakfast in Japan. Since natto is made from soybeans fermented by natto bacillus, it is sticky and has strong smell and taste. Because of the smell, some people dislike eating natto. But, natto is known as a nutritious food in Japan, and the popularity has been increasing in recent years.

(Steemed Rice with Natto / Image)

Natto is a good source of protein and vitamin B2, which keeps your skin young. Natto is also rich in vitamin K2, which is helpful in preventing osteoprosis. Further, a fibrinolytic enzyme found in natto is called nattokinase. Nattokinase is reported to reduce and prevent blood clot. So, it's said that eating natto can prevent heart attacks and strokes. However, people who take medicines such as warfarin need to avoid eating natto. Please consult your physician for further information.

If you don't have a soy allegy, try eating natto daily. Natto can be cooked in miso soup, omelette, tempura, and so on. But commonly natto is eaten uncooked.

The Most Popular Way to Eat Natto:

1. Put natto in a small bowl.
2. Stir natto at first.
3. Add some soy sauce and further stir well.
4. Add chopped green onion and karashi mustard if you would like.
5. Put seasoned natto on steamed rice and eat together.

(F) Umeboshi (Picled Plum)

(Umeboshi / Image)

By J.S. on June 1, 2010

tag : Japanese Breakfast



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