Have you ever wondered what goes into a typical Japanese breakfast? Most Westerners think of Japanese food for dinner, but have never tried Japanese breakfast. Turns out, a lot of the usual dishes you see for dinner also turn up in the morning!
The Japanese eat a little bit of everything for any kinds of meals. That, of course, includes breakfast. A typical Japanese breakfast offers a well-rounded, light and healthy items to give your body enough nutrients to start the day off right. Learn what you’ll usually see on the table in a Japanese home and try eating typical Japanese breakfast yourself.
No Japanese Meal is Complete without Rice and Soup
The main staples of any Japanese meal are rice and soup and you’ll see them on the table breakfast, lunch and dinner. Often, to save time in the morning, Japanese families will simply heat up the rice from dinner the night before. Miso soup is the main type of soup you can expect to see any time of the day, including breakfast. Miso soup is a simple, healthy and comforting food made of miso, or fermented soybean paste, and a dashi broth. Sometimes tofu, green onions, seaweed or mushrooms are also added to the broth. This savory soup can be made from scratch, or, if you’re short on time, from instant miso soup packets that are easy to find in grocery stores. Miso soup is a tasty and healthy food that is a common part of any Japanese meal.
Next, don’t Forget Your Protein and Side Dishes
A protein is a necessary part of any traditional Japanese breakfast spread. It is important to have a small but hearty protein portion at breakfast to help you get through your day. Fish is a very common choice, either grilled, broiled, or sauteed quickly in a pan. Another common high-protein Japanese breakfast food is natto, another form of fermented soybeans, known for its strong aroma and slightly slick texture. Though natto is not well known outside of Japan, you are likely to find packaged versions at Japanese grocery stores. Eggs are also very popular in Japanese breakfast. Fried or even raw, they are often mixed into the rice with natto.
Usually, in addition to all of the above, you will also see a side dish that compliments the other items and rounds out the full Japanese breakfast. This is often some kind of vegetable dish in kobachi, a small bowl. Pickled foods, called tsukemono, are also a very common choice for this side dish, as it goes very well with both rice and porridge. Pickled plum, or umeboshi, is one very common type of tsukemono. You can find all kinds of pickled items in many Japanese grocery stores. You can even try making them by following Chef Kaku’s curry vinegar celery or yuzu scented napa cabbage recipes. A small salad is also quite typical, as it is very light and adds a fresh element to the morning’s offerings.
Japanese Breakfast, a Healthy Start to the Day
The most important thing to remember about Japanese breakfasts, is that they are focused on being healthy and well-rounded. The final main component of a Japanese breakfast is a nice hot cup of green tea. Green tea is believed to have many beneficial properties. While it is enjoyed throughout the day by many Japanese people, it is especially popular at breakfast. Possessing a healthy dose of caffeine, regular green tea can be a perfect replacement for your morning coffee.