Japanese Breakfast is The Superior Breakfast

SKIP TO RECIPE
By Alex Chung
Writer for Pro Home Cooks

My morning like yours, normally start in a rush. From having to take my 15 month old border collie out for a one hour run to the nearest dog park to taking a shower and getting ready for the day, I rarely have any time to have breakfast during the week. My usual go to is a boiled egg on toast with a squeeze of kew pie mayo or just some tea.  But when the weekends roll around and I have all the time in the world my breakfast is more indulgent. Not in the way of greasy meats and fluffy sweet carbs but in time because my sunday breakfast these days usually look something similar to this. 

This is a traditional Japanese breakfast and to me, it is the superior breakfast. It might seem like a lot of food but really its the perfect amount. It’s light yet filling enough to keep you energized throughout the morning. It won’t bog you down and the portions are small so you get a little bit of everything. 

Typically, a Japanese breakfast is served with a bowl of rice, miso/clear soup, a piece of baked protein (mainly fish), and various side dishes of pickled/fresh veggies, eggs, tofu, and or nori.  I know it might seem a little intimidating at first to make a full blown Japanese breakfast on your easy Sunday morning but its very customizable to what you already have in the fridge. The various side dishes for me will change depending on what I have in my fridge. It can stem from a variety of pre-pickled veggies like umboshi (pickled plum), pickled ginger, daikon, or pickled scallions to simpler sides like a soft boiled egg, steamed edamame, freshly cut cucumbers or carrots, or even a little bit of last nights leftovers. However, one thing is for sure, the miso soup, rice, and baked fish are always present. 

Traditional Japanese Breakfast 

Serves 1 

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup of rice, Japanese is preferred  
  • 1 slice of fish (about 2 -3 oz per piece) 
  • 1 teaspoon of soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon of sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon of mirin
  • 1 teaspoon of sake
  • 1/2 cup of water or dashi broth 
  • 2 teaspoons of miso paste 
  • 1 teaspoon of dried seaweed 
  • 1/4 cup of cubed silken tofu 
  • Scallions, for garnish
  • 1 bag of frozen edamame
  • 1 clove of garlic, mined
  • 1 teaspoon of ground chili flakes (Aleppo is my favorite)
  • 2 – 3 types of pickled veggies (pickled plum & daikon)
  • Seasoned seaweed salad, to serve 
  • 1 bag of green tea 

Instructions:

  1. Start by rinsing 1/2 cup of rice until the water turns clear. Add to a pot or rice cooker along with 1/2 cup of water. Press cook for the rice cooker and see notes for pot instructions
  2. Marinate the fish with soy sauce, sake, mirin, and sesame oil. In the meantime, preheat the oven to 375 F. and then bake for 12 minutes.
  3. Then, add 1/2 cup of water/dashi broth to a pot and bring to a boil. Turn the heat off, and add in the miso paste, dried seaweed, and cubed tofu. Cover and let sit while we work on the fish.
  4. Add the frozen edamame to a microwave safe bowl and defrost for 2 -3 minutes. Mix in the oil, minced garlic, and chili flakes until well combined.
  5. Now, its time to gently stir the soup and add in some freshly chopped scallions. Plate it up along with with the rice, the fish, side dishes, and a cup of hot green tea. Enjoy!  

Notes:

Pot Method Instructions: 

Once the water and rice are in a pot, bring to a boil. Once boiling, turn flame to low and cover. Cook for 15 minutes and shut the stove off but keep the lid on. Let sit for 5 minutes and then serve. 

As each item is finished I would recommend placing each item onto its designated serving dish. It just makes things easier and you will be able to eat sooner. 

This “recipe” does have a few step and uses a few pots and pans, something I know can be very daunting to have to clean up afterwards. But before you forget about this recipe and move onto a 1 pan meal for breakfast just remember that a Japanese breakfast is not only delicious and very rewarding but is supposed to utilize leftovers or make your day a bit easier. You can use baked fish and rice from another night and just make miso soup in the morning or you can make a ton of fish and rice and have it for dinner again. A Japanese breakfast can a very versatile meal. 

Another thing I want to note is that this recipe is meant to inspire you to try other types of breakfasts/meals. I don’t want you go out and buy a bunch of ingredients that you will only try once and push to the back of your fridge forever. Start out small and start with things you know you like. Maybe just some rice, a piece of baked fish, some tea, and try out a pickled veggie you’ve never had before. Serve it up with some soy sauce and scallion and see what you like and what you feel you’re missing. Try something new every time you make a Japanese breakfast until you’ve found your perfect Sunday morning Japanese breakfast. 

By Alex Chung
Senior Food Writer at Pro Home Cooks
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