Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Traditional Japanese Breakfast Dishes

Japanese breakfast consists of steamed rice, miso (soy bean paste) soup, and side dishes. Common side dishes are grilled fish, rolled omelet, pickles, dried seaweed, natto, salad, and more.

Steamed Rice
Hot steamed rice is the most important dish in Japanese-style breakfast. Usually it's plain without any seasoning.

2 cups Japanese-style rice
2 1/4 cups water

Put the rice in a bowl and wash it with cold water. Repeat washing until the water becomes clear. Drain the rice in a colander and set aside. Place the rice in a pan or rice cooker and add water. The amount of water used is just a little more than the amount of rice.

Miso Soup with Fried Tofu
The most popular soup in Japanese cuisine is miso soup. Most typical Japanese-style mealsinclude a cup of miso soup. Miso soup is seasoned by miso, soy bean paste. Making miso soup is the basic of Japanese cooking.


3 1/3 cups dashi soup stock
2 fried bean curd
3-4 tbsps miso paste
*chopped green onion


Put the fried bean curd in a strainer and pour boiled water over them to remove the excess oil. Cut the fried bean curd into thin strips. Put the soup stock in a pan and bring to boil. Scoop out some soup stock from the pan and dissolve miso paste in it. Return the soup in the pan and stir well.

Remember not to boil the soup after you put miso in. Add the fried bean curd strips in the pan. Add some chopped green onion if you would like.

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.

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

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.

4 eggs
3 tbsps dashi soup stock
2 tbsps sugar

Beat eggs in a bowl. Add dashi soup and sugar in the egg and mix well. Heat a frying pan on medium heat. *Preferably, use a square tamagoyaki pan.

Oil the pan. Pour a scoop of egg mixture in the pan and spread over the surface. Cook it until half done and roll the egg toward the bottom side. Move the rolled egg to the top side. Oil the empty part of the pan and pour another scoop of egg mixture in the space and under the rolled egg. Cook it until half done and roll the egg again so that the omelet becomes thicker. Cook the omelet until done. If you are using a regular frying pan, shape tamagoyaki on bamboo mat. Cut tamagoyaki into 1-inch thick pieces.
Makes 4 servings (2 tamagoyaki)

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