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Traditional Japanese Breakfast: What Do Japanese Eat For Breakfast?

Traditional Japanese Breakfast: What Do Japanese Eat For Breakfast?

Start your day with a taste of a traditional Japanese breakfast that combines healthy, balanced nutrition with umami flavors! In this blog, let's explore with Kiichin the secrets of making a Japanese breakfast meal that not only delights your taste buds but also keeps you healthy. No sophisticated ingredients or complicated steps – just simple, yummy dishes to make your mornings a touch more special.

1. Japanese Breakfast Foods: What Do Japanese Have For Their Breakfast?

If Westerners have their breakfast basically with cereal, yogurt with fruit, Japanese breakfasts are like a big buffet of tasty choices. A Japanese breakfast menu usually includes a plate with some main dishes such as steamed rice, miso soup,... and other side dishes with a bit of everything. It's like a mix of delicious things that make up a typical Japanese breakfast.

Westerners often have cereal for their breakfast

Westerners often have cereal for their breakfast

That is because the Japanese believe in the Eastern philosophy that our bodies rise with the sun together. Therefore, they think it is important to begin our day by having breakfast with a nutritious meal. Eating a good breakfast not only provides us with energy but also helps to prepare us mentally and physically for the day ahead.

Related Post: Japanese Food: Top 10 Must-Try Typical Japanese Meals

Traditional Japanese breakfast is really hearty with many dishes

Traditional Japanese breakfast is really hearty with many dishes

Let's find out each dish of Japanese breakfast foods in the next section. And, don’t worry about how to make Japanese breakfast, as we're going to show you how to make these Japanese breakfast meals at home without any fuss!

2. Traditional Japanese Breakfast & How To Make It Easily

A traditional Japanese breakfast is hearty that, someone accustomed to having cereal or a slice of bread for their morning meal might wonder, "Is this meant for lunch or dinner?"

With a satisfying breakfast that includes rice, fish, and soup, encompassing all the nutrients in a morning meal, the traditional Japanese breakfast is surely one of the best breakfasts in the world! Let's take a look at some popular dishes of a Japanese breakfast meal with Kiichin and find out how to make Japanese breakfast!

2.1. Rice

Rice in Japanese is called Gohan (ご飯). Rice is the primary source of carbohydrates and is also the most essential part of a Japanese breakfast meal. You can use mixed rice, white rice, steamed rice, or brown rice for your Japanese breakfast meal. Additionally, you can add toppings such as pickled plums or sesame seeds to enhance the flavor.

Rice is one of the main dishes in Japanese breakfast meal
Rice is one of the main dishes in Japanese breakfast meal

2.2. Miso Soup

For Japanese people, a traditional Japanese breakfast would never be complete without mentioning Miso soup (味噌汁) with its umami richness. Miso soup typically consists of tofu, seaweed, mushrooms, and green onions as its main ingredients.

Miso is a Japanese breakfast food that is renowned for its umami flavor
Miso is a Japanese breakfast food that is renowned for its umami flavor

Related Post: How To Make Miso Soup: A Simple But Delicious Miso Soup Recipe Guide!

Easy Japanese breakfast recipe for this miso soup is to dissolve miso paste in dashi (fish stock) over low heat. Then add ingredients like seaweed, tofu, and green onions. It's important to keep the soup below boiling in order to preserve the delicate flavors. However, you have the flexibility to alter the flavors and ingredients depending on what you currently have or what is in season.

2.3. Grilled Fish

Grilled fish (焼き魚), such as mackerel (saba) or salmon, is a common protein source in a Japanese breakfast menu. Start by cleaning and seasoning the fish with salt. Grill until the skin is crispy and the flesh tender! Then, you can enjoy your Japanese breakfast food with thí delicious grilled fish!

Grilled fish is also a main dish in the Japanese breakfast menu
Grilled fish is also a main dish in the Japanese breakfast menu

2.4. Natto

Natto (納豆) is fermented soybeans, a dish included in a traditional Japanese breakfast. Natto has a distinctive slimy texture and a strong, nutty flavor, making it a unique and acquired taste in Japan. With its richness in protein, probiotics, vitamins, and enzymes, natto is a powerhouse of nutrition, contributing to digestive health. It is often served with soy sauce, mustard, and green onions and is commonly eaten with rice.

Natto with the unique and acquired taste of fermented soybeans

Natto with the unique and acquired taste of fermented soybeans

2.5. Rolled Omelette

Japanese Rolled Omelette, or Tamagoyaki (玉子焼き), is a rolled omelette made with layers of cooked egg. It is another ideal choice for protein! The sweet and savory delight of tamagoyaki is a traditional Japanese breakfast favorite. You will need a special rectangular pan. Beat the eggs with sugar, soy sauce, and mirin (sweet rice wine). Pour a thin layer into the pan, roll it, and push it to one end. Add more egg, roll again, and repeat. The result is a beautiful layered omelette with a hint of sweetness!

The sweet and savory delight of tamagoyaki is a Japanese breakfast food favorite

The sweet and savory delight of tamagoyaki is a Japanese breakfast food favorite

2.6. Pickles

Japanese pickles, or Tsukemono (漬物), are various types of pickled vegetables, such as radishes, cucumbers, or turnips. These pickles stimulate the appetite and bring a burst of flavor and crunch to the Japanese breakfast meal. An easy Japanese breakfast recipe to make pickles is to soak sliced cucumbers, radishes, or carrots in a mixture of rice vinegar, sugar, and salt. And you will have pickles with a tangy, sweet, and sour flavor for your traditional Japanese breakfast.

Various types of pickled vegetables, such as radishes, cucumbers, or turnips, are served for added flavor

Various types of pickled vegetables, such as radishes, cucumbers, or turnips, are served for added flavor

Related Post: Daikon in Japanese Cuisine: Top 5 Best Japanese Daikon Recipes

2.7. Norimaki

Norimaki (海苔巻), or seaweed rolls, are various Japanese dishes wrapped with nori seaweed. Sometimes, these small seaweed rolls with rice - seasoned with rice vinegar, sugar, and salt, and other fillings like pickled plums (umeboshi), cucumber, avocado, or fish are included in the Japanese breakfast meal.

Norimaki is sometimes served as a Japanese breakfast food

Norimaki is sometimes served as a Japanese breakfast food

A little tip for you to make a traditional Japanese breakfast is that it's completely acceptable to omit or replace ingredients. Additionally, utilize leftovers wisely. In Japan, it's common to use leftover rice or soup from the previous night. Rice can be reheated while simultaneously preparing other dishes.

3. Conclusion

Above are all signature Japanese breakfast foods to start a day full of energy! If you want to have a fantastic breakfast, consider preparing a traditional Japanese breakfast. There's nothing quite like starting the day with a wholesome, nourishing, and delightful meal. With easy recipes and simple ingredients, you can now prepare these traditional Japanese breakfasts at home without much effort. If you want to explore more Japanese recipes, just stay tuned for Kiichin!

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