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How To Cook a Traditional Japanese Breakfast
How To Cook a Traditional Japanese Breakfast

You can try new recipes from new cultures. Here, we will be discussing traditional Japanese breakfast foods and How To Cook a Traditional Japanese Breakfast recipe, that you can easily prepare at home.

What Is A Typical Breakfast In Japan?

If you happen to see Japanese breakfast foods set somewhere, you will find that it consists of steamed rice, miso soup, some form of protein like a grilled fish, and several side dishes.

These side dishes could be – Japanese pickles, nori (dried seaweed), natto, kobachi, or a green salad. The Westerns often think that a typical breakfast in Japan is almost a complete meal that is more appropriate for lunch or dinner.

However, normally these Japanese dishes are lighter and not deep-fried or rich. Additionally, the Japanese prefer smaller portion sizes and adjust it to meet their appetite.

What Do Japanese People Eat for Breakfast

As mentioned earlier, the typical components of Japanese breakfast foods recipes are steamed rice, miso soup, some form of protein like a grilled fish, and several side dishes.

The steamed rice can be either white rice (hakumai) or brown rice (genmai). The Miso Soup is the most common soup on the Japanese breakfast foods menu. Fermented soybean paste and dashi broth are used to make them.

The Japanese pickles and packaged natto are widely available in Asian grocery stores. Kobachi or vegetable side dishes are relatively easy Japanese breakfast recipes. For the protein, you can rely on Japanese breakfast egg recipes besides the grilled fish or chicken.

How To Cook A Traditional Japanese Breakfast?

As you might be aware now, there are several items in a traditional Japanese breakfast. You can try to keep it simple by preparing one rice dish, soup, some form of protein like fish or egg, and one side dish like pickles.

To complete the meal, you can have a cup of green tea as well.You can also try some shortcuts in the preparation. Buy pre-made pickles, preserved kelp, natto packs, or other rice seasonings from the grocery store to save time.

You can even reheat the leftover steamed rice and miso soup from the previous meal just like the Japanese.

What Are The Common Dishes Used In Traditional Japanese Breakfast?

Below mentioned are some of the common dishes found on the Japanese breakfast menu:

  • Rice
  • Pickled Vegetables
  • Rice Porridge
  • Grilled Fish
  • Steamed Vegetables
  • Seaweed
  • Onigiri
  • Other types of soup
  • Miso Soup
  • Onigiri
  • Natto
  • Rolled Omelet
  • Eggs
  • Tamago Kake Gohan

Is Japanese Breakfast Foods Healthy?

The Japanese follow a wise and practical approach to their first meal of the day. Their breakfast consists of all the essential nutrients our body needs.

The main component of a typical Japanese breakfast bowl is rice, be it steamed rice or rice porridge. It serves as the main source of carbohydrates in the Japanese diet.

The high-quality proteins are another requirement of a wholesome Japanese breakfast. You will find fish, chicken, or at least eggs in a traditional Japanese breakfast.

Besides this, the miso soup and natto served with the meals are also rich in proteins. Japanese prefer carbohydrate and protein-rich breakfast.

However, they also include vegetables and fruits in their meals for complete nutrition. You will often find dried seaweed, kobachi, and fruits served with breakfast meals.

Now, let’s have a look at some of the popular recipes that will teach you how to make a Japanese breakfast quickly in the morning.

Traditional Japanese Breakfast Recipes

#1 Spinach And Tofu Miso Soup

This Japanese breakfast soup is flavorful with healthy tofu, green onion, and loads of greens.

  • Prep time: 5mins
  • Cook time: 10mins
  • Total time: 15mins
  • Serving size: 2

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups of vegetable broth
  • 1 sheet of dried seaweed
  • 3-4 Tablespoons white/yellow miso paste 
  • 1/2 cup spinach or green chard (chopped)
  • 1/2 cup green onion (chopped)
  • 1/4 cup silken tofu (cubed)

Instructions:

  1. Pour vegetable broth in a saucepan and heat it on a low simmer.
  2. Meanwhile, put miso in a small bowl. Add hot water and whisk it until you get a smooth consistency.
  3. Next, add spinach, green onion, and silken tofu in the broth and let it cook for 5mins. Then, add dried seaweed and stir.
  4. Remove broth from heat. Add miso into the pan and stir until it blends.
  5. Soup is now ready. You can add a pinch of sea salt if needed.

Nutritional Value:

  • Calories: 170
  • Carbohydrates: 22.3 g
  • Protein: 13.6 g
  • Fat: 5 g

#2 Japanese Rice Balls 

  • Prep time: 20mins
  • Cook time: 30mins
  • Additional time: 20mins
  • Total time: 1hour 10mins
  • Serving size: 4

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups of white rice (uncooked)
  • 4 ½ cups of water
  • 1 cup water (extra)
  • ¼ cup dry fish flakes
  • 2 sheets of dried seaweed or nori (cut into 1/2-inch strips)
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds

Instructions:

  1. Wash the rice in a mesh strainer. Next, add 4 and 1/2 cups water to the washed rice in a saucepan. Keep stirring and bring to a boil over high heat. Then, reduce the heat and cook rice on a simmer for 20mins until it absorbs the water. Turn off gas and keep the rice covered for 15 to continue to steam and then let it cool.
  2. Mix 1 cup water with the salt in a separate bowl. Damp your hands in this mix and divide the cooked rice into eight equal portions.
  3. Next, divide each portion of cooked rice in half. Make a dimple in rice and pour a heaping teaspoon of fish flakes. Cover it with the other half of the rice portion to fill the enclosed rice ball and press lightly to shape it into a triangle. Use strips of nori to tie triangles. Use sesame seeds for garnishing.

Nutritional Value:

  • Calories: 744.4
  • Protein: 14.4g
  • Carbohydrates: 159.4g
  • Fat: 3.3g

#3 Japanese Tempura

  • Prep time: 10mins
  • Cook time: 20mins
  • Total time: 30mins
  • Serving size: 4

Ingredients:

For Vegetable Tempura:

  • Vegetable oil
  • Red bell pepper – 1 medium size (Use ½ inch cut strips)
  • Yellow onion- 1 medium size (Use ½ inch cut rings)
  • 1 medium head broccoli (florets)

For Tempura Batter:

  • 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 c. cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 large whisked egg
  • 3/4 c. seltzer water 

For Dipping Sauce:

  • Mayonnaise – ¼ cup
  • Hot sauce – 1 tbsp
  • Grated garlic clove – 1

Instructions:

  1. Take a large and heavy-bottomed pot. Fill it 1/3 to 1/2 with vegetable oil and heat over medium heat to a temperature of 375 degrees.
  2. Make tempura batter during this time. Use a large bowl to whisk flour and cornstarch. Pour in the seltzer water and whisked egg in the mix and stir until they all blend.
  3. Toss the chopped vegetables in this mix and coat them. Then, fry 2 to 3 pieces at a time in hot vegetable oil for about 2 min till they become golden brown. Take them out on a paper-towel-lined plate and season with salt immediately. Fry all vegetables like this.
  4. To prepare sauce, mix mayo, hot sauce, and garlic in a bowl and whisk them well. Serve this sauce with tempura vegetables.

#4 Japanese Rice Bowl With Eggs

  • Prep time: 20mins
  • Total time: 20mins
  • Serving size: 2

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of homemade dashi
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons dry sake
  • 1 tablespoon sugar (add more to taste)
  • 1 large onion (slivered)
  • 12 ounces boneless chicken thighs (skinless and thinly sliced)
  • 3 thinly sliced scallions
  • 3 to 4 large eggs

To Serve:

  • 2 cups of cooked white rice
  • Togarashi

Instructions:

  1. Mix dashi, soy sauce, sake, and sugar in a saucepan. Bring it to a strong simmer. Add onion and stir for about 5mins. Until it is half-tender. Next, add chicken pieces and stir while turning chicken occasionally. Cook the chicken properly till the broth is reduced to half. Add half of the scallions, soy sauce, and sugar in the broth as per your taste.
  2. Beat eggs lightly in a bowl and pour them in the broth evenly using a chopstick. Cook the eggs properly with the lid covered for one to three minutes.
  3. When you are about to serve, pour this broth over cooked rice in a large bowl. Garnish with the remaining scallions and togarashi.

#5 Japanese Egg Roll

  • Serving size: 4

Ingredients:

  • ⅛ teaspoon dashi powder
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon soy sauce
  • ½ tablespoon sugar
  • ¼ cup of water
  • 2 eggs
  • Oil (use for brushing)

Instructions:

  1. Pour dashi, salt, soy sauce, sugar, and water in a bowl and mix them well.
  2. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs and mix them with the seasoning mixture.
  3. Heat a thin layer of oil in a tamagoyaki pan over medium flame. Cook one-third of the egg mix by spreading it all over the pan.
  4. Roll the egg gently once it is half-set in the pan. Next, pour another one-third of the egg mixture in the pan while lifting the rolled egg from the pan. Once the egg is half-set, roll the omelet and repeat the same with the rest of the egg mixture.
  5. Serve the rolls by slicing them into bite-sized pieces.

#6 Okonomiyaki Skillet

  • Total time: 25mins
  • Serving size: 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup dashi (prepared)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 cups green cabbage (thinly sliced)
  • 1/4 cup bonito flakes (chopped)
  • Salted butter – 1 Tbsp

  • Pork belly – 8 slices (1x3x1/4 inch)
  • Okonomiyaki sauce – 3 Tbsp
  • Mayonnaise – 2 Tbsp
  •  Ground bonito flakes
 – 3 Tbsp
  • 2 tablespoons Japanese pickled ginger (slivered)
  • 2 tablespoons nori or dried seaweed (thinly sliced)

Instructions:

  1. Use the bowl to whisk dashi, flour, and eggs together. Next, fold in the chopped bonito flakes along with cabbage.
  2. Place a skillet over medium heat and melt butter on it. Pour the batter into it. Also, place pork belly slices uniformly making a single layer. Cover and cook them for 6-8mins until they are browned.
  3. Slide the pancake on a big plate. Place the skillet on top of the pancake and invert the pancake carefully with the pork side down. Cook over medium for 10mins more until the pork is evenly browned.
  4. Take out the okonomiyaki on a plate with the pork side up. Brush it with okonomiyaki sauce and mayonnaise. Sprinkle ground bonito flakes, Japanese pickled ginger, and dried seaweed. Serve it after cutting it into wedges.

#7 Japanese Breakfast Recipes With Eggs

If you are looking for more Japanese breakfast recipes with eggs, we suggest Oyakodon. It’s an egg and chicken simmered in a seasoned broth served with rice in a bowl.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Egg
  • ½ chicken thighs (cut into bite-sized pieces)
  • ¼ cup Dashi
  • ½ tbsp Sake
  • 1 tablespoon Soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Mirin
  • ½ medium Onion (thinly sliced)
  • ½ Green onions (thinly sliced)
  • 1 cup of Steamed rice

Instructions:

  1. Use the bowl to mix soy sauce, dashi, mirin, and sake.
  2. Place a saucepan on high flame. Pour in the dashi mix in it. Let it cook until it starts boiling.
  3. After adding onion, cook over the lower flame for around 1 minute. Let it cook for about a minute. Next, add the chicken pieces and let it cook on medium heat.
  4. Whisk the eggs in a separate bowl. Cook it in the pan with the lid closed for another minute.
  5. Place the steamed rice in a bowl and pour the broth on top of the rice.
  6. Garnish with green onion. Your dish is ready to serve.

#8 Japanese Breakfast Meals

An easy Japanese breakfast to prepare is baked miso eggs with roasted aubergine and pumpkin. This recipe serves four.

Ingredients:

  • 500g aubergine (1cm-thick rounds)
  • 90ml olive oil
  • 250g butternut squash (cubed)
  • 4 eggs
  • 125ml whipped cream
  • 2 tablespoons spring onion (chopped)
  • 150g cheese (sliced)
  • Coriander leaves (to garnish)

For the sweet miso sauce:

  • 90g white miso
  • 90ml mirin
  • 60g sugar

Instructions:

  1. Grease a heavy cast-iron pan and preheat the oven to 170degrees C.
  2. Soak the aubergine in salted water for about 15mins to get rid of harshness.
  3. Place the listed ingredients for the sweet miso sauce in a bowl and mix them well.
  4. Keep the aubergine in a roasting tin, brush it with oil, and season with salt and pepper. Roast it for about 20mins until it gets soft. During this time, steam the squash for five minutes.
  5. Place the aubergine and squash evenly in the pan. Crack the eggs over the vegetables. Add the cream and 80ml of the sweet miso sauce evenly on top of the vegetables and sprinkle spring onion and cheese afterward.
  6. Bake it in the oven for around 10mins so that the cheese melts. Use coriander leaves for garnishing.

#9 Healthy Japanese Breakfast Recipes

For a healthy Japanese breakfast, you can try this recipe for a natto bowl. It is rich in protein, dietary fiber, iron, and other nutrients.

  • Serving size: 1

Ingredients:

  • 180g cooked white rice
  • 1 single-serve pack natto
  • 1 egg
  • 1-2 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1-2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 sheet nori or dried seaweed (shreds)
  • sesame seeds

Instructions:

  1. Warm up the cooked white rice and keep it in a large bowl.
  2. Open the natto pack, mix in the included sauce/s, and spread it over the rice. Crack the egg on natto mixture.
  3. In the last, add soy sauce and sesame oil into it. Also, sprinkle some dried seaweed. You can add sesame seeds as per taste.

#10 Vegan Japanese Breakfast Recipes

In the list of Japanese breakfast items, try this amazing Vegan recipe for rice porridge.

  • Prep time: 10mins
  • Cook time: 10mins
  • Total time: 20mins
  • Serving size: 1

Ingredients:

  • 20g brown rice – round (dry)
  • 20g rolled oats
  • ½ cup of chopped leek 
  • 1 sheet nori (shredded)
  • 1 teaspoon miso paste
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • ¼ part of a small avocado
  • 20g tofu
  • Water (for desired consistency)

Instructions:

  1. Rinse and drain overnight soaked brown rice.
  2. Use a bowl to put rolled oats in warm water.
  3. Cook soaked rice and chopped leek in water over simmer flame. It takes around 10 mins for rice to become tender. Remove the pan from flame. Add soaked rolled oats to the prepared mixture. You can add more boiled water to it if needed.
  4. Prepare miso paste by adding some water. Add it to the porridge along with nutritional yeast and shredded nori sheet. You can add more water if required.
  5. Garnish with more miso paste, avocado slices, tofu pieces, and water mixture. You can also season it with paprika powder and sesame seeds and serve.

Nutritional Value:

  • Calories: 290
  • Fat: 9.4g
  • Carbohydrates: 32.9g
  • Fiber: 6.7g
  • Protein: 13.9g

#11 Chinese Breakfast Recipes

Congee is a classic Chinese breakfast item that is similar to the Japanese breakfast dishes. It is rice porridge with a pudding-like consistency.

  • Prep time: 5mins
  • Cook time: 105mins
  • Total time: 110mins
  • Serving size: 6

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup of long-grain rice
  • 8 cups water (or use chicken/vegetable stock)
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Instructions:

  1. Soak the rice for about 30mins and then drain the water.
  2. Use a large pot to cook the soaked rice in 8 cups of water or stock over medium heat.
  3. Once the rice is boiling, reduce the heat to medium-low. Tilt the lid to allow steam to escape. Let it cook and stir occasionally until the rice gets a thick and creamy texture. This might take around 100mins.
  4. Take out the rice porridge and add salt as per taste to serve.
  5. You can also use additional toppings while serving such as minced garlic, minced ginger, shredded chicken, lotus root etc.

Nutritional Value:

  • Calories: 119
  • Fat: 1g
  • Carbohydrates: 24g
  • Protein: 2g

#12 Korean Breakfast Recipes

Here is a recipe for Korean Gyeran Bap that uses typical Japanese breakfast ingredients.

  • Prep time: 4mins
  • Cook time: 6mins
  • Total time: 10mins
  • Serving size: 1

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 1-2 cups of rice (cooked)
  • Soy sauce 1 tablespoon (preferably low sodium)
  • Sesame oil 1 tablespoon
  • Roasted sesame seeds 
  • Dried seaweed sheets
  • Fresh scallions (diced)

Instructions:

  1. Spread some oil on a nonstick pan over medium heat. Crack the egg in the pan cover with a lid for about 3mins until the white part is set. If you want your yolk to be more cooked, leave the lid on or else remove the pan from the gas.
  2. Put the cooked rice into a shallow dish and pour the soy sauce and sesame oil. Next, add the egg you have prepared and garnish with roasted sesame seeds, dried seaweed, and fresh scallions. Your dish is now ready to serve.

#13 Japanese Breakfast Rice

A Japanese breakfast rice bowl is the most common dish that you will find. Here is a simple Japanese breakfast recipe for it:

  • Prep time: 10mins
  • Cook time: 5mins
  • Total time: 15mins
  • Serving size: 1

Ingredients:

  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 1 cup cooked rice (cold)
  • 1 egg (or more if you want)
  • 2 green onions (sliced)
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce

Instructions:

  1. Put oil in a large skillet and heat it on medium-high flame.
  2. Making flat layers, spread the cooked rice uniformly in the skillet. Let it cook for 2-3mins until the rice looks crispy on the bottom.
  3. Crack the egg over freshly prepared rice. Stir the mixture for around 2mins. Once the egg looks scrambled and ready, sprinkle the green onions on top of it.
  4. Serve rice and egg in a bowl. Use soy sauce for seasoning.

Nutritional Value:

  • Calories: 332.3
  • Protein: 11.8g
  • Carbohydrates: 47.9g
  • Fat: 10g

#14 Japanese Lunch Recipes

The Japanese people refer to their meals (sometimes cooked rice) as ‘Gohan’. As mentioned earlier, rice is an important element in the Japanese diet.

The typical Japanese lunch and dinner recipes are usually served as various rice bowls and noodle dishes. Some of the above-mentioned breakfast recipes are also consumed during lunch hours in Japan.

However, you will find that these traditional dishes are not so common anymore. The modern healthy Japanese recipes are quite inspired by the cuisines of other Asian and Western countries.

It will be a good idea to look them up and try them out at home if you are interested. The traditional recipes of Japanese breakfast food are delicious and well-balanced meals. The Japanese believe in not just having a full plate for a meal.

They have nutritious and healthy meals that provide enough energy for the whole day. We recommend you to try some of the Japanese traditional breakfast recipes and enjoy the flavorsome cuisine.

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