A traditional breakfast in Japan
Source : tourist-note.com
In the western world, breakfast often features toast, cereal, eggs and bacon, accompanied by juice, tea or coffee. In Japan they do things a little differently, with a traditional breakfast resembling what you might otherwise consider a complete lunch or dinner meal.
A traditional Japanese breakfast includes steamed rice (gohan), miso soup and grilled fish, with a selection of side dishes. These include Japanese pickles (tsukemono), dried and seasoned seaweed (ajitsuke nori), fermented soy beans (natto) and vegetable side dishes known as kobachi. The meal is usually accompanied by a cup of hot green tea.
Portion sizes tend to be small and the dishes light (not deep fried or rich) - just enough to meet your appetite and get you going in the morning! While it might seem time-consuming to prepare a meal like this so early in the morning, most families reheat miso soup and rice from the night before and may use pre-made or packaged pickles, soy beans and other side dishes.
Miso soup is made from fermented soybean paste and a dashi broth, seasoned with wakame seaweed, springs onions, Japanese mushrooms and tofu. While some Japanese families make their miso from scratch, you can also buy miso paste and dry instant miso soup and just add water.
Fermented Soy Beans (Natto)
Full of protein, natto is seasoned with soy sauce, a spicy mustard known as karashi, dried seaweed and dried bonito (katsuobushi). It can be founded in the fridge section of most Asian groceries.
Grilled Fish (Yakizakana)
Another breakfast element that is full of protein is yakizakana or grilled fish, which is either cooked in the oven or lightly fried in a pan. Salmon is one of the most popular fishes in Japan to start the day, but you can select any fish that you prefer.
Pickled Vegetables (Tsukemono)
Anyone that’s traveled in Japan will be familiar with tsukemono as this pickle is used to accompany most rice dishes. You can find a wide variety of different vegetable pickles in the fridge section of Asian groceries, such as umeboshi which is made from pickled plums and is one of the most popular.
Seasoned Dried Seaweed (Nori)
Ajitsuke nori is often served alongside steamed rice or dipped into soy sauce for extra flavor and is bought in dried packages.
Vegetable Side Dishes (Kobachi)
Kobachi side dishes include both cooked vegetables and fresh salads that will vary from day to day, adding essential vitamins to a traditional Japanese breakfast.
Where to eat a traditional breakfast in Japan
Ryokan inns and affordable minshuku B&Bs normally serve a traditional Japanese breakfast to start the day. If you’re staying at upmarket hotels, you’ll probably get a choice between a Western-style breakfast or a traditional Japanese one. You will also find local eateries that serve traditional Japanese breakfasts in most towns and cities.