Your breakfast is the meal that sets the mood for the rest of your day. A good breakfast can leave you feeling happy and satisfied.
Changing your traditional breakfast menu every once in a while is a good way to mix things up and take your average mealtime to the next level.
A Japanese-style breakfast is a perfect upgrade. Most Japanese breakfast menus are complete meals that can leave you feeling satisfied and full of energy.
They include items that make sure you receive an adequate dose of protein and fiber, as well as carbohydrates, minerals, and vitamins.
You get new flavors, textures, and balanced nutrition, and it may even inspire you to put a Japanese twist on your everyday menu. Keep reading to find out how.
Setting the traditional breakfast menu
The main dish in a typical, traditional Japanese breakfast is plain, steamed rice. You can use either white rice (hakumai) or brown rice (genmai).
This rice is generally paired with a Japanese staple, miso soup. This is a soup made from fermented soybean paste (miso), and dashi broth (a cooking stock often made from kelp, bonito flakes, dried shiitake mushrooms, or dried whole sardines). For some extra flavor, add tofu, green onion, Japanese mushroom clams, and wakame seaweed.
A protein—often grilled fish—is a must-have on any traditional Japanese table. Fish broiled in the oven or cooked in the pan is the perfect addition. The go-to for many is either salmon or dried horse mackerel.
Japanese-style breakfasts are also not complete without their side dishes. Usual side dishes include tsukemono (Japanese pickles), nori (dried and seasoned seaweed), natto (fermented soybeans), kobachi (small dishes which usually consist of vegetables), and green salad.
The one final addition to this nutrition-filled menu is green tea.
The portion sizes of the dishes are always adjusted to individual preferences, but no dish is too heavy. Everything is well-balanced and designed to keep you full enough to feel energized instead of sluggish.
Planning a modern Japanese breakfast
If nothing on the traditional menu is leaping out at you, you can try modern Japanese breakfast food. These bring you all the nutrition of traditional meals but with a few tweaks.
Miso fried rice, for example, gives the traditional rice bowl a flavourful twist. All you need is white rice cooked with soy sauce and miso paste that you can add to with pepper, peas, and carrots.
Another thing you can try? A rice bowl with eggs. Crack a raw egg into a bowl of sizzling rice and mix it up. Add cilantro, soy sauce, and onion, and your breakfast is all set.
A plate of crispy sweet potato dumplings, made with sweet potatoes, cinnamon, and sugar, is the perfect side dish to complement this menu.
Swap your dumplings for a fresh side salad made with daikon or carrots if you’re looking for something lighter. This salad, with its thinly cut vegetables and pickled with sweet vinegar, is simple and healthy!
Everyday American breakfast with a Japanese twist
If you don’t like to stray too far from the flavors you’re used to, you can just add some Japanese flavor to all your favorite breakfast dishes.
Pancake lovers out there, you’re going to love Japanese soufflé protein pancakes. They are fluffy and light, and because the batter includes protein powder, it leaves you ready to take on the day. With some maple syrup, butter, and a sprinkling of sugar this breakfast will make the start of even the most hectic day sweeter.
Instead of the same old eggs, you can also try Japanese-style breakfast omelets. These are egg rolls (tamagoyaki) made by rolling multiple layers of fried eggs.
For those of you who love their bread in the morning, the Japanese fruit sandwich and Ogura Toast are there for you. The fruit sandwich is made by stuffing slices of milk bread with fresh fruits and whipped cream while Ogura Toast is a slice of toasted bread topped with red bean paste and butter.
Street crepes are new additions that are slowly making their way onto Japanese breakfast tables. These thin crepes are twisted into a cone shape and filled with anything of your choice like strawberries, whipped cream, custard, and bananas.
If you’re having a dessert-for-breakfast kind of day, you can also fill your crepe cone with some ice cream, cookies, or even chunks of brownie!
Create your own Japanese-style breakfast table
If you’re getting a little bored of your traditional breakfast fare, this is your sign to switch things up and try adding a Japanese breakfast to your weekly menu.