One of my all time favorite things in Japan is a traditional breakfast – the kind that includes a bowl of rice and miso soup. There’s something so comforting about starting the day with a hearty yet healthy warming meal. You can find these kinds of breakfast sets at lots of different kinds of restaurants in Japan, from the more affordable (Ootoya) to the very luxe.
I think the very first time I really appreciated Japanese style breakfast was when Mike and I went to Hokkaido. We stayed at two very different onsen hotels but the thing that they had in common was a buffet style Japanese teishoku breakfast. Typical teishoku (meal set) are: one soup, one side, one main, a side dish, and pickles. At these buffets though, you could choose from infinite sides. It was AMAZING and so fun to go down to breakfast in the provided yukata. Some common dishes they had were: grilled fish, tamagoyaki, onsen eggs, chawan mushi, natto, tofu, gyoza, mentaiko, and ton of local vegetables. I had the best time because I love variety!
I wanted to recreate that vibe here at home but also didn’t want to make a huge number of dishes, so I kept it simple with rice, miso soup, grilled fish, tamagoyaki, and pickles. It was so cozy and totally brought me back to the fun we had traveling.
If you’re looking to have a Japanese breakfast in the morning, quickly, you can totally prepare some of the dishes the night before, meal prep style. The tofu and green onions can be cut up the night before and the salmon can be marinated as well. You can even make the tamagoyaki ahead of time if that’s what you need to do. I’m not sure what actual Japanese people do because to be honest, it took quite a bit of time to prepare this. Maybe they are really good at multitasking or maybe teishoku style breakfast is more of a special kind of thing like the full English. Either way, this was the perfect way to start the day!
How to Make a Teishoku Traditional Japanese Breakfast
- 2 small salmon filets
- 1 tablespoon sake
- 1 tablespoon mirin
- 1 tablespoon soy
- 1/2 cup Japanese rice
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons water
- 2 cups dashi
- 1 tablespoon dried wakame
- 1/2 block soft tofu
- 1-2 tablespoons miso
- sliced green onions
- 3 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon mirin
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon soy
- oil for the pan
Take the salmon out of the fridge 15 minutes before you start to prepare your breakfast. Add the filets to a bowl with the sake, mirin, and soy. Turn to coat and let marinate at room temperature while you prepare the rest of the breakfast.
Turn your oven on to the broil function.
Start off by making the rice: place the rice and water in a pot with a tight fitting lid and bring to a boil over medium heat. Turn the heat down to the barest simmer and cover with the lid and cook for 17 minutes without peeking. When 17 minutes are up, let sit, with the lid on, for 10 minutes.
While the rice is cooking, make the miso soup: heat the dashi up in a pot over medium high heat. When hot, add the wakame and tofu cubes. Turn the heat off and use a ladle to scoop up some of the hot dashi. Use a small whisk or spoon to mix the miso paste into the ladle of dashi. When smooth and blended, add the ladle of dashi and miso back into the pot. Keep on very low heat to keep warm. Don’t bring it back up to a boil because that will kill off all of the healthy probiotics.
Place the salmon on a rack in a baking sheet or on tin foil. Broil for 10 minutes or until cooked through and slightly browned, brushing with the marinade about halfway through.
While the salmon is cooking, whisk together the eggs, soy, mirin, and sugar in a bowl. Heat up a tamagoyaki pan (or regular frying pan) over medium low heat. Add a bit of oil to the pan and use a paper towel to evenly spread it. Add a small amount of the egg mixture and swirl to coat the bottom of the pan. When the egg is solid, use a spatula to fold the egg over onto itself in half. You want to fold it at 2 inch intervals so at the end you have flat omelette that’s about 2 inches wide. Don’t flip the eggs, just push them to the end of the pan. Use your oily paper towel to spread a tiny bit more oil in the pan and add a bit more of the eggs. Lift up the layer of already cooked eggs so that a bit of the new eggs connect, so they can cook together into a solid sheet. When the new layer of egg is almost cooked, fold the eggs over onto themselves again. Repeat until all the egg mixture is used. Let cool slightly and slice. Alternatively, make soft scrambled tamagoyaki.
Scoop out some rice into a bowl. Serve up the miso soup, salmon, and tamagoyaki, along with some pickles. Enjoy!
Welcome to Weekend Brunch! Bringing the brunch recipes back – skip the lines and make brunch at home. The coffee’s truly bottomless and the best part is PJs all the way!