Dear friends, there are situations that will surprise you in Japan. And maybe even the first morning when your host will give you rice for breakfast. Yes, the Japanese have been eating rice since morning every day. And then at noon and also in the evening. Simple rice without salt, without onions and without sauces. The grains stick beautifully to each other and shine warmly. Those who love properly cooked Japonica rice and love Japan will sometimes long for a Japanese breakfast. I admit, I am longing for it. And not to be alone at the table, I decided to have a Japanese breakfast with our guests in Miyabi. Miyabi is indeed the closest Japan also to me.
What will we serve for the breakfast? Of course rice and misoshiru soup. It is the base. Basic two. Misoshiru will be with daikon radish and with tofu. To form the basic trinity rice and soup must accompany the vegetables tsukemono? We will offer you three types, a little of each. There must also be eggs for breakfast. Omelette? Yes, but we’ll add also onsen tamago. At least it reminds us of an ofuro bath somewhere in the mountains in an onsen spa. Virtual reality – that’s used a lot in Japan. How about a slightly stinky fish dried in the sun? We will probably skip this, though believe me this dish is very good. Instead, let’s have a nicely prepared salmon cutlet. Salt before. This is also a typical breakfast dish. And what else. A small salad may be good. Surprisingly, it can be a little as we do in the West – from fresh cabbage and carrots. I don’t know about you, but I’ll definitely have natto. It is made of fermented soybeans. Natto creates a nice environment in our digesting system. Natto is typical of a Japanese breakfast, but not all people even in Japan love natto. After all, it smells a lot, so no wonder.
We will have all these dishes in front of us on a lacquered tray and, of course, there will be green sencha tea to drink. “Itadakimasu”. That’s a greeting before we start eating. It means “So let’s take the gifts.” We will enjoy the time together, will have fun and we will definitely have a lot to talk bringing to our memory stories about breakfasts in Japan. And as the time will progress, the food from the first tray will not be enough and we will want to choose from other Japanese delicacies. They will be available on a big raut table. For example, shredded beef with spring onions and mustard karashi. From meat specialties we will prepare tsukune from minced chicken. Miso is added to them and they are very good. There must be pork also. We will prepare buta to gobo itame. Burdock root, you know that? What about konyaku? Do you know too? That shouldn’t be missed, because it’s my favorite. Konyaku has almost no calories, so we can add to our plates without fear that we would eat too much. In Czech, the plant is called poisonous viper, and of course we make it very non-toxic. It will be filling of uramaki sushi with ume with a shiso leaf. I gave this sushi the name Darja’s Uramaki. I hope it will become the same popular as the California maki. We will serve one more konyaku dish – as a beloved Japanese nimono, umami simmered dish. As a nimono, we will also add shiitake mushrooms and satoimo potatos. What else? It would still require eggplant. It’s summer, therefor. We will make it chilled and the taste will be ginger. And we will also add a salad made of grated daikon with namekko mushrooms. Let us stop. Enough is enough. It is not good to overeat. But what about a dessert? Let’s have freshly baked kurimanju. They have a butter crust. They are so good.
Butter. Do you know what people in Japan used to say about an unwelcome bride to family? That she smells like butter? Batta kusai. This meant that the bride did not fit into the family. She was understood as a stranger, a foreigner. It wasn’t friendly. Butter came from abroad. Butter was foreign. And everything foreign, I don’t know why, was in Japan embodied into butter. But that is no longer the case today. The Japanese like butter a lot and non-Japanese brides are no longer unwelcome. At least not so hard. Even a Japanese breakfast doesn’t have to be in these days strictly rice. A beautifully sweet toast with butter and coffee became also very beloved. We have our goodies here in the Czech Republic and Japanese have their goodies in Japan. It is great that we Czechs who love Japan know and are fond of both – rice and bread too.
I’m really looking forward to your breakfast stories and breakfast jokes. We still have time to think about and prepare. The first Japanese breakfast in Miyabi starting before noon will be on Sunday, August 9.