Take the Japanese breakfast. Add a Western twist.
As more Japanese travel to the West, the Japanese breakfast is joining American and Continental breakfasts on menus. Here we present two ways to enjoy this cultural merger: a typical Japanese morning meal, and a Western adaptation of it. Some of the Japanese foods may seem unfamiliar, but many correspond to familiar American breakfast items. We list parallel choices: you can be traditional or innovative, Eastern or Western, as you select something from each category. Shop in an Asian market or well-stocked supermarket for the authentic ingredients, or choose readily available Western alternatives. Much of the charm of a Japanese meal is in the presentation. Serving each food in a separate container, with an eye to the overall arrangement, lends such a breakfast the quality of a still life. Rice For either cuisine, offer hot cooked short or medium-grain rice, about I cup perserving. Plain rice accompanies the Japanese breakfast. Westerners can eat it as a cereal (or use another hot or cold cereal), topped with sugar, cream, and fruit. Soup Serve any hot broth, or make one of these combinations; the miso soup is traditional. Miso soup. In a 1 - to 1 1/2-quart pan, combine 2 tablespoons light miso, 1 bag (3/4 oz.) dashi-no-moto (seasoning for soup stock), and about 3 cups water check package directions). Simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes. Discard bag. Add 3 or 4 1 by 1 1/2- by 1 1/2-inch pieces (1 oz. each) rinsed and drained soft tofu (optional); when hot, ladle into bowls. Serves 3 or 4. Nutritional information not available. Gingered broth. In a 1- to 1 1/2-quart pan, bring to boiling 21/2 cups regular-strength beef broth and 2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger. Ladle into bowls. Serves 3 or 4. Per serving: 12 cal.;O.3g protein: 0.4g fat, 1.9 g carbo; 3.1mg sodium; 0 mg sodium. Tofu Typically, tofu is served separately or in miso soup. Allow about 1 ounce see size at left) per serving. Serve cool or warm (immerse in hot water for 1 to 2 minutes, then drain). Season with soy, mirin (sweet rice wine), toasted sesame seed (optional). For the Western breakfast, offer I ounce of cheese (such as cream cheese) with smoked fish for a serving. Fish For each portion, allow I to 2 ounces of preserved fish, 2 to 3 ounces of fresh fish. Japanese markets sell the fish favored for breakfast: salted salmon, or partially dried mackerel or pike (both often seasoned with teriyaki sauce). Whatever your choice of fish, broil and eat warm. Western choices might include cold smoked salmon lox), smoked trout, tiny sardines, warmed Alaskan (black) cod, sauteed trout, or sand dabs. Eggs Both cuisines feature eggs cooked in the shell, hard or soft. Japanese also favor the sweet rolled omelet; Westerners may prefer scrambled or poached eggs. Sweet rolled omelet. Whisk to blend 2 large eggs, 1 teaspoon mirin (sweet rice wine), and 1/4 teaspoon soy sauce. Over high heat, place a nonstick frying pan with sloping sides and a bottom that measures 7 to 9 inches across. When pan is hot enough to make a drop of water dance, remove from heat and at once add I teaspoon salad oil, then pour in egg mixture. Mixture starts to set at once. Quickly, with a wide spatula, push cooked portions to center from opposite sides, and let uncooked egg flow onto bare pan underneath. You want a pale, not browned, omelet. When mixture no longer flows, lift opposite edges over center, making a straight sided shape. Flip omelet, bottom up, onto a plate; let cool. If made ahead, cover and chill up until the next day. Cut crosswise into 1-inch slices. Serves 2. Per serving: 102 cal.; 6.3 g protein, 7.3 g fat; 1.6 g carbo.; 105 mg sodium; 213 mg chol. Pickles Pickled vegetables (onions, mushrooms, gobo-burdock root), seaweed, and ginger (often sold in little plastic bags) are Japanese choices to go with rice. Westerners relish capers, salsa, prepared horseradish, or chopped onion as condiments for the fish. Nori As a crisp element, Japanese offer nori (seaweed). A Western substitute is thinly sliced toasted bagels, or any toast. Fruit Japanese choose perfect pieces, such as 1 long-stemmed strawberry, or a small cluster of grapes. Westerners serve larger portions, and place less emphasis on perfection. Tea In the East, green tea comes hot and plain. Westerners often like black tea, to which they add milk or cream. 11
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|Date:||Jun 1, 1990|
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