Posts tagged ‘natto’

Rise and Shine to a Japanese Breakfast

TravelLady Magazine has a great article on Japanese breakfasts. When I was in Tokyo for my honeymoon a few years ago, I was astounded by the variety of food at the hotel’s breakfast buffet. They had to cater to foreign visitors, so scrambled eggs and other westernized fare were on display, but they also provided traditional food, and it was fun to mix and match from both cultures.

So what is a typical Japanese breakfast?

Salmon, bowl of rice, and miso soup are mainstays. Asagohan, the Japanese word for breakfast, means “morning meal.” Some people enjoy seaweed, fermented soybeans called natto, and noodles, too. Sounds a lot like lunch and dinner, right?

A diet of veggies, tofu, rice and tea is supposedly one of the reasons that “Japanese Women Don’t Get Old or Fat.” It’s certainly a healthy alternative to Lucky Charms or Count Chocula.

Still, as evidenced by Krispy Kreme and other high-fat, high-sugar trends recently embraced by the Japanese, breakfast is becoming westernized. According to Japan-Guide, most Japanese eat a combination of Japanese and western food for breakfast these days. The western portion includes fried eggs, yogurt, bread and cereal.

Perhaps it’s only a matter of time before Sushi-O’s become a reality!

Sarah S.

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October 14, 2008 at 8:30 am

Off the Japanese Market

I easily take for granted the ‘ethnic foods’ section at my local supermarket, not to mention the Japanese grocery store down the street. Friends in Japan still can’t believe I can buy natto (fermented soy beans) here in Los Angeles. Truthfully, there are few Japanese things that can’t be found in this town.

nattou.jpg

Japanese markets, on the other hand, have their limitations. I remember how hard it was to find a turkey when Thanksgiving came around. For starters, most household ovens can’t handle a 15-pound bird. And besides, turkeys are as mythical as fire-breathing dragons in Japan; they just don’t eat it.

Luckily, in most big towns you have your gourmet market, syllabically pronounced “gu-ru-me ma-ketto.” It’s not exactly Bristol Farms; “gourmet” just means that most products come from a foreign country, whether it be salsa or Cheese Whiz. Prices are hiked up, but markets like these come in handy when you’re really craving a light snack.

My favorite gourmet market in Sendai City was called Jupiter. (“Venus” and “Mars” in the works, perhaps?) It was located in the basement of the train station and I’d spend several minutes each day walking down the aisles searching for good ‘ol American gems like Pepperidge Farm cookies or Spam. But when I was really in the mood for home-style cooking, gourmet markets proved disappointing. Real cheese will cost you an arm and a leg, and you’re better off growing herbs in your foot-wide balcony. Forget about spices.

There’s no doubt that Japan is home to the some of the world’s best restaurants. The Michelin Guide recently bestowed eight Tokyo restaurants with its highest award. But when it comes to finding home flavor it might be easier to just buy a plane ticket home.

Himawari

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Thinking of doing business in Japan? We can make it easy for you!
JPBizDirect, a Los Angeles based company, provides practical solutions for U.S. – Japan business projects. Our experienced Japanese staff will support all phases of your business project to seize business opportunities and turn your vision into a reality. >> Learn more
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January 2, 2008 at 10:58 am


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