Breakfast Makeover: Japanese Bento

Mini Breakfast Bento_SJ Mercury News

A hearty and tasty breakfast shouldn’t be restricted to weekends. With some advance planning and prep, parents can make a “fancy” breakfast a daily occurrence (forget the generally “sugar-laden” boxed cereals).

This Japanese Bento was featured in the San Jose Mercury about year ago and is way easier to pull together than you would think.  It just looks impressive.  We love the idea of rice for breakfast and if you are gluten-free, it totally gets you out of the breakfast rut.  You can have almost everything prepared the day before and leftovers work great for this Japanese bento breakfast.

Winter break is over and all of us are begrudgingly back to our daily grind. Hopefully, this breakfast idea will get your creative juices flowing and inspire you to shake up your breakfast routine.

Japanese Breakfast Bento

Serves 2

Note: Furikake is a dry seasoning blend of seaweed (nori), sesame seeds and other flavors. You can find it at well-stocked Asian markets.

Quick miso soup (can be made ahead of time and reheated)

  • 2 cups water
  • 2 teaspoons instant dashi powder (or vegetable bouillon)
  • 2 tablespoons miso paste
  • 1/2 cup cubed tofu
  • 1 scallion, finely chopped

Assemble Bento box:

  • Warm short grain rice
  • Furikake
  • Smoked salmon (experiment with different kinds of smoked fish)
  • Scrambled eggs
  • Seasonal fruit
  • Anything else you or your kids love – doesn’t even have to be Japanese

1. Heat water on the stove or in the microwave; stir in dashi powder until dissolved.

2. Mix 1/4 cup of hot broth with miso paste, whisking until smooth. Pour the miso mixture back into the broth and stir well to combine.

3. Pour into small bowls, garnish with tofu and scallions, and serve with a scoop of warm short-grain rice, dusted with furikake, smoked salmon or scrambled eggs and fruit.

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