Field NotesDashi for BreakfastFood Coordinate : Sanaka Hitomi(THINK GREEN PRODUCE)
Photography:Hiroko Matsubara
Text:Nami Son
Translation : Hidetaka Furuya (Northern Projects) 

Traditionally, breakfast has always been a very important part of Japanese culture.
It signifies the beginning of a new day and is meant to calm your mind. Breakfast
can be seen as a kind of meditation and a way of supporting your increasingly busy life.

* For those who prefer a plant-based broth rather than using katsuo-bushi (dried bonito) –
all the recipes below can be easily prepared by using kombu-dashi, a broth made by using kombu (dried kelp) only.


Let's use dashi to make a delicious breakfast!


Let’s use dashi to make a delicious breakfast!


Dashimaki Tamago

Dashimaki tamago is a rolled omelet made with dashi. It’s a popular menu item for breakfast or bento boxes in Japan. The ideal ratio of egg to dashi is 3:2.The more dashi you use, the more flavorful your dashimaki tamago becomes. However, this will make it harder to form and grill. It's best to practice making the omelet first and then start gradually adding more dashi as you become more skilled.

<How to make good dashimaki tamago at home>

<Ingredients> for 2 – 4 people

- Eggs ...... 4 * If we assume that each egg weights about 50g.
- Ichiban-dashi ...... 130cc
- Potato starch ...... teaspoon 2.5 tsp * This can be replaced with cornstarch.
- Light soy sauce ...... teaspoon 1.5 tsp
- Sugar ...... 1 tbsp
- Natural salt ...... pinch
- Vegetable oil ...... suitable amount

[Grated white radish] to your liking

- White radish ...... your liking * Drain this before use to ensure the radish is relatively dry.
- Soy sauce ...... a dash

  1. Break the eggs into a bowl. After dissolving the potato starch with a dash of dashi, add all the other ingredients into the bowl and mix.
  2. Pour some vegetable oil into a well-heated frying pan and let it cover the bottom of the pan.
  3. Heat the pan at a medium temperature. Pour a small amount of egg mixture into the frying pan and quickly let it spread out.
  4. Once the egg mixture starts to bubble, remove the bubbles by stirring the egg with a pair of chopsticks.
  5. Once it is almost fully grilled, roll the omelet up from the far side of the pan towards yourself. Form the egg roll near the side closest to you, and then push the whole omelet back to the furthest side of the pan.
  6. Pour more vegetable oil into the frying pan and add some more egg mixture. Then lift up the omelet you have already made with a pair of chopsticks and pour the newly added egg mixture underneath.
  7. Repeat steps 4 to 6 three or four times, adding new layers to your egg roll. Once it has all been grilled, slice the omelet into bite-sized pieces and arrange on a plate.
  8. Add some grated white radish to the plate. You can also add some soy sauce to the radish if you prefer.

* In Japan, we usually use a pan which has been specially designed to make dashimaki tamago,
but you can also use an ordinary frying pan just like you would use to make a Western omelet.

* Pour slightly more vegetable oil into the frying pan than usual.
Your dashimaki tamago will become even fluffier.

* Potato starch tends to settle at the bottom of the egg mixture, so always stir the eggs
when pouring them into the pan.


Dashimaki Tamago


Seasonal Nameshi

Nameshi is a dish which consists of rice boiled with green vegetables. We have prepared a recipe for nameshi using freshly cooked rice with kombu-dashi and seasonal greens. For this particular recipe, you need rape blossoms, turnip greens and watercress, but you can use your favorite greens (such as arugula, kale and coriander) to make your own seasonal nameshi.

<How to make good seasonal nameshi at home>

<Ingredients> for 4 people

450g of rice
1 teaspoon of natural salt
600cc of water
8cm square of kombu
100g of rape blossoms
30g of turnip greens
30g of watercress
1.5 tablespoons of roasted white sesame seeds
10g of katsuo-bushi

  1. Wash, rinse, and scrub the rice, and pour onto a bamboo sieve. After it drains, put the rice into a pot together with 600cc of water. Let it soak for over 30 minutes. Then add the kombu and salt. Cook the rice at a medium temperature. Once the water starts boiling, heat the pot at a low temperature for 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and steam the rice for another 15 minutes.
  2. Boil the greens in salty water for 1 minute. Then put them into cold water and drain. Slice the greens into 1 cm pieces and mix them with the freshly cooked rice. Add the white sesame seeds and the katsuo-bushi if you like.


Surinagashi of Tomatoes

Surinagashi of Tomatoes is a pureed tomato soup. It’s a great breakfast dish where you can enjoy the umami flavors of dashi and tomatoes. It’s easy to cook and it goes well with bread. Other seasonal vegetables and boiled beans can be used in place of tomatoes.
* Adjusting the amount of dashi will make your soup thicker or thinner.

<How to make good surinagashi of tomatoes at home>

<Ingredients> for 4 people

800g of ripe tomatoes
160cc of katsuo-dashi and kombu-dashi combined *Using kombu-dashi only also works.
1 teaspoon of cooking sake
An appropriate amount of natural salt
An appropriate amount of sugar *Use sugar if you prefer a sweeter taste.
1 teaspoon of light soy sauce
Squeezed ginger juice *Add to your liking.
A dash of extra virgin olive oil
A dash of ground black pepper

  1. Blend chopped tomatoes and dashi in a food processor.
  2. Put your ingredients from step 1 into a pot and add the cooking sake. Heat at a low temperature to ensure that the aroma will be saved.
  3. Add salt to ensure that the soup is seasoned to your liking.
  4. Add the light soy sauce and squeezed ginger juice to the pot. Boil the soup briefly,
    then serve in dishes. Add olive oil and black pepper as a finishing touch.


Surinagashi of Tomatoes