Seaweed for breakfast!

A traditional Japanese breakfast is not so different from a traditional Japanese lunch or dinner. The essentials are rice, miso soup and pickles, and anything else is called okazu (side dishes).

At breakfast, though, there’s something you don’t find at any other meal, a small packet of nori (seaweed, sometimes translated as laver, a word I’ve never heard anywhere else). It’s the same kind of seaweed you have with sushi, except here it’s sliced into Chopstick-sized strips. In the picture above, they’re in the little white packet at 9 o’clock. Out of the packet, nori looks like this:

Here are some simple steps to eat it.

1. Take one strip of nori and place it on top of the rice.

2. Using your chopsticks, press down on the nori from the sides.

3. Squeeze the nori around the rice into a roll shape.

4. And dekiagari! (“You’re done!”) Say it with enthusiasm, and you’ll sound like you’re on a Japanese cooking show.

Now that you’ve mastered the basics, you can add other ingredients from the tray, like a bit of grilled salmon or egg, for extra flavor.

Itadakimasu! (Let’s eat!)