Feel good all day and beyond with a Japanese breakfast

Typical Japanese breakfast is not just tasty but gives you essential nutrition to fuel you nicely. It can consist of grilled fish, egg, vegetables, seaweed and seeds/nuts. Steamed rice and a miso soup is a staple. It's low in saturated fat and high in minerals, fiber and vitamins. 

Here are an example of my breakfast.

 

Roast burdock with black sesame, kabocha pumpkin simmered with dried dates, hijiki seaweed simmered with root vegetables and fried tofu, blanched spinach with creamy tofu sauce, tamagoyaki omelette, grilled salted mackerel and grated daikon radish

Roast burdock with black sesame, kabocha pumpkin simmered with dried dates, hijiki seaweed simmered with root vegetables and fried tofu, blanched spinach with creamy tofu sauce, tamagoyaki omelette, grilled salted mackerel and grated daikon radish

Califlower and sugar peas with orange ginger dressing, braised eggplant and fried tofu, blanched yuchoi with sesame sauce, tamagoyaki omelette, shio-koji marinated sockeye salmon

Califlower and sugar peas with orange ginger dressing, braised eggplant and fried tofu, blanched yuchoi with sesame sauce, tamagoyaki omelette, shio-koji marinated sockeye salmon

Meet Ken Suzuki of Suzuki Farm "I was given good soil"

Text and photo: Sorane Yamahira

Suzuki Farm has been in operation since 1983 producing healthy Japanese vegetables

Suzuki Farm has been in operation since 1983 producing healthy Japanese vegetables

Every spring, sparrows come back to the nest in the barn at Suzuki Farm. For Ken Suzuki, that's one of the reasons why he doesn't think he can use conventional pesticides on his farm. "Eggs hatch every year" he says. 

Suzuki has been running this farm since 1983. They were the only commercial farm in the East Coast specialized in Japanese vegetables. And they still are. The lone 33 year history is filled with unique issues and unique solutions. There was moving of the location, flood that took his citrus trees and diseases nobody in the local agriculture community was familiar with. 

A green house with Japanese sansho peppers and yuzu citrus trees 

A green house with Japanese sansho peppers and yuzu citrus trees 

Taking the natural traditional methods and growing unique varieties of vegetables came with series of challenges. But he is proud of being the provider. "The value of Japanese vegetables don't get well understood by those who are not familiar with Japanese cuisine. But for Washoku, Japanese vegetables are essential."

Shiso is a distinct Japanese summer herb in the mint family

Shiso is a distinct Japanese summer herb in the mint family

As he walks around the farm, he picks up a piece of greens and throw it in his mouth to taste. He makes his own pesticide and herbicide with natural ingredients and keeps natural repellent plants such as Chinese onions in the field. The soil is sandy and well-drained, great for growing vegetables. "I was given good soil" he says. 

He fertilizes his soil with used substrate of Italian mushrooms from Pennsylvania 

He fertilizes his soil with used substrate of Italian mushrooms from Pennsylvania 

Plant extracts and vinegar as herbicides. Labels reads "Chinese onion" and "Garlic chives". 

Plant extracts and vinegar as herbicides. Labels reads "Chinese onion" and "Garlic chives". 

He thinks he just started. "I feel like I started to understand this, recently." In his sixties he says "most people would think about retiring now. I didn't think I would still be running around like this. But this is what I wanted to do. I can't complain. I am grateful I can continue."

From annuals to perennials. He grows young trees of persimmon, peach, cherry and grape from which he hopes to harvest the fruit for retail in the future. 

From annuals to perennials. He grows young trees of persimmon, peach, cherry and grape from which he hopes to harvest the fruit for retail in the future. 

While most of his produce is delivered to restaurants and grocery stores in New York City and other major cities in the East Coast, anyone can order his vegetables through their online store. 

http://stores.nihonyasai.com/

I am using some of his vegetables for the vegan weekend (7/15-7/17).