Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Meatless Day Challenge: Savory Breakfast Brown Rice Bowl

What do you eat for breakfast? I’m actually curious what people eat at the start of the day. My breakfast choices have improved compared many years ago. I used to eat cereal in boxes with milk but it doesn’t give me the satisfaction being set for the day. I also had my share of eating white bread with peanut butter, luncheon meat (the ever famous Spam), sausages, hotdogs and corned beef; some days are plain congee with dried pork floss and salted eggs; pancakes and waffles are always a favorite served with fake maple syrup; and of course Fridays are always bacon and fried eggs.

But these days, I want to eat something different, something unconventional for breakfast. At least, they are familiar for my taste. When I have leftover rice, I would combine them with chicken broth and add whatever ingredients that I have on the fridge. And I would do the same thing with soba noodles. And if I don't have anything, I can always have a smoothie.

Filipinos are big on eating rice (garlic fried rice) for breakfast either with chicken adobo, pork tocino, beef tapa or fried milkfish with egg and it’s served with a sweet pickled papaya relish called atsara. I prefer to eat them than bread. Some of them are good choices depending on how it’s cooked and they can be eaten any time of the day, and that includes past midnight.

But for this week’s meatless challenge, I want something fresh and clean-tasting for breakfast such us this brown rice cooked with hijiki (a type of sea vegetable) served with boiled egg, some vegetables and a toasted sesame seed and miso dressing. I had this for breakfast before when there’s nothing left to eat and I don’t feel like eating anything that I’ve mentioned above. In the fridge, I have the leftover rice, the vegetables and the dressing, and I all have to do is to cook some eggs. I don’t want to eat them cold so I steam the rice and heat up the vegetables while the eggs are cooking. When I don’t have any vegetables available and I don’t have the time to cook, I use kimchi instead. It's very simple dish but absolutely satisfying.

The toasted sesame seed and miso dressing that I posted last July is great with almost anything. But I lowered the amount of honey used and replaced with additional soy sauce. You can also double or triple the recipe. And if the dressing is not available, I serve this with miso soup instead. After having this meal, I feel more grounded and concentrated ready to face the day. This is also a dish that I could eat for lunch or dinner.

Savory Breakfast Brown Rice Bowl

Makes 4 servings

Brown Rice
1 tbsp dried hijiki
1 cup short-grain brown rice (soaked in water overnight with 2 tsp whey, buttermilk, yogurt or kefir)
1¾ cups water
½ tsp unrefined sea salt

Toasted Sesame Seed and Miso Dressing
¼ cup white sesame see
3 tbsp rice vinegar or lemon juice
3 tbsp shoyu
1 tbsp sake
1 tbsp shiro miso (miso paste)
2 tbsp honey
½ tbsp toasted sesame oil
shichimi-togarashi (7-spice powder) to taste

4 eggs
vegetables of your choice (steamed, blanched or stir-fried)

To prepare the rice, first soak the hijiki in cold water for 10 minutes. Then rinse and drain well. Next, drain, rinse and place the soaked rice in a large pot with water. Add ½ tsp of salt and hijiki. Bring to boil, then lower the heat to simmer, cover and cook the rice for 45 minutes until the liquid has been absorbed. This can be prepared in advance.

To start the dressing, place the sesame seeds into a frying pan. Turn heat to low and toast sesame seeds shaking the pan occasionally until light golden brown. Transfer to plate and allow to cool.

In another bowl, combine the rice vinegar, shoyu, sake, shiro miso, honey, sesame oil and togarashi with a wire whisk.

When the sesame seeds have cooled down transfer to a spice grinder and pulse until coarsely ground. I prefer not to grind the sesame seeds into a powder.Add the flaked sesame seeds with the other ingredients and whisk until combined. Transfer to a bowl or a jar. Set aside until ready to use. This recipe can be doubled or tripled. Stir with a spoon before using.

To cook the egg, bring a pot of water to a boil and prepare an ice bath. When the water is boiling, reduce the heat to simmer. Lower the eggs with a slotted spoon and cook for 8 minutes for soft-boiled egg or 12 minutes for hard-boiled egg. When the eggs are ready, transfer them onto an ice bath. When cooled, remove from the ice and peel.

To serve the rice dish, scoop the rice on a bow large bowl, cut the egg in half and place it on top along with the vegetables. Serve with the dressing.


Gluten-Free (if wheat-free soy or tamari is used); Lacto-Ovo Vegan; Dairy Free

The brown rice, vegetables and dressing can be prepared in advance.

Gain a better understanding on how to cook eggs by checking this lesson Cooking Eggs Part 1 by Rouxbe Online Cooking School.

So, what are you having for breakfast?

Love and light,

Print Recipe


  1. I have cereal for breakfast. It is the easiest for me. But for weekends, it will usually be something with eggs. Love it.

    I am intrigued with this hijiki that you use. I wonder if I can find it here.
    thanks again for another week of lovely meatless day challenge :)

  2. I can have this any time. Love the dressing. A very healthy meal in a bowl....yum. Oh, I'm eyeing that soft egg....my favourite. I need 3! :P

  3. My daily breakfast is plain, nonfat yogurt with granola and a bit of honey, and I usually gravitate toward the carbohydrates - toast with cashew butter or any kind of pancake! Although I grew up with the Filipino breakfasts you've described, I never got into it. Still, I need to shift away from the sweet stuff and explore more savory and hearty meals like this. It not only sounds delicious but looks lovely! What a great way to start the day.

  4. really, a delightful bowl, could eat this for every meal ... great photos

  5. Beautiful breakfast and what power too! Thanks! Have a blessed day!

  6. Wow, that is what I call a breakfast of champions! I usually have either a cup of yogurt, a tangerine, a breakfast bar, or a 2 egg plain omelet, depending on how much time I have.

  7. This looks like something I can have very morning. Love the nutty flavor of brown rice. I cook a mix of white and brown rice everyday :)

  8. Today I had just a cereal bar but wish I could have a delicious brown rice bowl like this instead :)

  9. This looks like the most amazing breakfast! I would indeed have to make it without the eggs but I still imagine it would be filling and wholesome :) That miso dressing looks superb, Divina!

  10. I love savory things for breakfast so this sounds perfect for me! Also love the idea of the toasted sesame seeds and miso to go with it, mmm!

  11. Great idea, never had rice for breakfast but why not? and your new pics is beautiful

  12. that a non-traditional breakfast here in the states but I would not mind eating that for breakfast because I know it has all kinds of great vitamins and it looks very tasty too.

  13. Time flies.
    Seems that I was just reading your last meatless day recipe. Or is the nice image always stay!

  14. This looks great. I prefer savory dishes in the morning so this is much more up my alley.

    Curious, what does the whey or buttermilk do to the rice while it is soaking?

  15. How yuumy is this! I'm am going to have to fly back to your country so I can learn more hands on from you! ..and as always Divina... your photos are beautiful and always consistant!

  16. The breakfast I routinely make for myself is: eggs with about 1 teaspoon of fish sauce mixed in. As the pan heats, I add a bit of sesame oil and a nob of cream cheese. The cream cheese melts and adds to the creaminess of the eggs, scrambled over low heat. If I've got it, I add a bit of hot-smoked salmon and a garnish of green onions. YUM!

  17. Multi cereals and French style like toasts and jam is a classic for me but I need trying this powerful rice bowl someday :)



  18. Thanks everyone for the comments. :D

    @ Penny - You're welcome. I could send you a link about hijiki.
    @ MaryMoh - I need three eggs too. :D
    @ TangledNoodle - I would eat what you're eating if I'm working and always in a hurry. :)

    @ Dawn - The whey, buttermilk, etc helps in breaking down the phytic acid in the brown rice which makes minerals easier to absorb and the grain is easier to digest. My digestion is quite sensitive so I do this process. :)

    @ Kelly - you're always welcome to visit me here.

    @ Traca - Your breakfast sounds really yummy.

    @ Gera - I might eat some French-style toasts when I get sick of eating rice for breakfast. :D

  19. Great idea Divina! I love the idea of this savoury bowl as I tend to crave savouries most mornings. It looks lovely and healthy too :D

  20. this is quite a unique and savory breakfast indeed, and wish someone will prepare me one, ready when I wake up, haha...nowadays, i don't have the luxury of preparing a hearty breakfast, it's always breakFAST -- bread with whatever spread available, and hot mug of instant cereal or oatmeal drink. How do you take such vivid photos?! :D

  21. That dressing sounds delicious! That soft egg is just asking for some toast to be dipped into it :)

    I love the idea of non-traditional breakfasts (at least, these are non-traditional for my tastes). I have often eaten leftover spaghetti and pizza for breakfast, and one of my favorite breakfasts is a grilled cheese sandwich!

  22. Wow, that's a great breakfast to start off a day! I might have something like this for lunch only.
    Yeah, we are on the same camp. Chinese are big on eating rice too! I eat fried rice and steamed rice very often. Sometimes cook the rice with chicken broth to indulge ourselves.

  23. @ Lorraine - Thanks. It's a good change for me.

    @ Mom-Friday - I know what you mean. :D If I'm working, I wouldn't be making this too. I try to use natural light as much as possible. :)

    @ Cassandra - I did have my share of eating spaghetti and pizza too for breakfast. :)

    @ Christine - I can't live without rice. :D

  24. I read about it on the link on this post. Must try and investigate more and see if I can get it here.

  25. oMG this is absolutley scrumptious!!! esp teh sesame miso dressing!!! ur tempting me!

  26. Divina, I'll have this for my lunch and then I can skip my dinner. For me, one bowl of brown rice can help me to last for a day. SEE, my hubby is sooo lucky! I only eat once a day. haha...

  27. This looks so healthy and tasty! I love the hijiki in the rice! Great idea!

  28. I love the look of that dressing! What a great way to start the day - plenty of fiber and protein.

  29. Can't believe you made this with mostly leftovers in your fridge. Looks so delicious and healthy. The photos are awesome as usual. Great stuff Divana.

  30. Looks wonderful! You make eating meatless meals look so inviting!

  31. That looks incredible! My favorite breakfast is a traditional Colombian dish made with rice,beans, eggs and meat.It is comforting and delicious.

  32. @ Penny - I'm sure you can get them in Japanese food stores. :D

    @ My Little Space - good for you Kristy. :D

    @ Shelly - Thank you.

    @ Cookin Canuck - I love the dressing too and the nuttiness of the sesame seeds.

    @ CheapAppetite - Thank you. Sometimes leftover foods look really great too. :D

    @ Jen - thank you.

    @ Erica - your breakfast is also very appetizing to eat.

  33. This is a dish that I so like: healthy & so colourful too!


  34. I am bad, I seldom eat breakfast. It is SUCH a terrible habit that I am trying to break this year. However, when I do choose to eat something I usually have to have an egg (boiled, fried, poached), it's comforting, filling and absolutely delicious. I love this meal, its simple yet that miso sesame dressing would definitely make everything harmonious. YUM!

  35. Divina this looks delicious! Great photos and I love the idea of one day a week without meat.

  36. All the time I see some Food/travel program made in Asia, I'm drooling, I love the idea of having a soup, or a bowl with rice and some delicious veggies and pork or chicken for breakfast. And The most amazing thing is they are always skinny and in good shape. I'm dying to go to Asia. The flavors are awesome. Your breakie looks fantastic.

  37. I love savoury breakfast. This recipe is brilliant and I love the egg yolks oozing out!

  38. My breakfast is still cereal+milk or oatmeal+milk. But I get sick of that occasionally and buy breakfast fried vermicelli from the hawker stalls outside ;p

    Your breakfast is very luxurious.


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