1/3 English Breakfast
When I was 24 years old, I traveled to England by myself. London, England was the last stop on my trip around Europe. The only reason I stopped in London was to visit museums. I loved William Blake, the poet and painter, and I remember being truly moved when I saw his works up close. One of the paintings I wanted to see was Millet’s Ophelia, and on the day I was going to see it, I woke up early with excitement and had an English breakfast at a cafe near the hotel (and read Blake’s poetry book. It was great). When I arrived at the museum, I found that the painting that was supposed to be there was completely missing. I asked the curator, disappointed. “No Ophelia?” “Oh, she’s traveling around the world right now, just like you. Where are you from?” He said. “From Japan.” “You’re in luck, she’s in Tokyo, Japan right now, you’ll have to go see her when this trip is over.” He talked about Ophelia with a proud look on his face, and I couldn’t really say that I couldn’t easily go there since I live in Osaka. Well, in the end, I went to Tokyo.
Now, why “1/3”? It is simply because I am not British and the ingredients I use are not the same as the real thing. In every country, there are traditional dishes and traditional seasonings, aren’t there? In Japan, we often hear, “California rolls? That’s not sushi,” right? A real English breakfast always has blood sausage in it, and there are many other rules. It’s not quite 1/2, but having once eaten a real English breakfast in London, I’ll do my best to look good and call this recipe “1/3 English Breakfast”.
1/3 English Breakfast
4 sausages – as many as you like
Chickpeas, or soybeans if you like (canned or cooked in water)
4 slices of bacon ~ as many as you like
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Tomato sauce or ketchup
Salt and pepper
- The mushrooms can be white or brown. If you don’t have them, you can use maitake or shimeji mushrooms. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan and quickly cook the sliced mushrooms and the spinach cut into 4 cm pieces. Once cooked, place them on a plate.
- Next, fry the sliced tomatoes. The less ripe the tomatoes are, the less likely they are to fall apart. If there is room in the pan, cook the sausage and bacon together. The more browned they are, the better. When everything is cooked, place them on a plate.
- Next, make the baked beans. Put the chickpeas or soybeans in a frying pan and steam them with 2 tablespoons of ketchup or tomato sauce and 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar. If using ketchup, add a little water to make a sauce. By the way, I like to use tomato paste instead of ketchup. It has a strong tomato flavor and no sugar in it, so it’s healthy and highly recommended! When it reaches boiling point, season with salt and pepper and place on a plate.
- Finally, in a frying pan, make a fried egg and place it on a plate. In the meantime, toast a loaf of bread (or bread of your choice) and have it ready. If the other ingredients have cooled down while you are making the fried eggs, you can warm them up in the microwave once.
- There are many traditions and rules that go into the actual Ingleshi breakfast. Some of them are hard to find, such as blood sausage. They call this kind of breakfast a “full breakfast”, but yes, my recipe is more like a 1/3 breakfast. Please try to serve it stylishly on a large plate and have a cup of royal milk tea after.