Japanese food is simple because all meals, including breakfast, are approached in the same manner. Although mealtime is changing in Japan (as it has been in other first world nations), the traditional approach of home cooking is so ingrained in the culture that it even influences the way the Japanese eat Western food (a little more rice with your hamburger, sir?). In a nutshell, the Japanese meal can be summarized as:

The Japanese Meal = Rice + Soup + “Okazu”

The centerpiece of every meal (yes, every meal) is a bowl of rice. This is accompanied by soup and one or more okazu – side dishes. So really, if you want to make a Japanese meal to impress a friend, you only have to learn three recipes: rice, soup and one okazu of your choice.