Breakfast Club

Jump-start the day with bluefish and eggs at Okonomi

Okonomi's co-chefs, Yuji Haraguchi and Tara Norvell, are planning to launch ramen tastings later this summer at their tiny new Williamsburg restaurant, but meanwhile head over for breakfast ($15).

We can't think of a better way to start the day than with their satisfying and well-balanced ichiju sansai, a traditional Japanese-style set meal that translates to a soup and three sides, but involves little extras, like pickles and rice:

Norvell and Haraguchi love their 10-cup Zojirushi rice cooker, "the Ferrari of cookers," which alerts them with a cute noise when the slightly chewy, nutty brown rice ① is ready. On top, there's a dark, salty mash of bonito, the same smoked and dried tuna that was used to make the miso soup, rehydrated and pan-fried with a little sesame oil.

"Today was so hot that most of the greens looked really bad," says Norvell, who shops at the Greenmarket in Union Square for produce, and occasionally at McCarren Park on the weekends. But she found hardy bok choy, broccoli rabe and chard ②. On top of the leaves, there's a dollop of chirai—soft, super creamy tofu seasoned with dashi, white soy sauce and some ground sesame seeds.

Their version of tamagoyaki ③ is a bouncy cube of an omelet fattened up with heavy cream and sweetened with miso. Though it's traditionally cooked thinly and rolled, this one is baked in one thick layer. The tiny pile of fresh pickles ④ might be daikon and red cabbage one day (pictured), colorful cauliflower and cucumber the next.

The bluefish ⑤ is from Long Island. "I like oily, mackerel-like fish and this is really soft and flavorful, some of the best I've ever had," says Norvell. The fish is marinated in sake kasu, the sweet, yeasty mash leftover from the sake-making process. "We love byproducts," she says. "We don't like to waste anything."

Miso soup ⑥ is at the heart of the set meal. Okonomi's delicate version is made with a blend of barley miso and white miso, house-made dashi and whatever vegetables call to Norvell at the market. Today it's white turnips and spring onions, but on a recent visit, it was slivers of bright green asparagus.