When someone asks you to name out Japanese cuisine, probably, "Sushi", "Ramen", and "Tempura" would come to your mind first. However, these meals are actually not frequently served in ordinary Japanese households. Therefore, today, I would like to introduce what traditional Japanese home cooking is like in Japan.
Ichijiu Sansai (一汁三菜)
Have you heard of "Ichijiu Sansai"?
Traditionally, Japanese diet is served in the form of "Ichijiu Sansai" , which means "one soup, three dishes". "Ichijiu Sansai" normally consists of rice, soup, one main dish, and two side dishes. Rice provides carbohydrates, and soup provides water and minerals. The main dish usually consists of protein-rich foods such as meat, fish, egg or tofu; whereas side dishes can be potatoes, vegetables, beans, mushrooms, which provide vitamins and fiber.
What is good about "Ichijiu Sansai" style?
The form of "Ichijiu Sansai" is designed for having a well-balanced healthy diet. By using different ingredients for the main and side dishes, nutritional balance can be obtained. Also, by serving each set of meals separately, you can avoid overeating compared to share one large plate with others. This style largely contributes to the fact that the average life expectancy in Japan is one of the highest in the world.
What is needed for "Ichijiu Sansai"?
Besides the ingredients used in the meal, dishes are also very important in "Ichijiu Sansai" style. The tableware needed includes a rice bowl, a soup bowl, a medium size plate for the main dish, and small plates or bowls (Kobachi) for the side dishes. Let's see them one by one in details below.
- Basically, you can choose the design and size that you like. Japanese people normally like what made of ceramic or porcelain.
- Since miso soup is hot, wooden bowls are preferred because they are less likely to transfer heat.
・Medium Size Plate
- Flat, slightly larger size plates (around 20cm in diameter) are used for main dishes, such as meat or fish.
- Flat, smaller plates (smaller than 13cm in diameter) are used for side dishes such as potatoes, vegetables, beans and mushrooms.
・Small Bowl (Kobachi)
- Smaller bowls are typically used for serving simmered or stewed Food.
After serving your food on these dishes, and set the chopsticks as last step, You will have a traditional Japanese home cooking. Why don't you get yourself a set of dishes and try making Japanese home cooking in "Ichijiu Sansai" style?