Glossary (Phrase list) >> Shojin Ryori

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精進料理, Monk's meal

  Japanese Shoujin Ryori 精進料理 can be said as a vegetarian foods in the meaning of No-Animal-Meat.  That was originally born in the Asian Buddhist countries such as China, India etc.

  There are some difference depending on the countries and times.  Strong-taste vegetables like green onion are not used in some countries, but other countries use those like coriander.

 

  We herein introduce the Japanese Shojin cooking that is generally known as the Monks' meal in the Zen temples.

  

  Shojin 精進 meant "devotion" because cooking was also an important act as a part of training in Zen sect and that monks' cooking was developed by them and spread rapidly in Kamakura period, while the vegetable dishes had already existed in the other sects.

 

  Japanese traditional cuisine had been too thin tasted, while it used meat such as chicken, fish etc.  On the other hand, the Zen monks' cooking tasted rather fat with some Miso (味噌 soybean paste), while its ingredients were only vegetables.  It was loved by Bushi whose bodies required some salt for their hardworking.

 

Typical menu of Shojin Ryori

Steamed rice, Soup, Vegetables, Tofu, Konjak jelly, Pickles

 

Kenchin jiru (けんちん汁 Kenchoji soup)

  One of the Shojin cookings.  It is said that Buddhist Priest Doryu, founder of Kenchoji 建長寺, devised a cooking that did not waste skin and ends of vegetables.

  That soup was called Kenchoji soup first and gradually came to be called "Kenchin".

 

  Now, Kenchin jiru is one of the most popular Japanese soup as a home cooking, too.

 

- Info-

  Authentic Shojin Ryori is available at these places in Kamakura.

Hachinoki 鉢の木

Komyoji 光明寺

 

 

 

 

 

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