Glossary (Phrase list) >> Shojin Ryori

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精進料理, Monk's meal


  Shoujin Ryori 精進料理 can be said as a Japanese vegetarian food.

  That was originally born in the Asian Buddhist countries such as China, India etc.

  There is a little difference depending on the country and time.  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 Zen temples.


  Shojin 精進 means "devotion" because cooking has been an important act as a part of trainings in the Buddhism Zen sect and that cooking was developed by monks and spread rapidly in the Kamakura period.


  Japanese traditional cuisine was too thin tasted, while it used meat such as chicken, fish etc.  On the other hand, the Zen monk's cooking tasted rather fat with some Miso (味噌 soybean paste), while its ingredients were only vegetables.

  Then, Shojin cooking came to be 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, the founder of Kenchoji 建長寺, devised a cooking that did not waste even skin and ends of vegetables.

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


  Now, Kenchin-Jiru is one of the most popular Japanese soup also as a home cooking.


- Info-

  Authentic Shojin Ryori is available at these places in Kamakura.

Hachinoki 鉢の木

Komyoji 光明寺

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