June 3, 2008

Ichi-Ju-San-Sai (One Soup and Three Dishes)/一汁三菜

As you may know, a typical, rice-centered Japanese meal is hierarchically structured, with rice (the king) at the top. Soup, usually miso soup, (the queen) is required not optional, and all other dishes, no matter how delicious they are by themselves, are mere humble servants. In fact, these dishes, called okazu, are meant to be eaten with rice and are, therefore, seasoned accordingly.

The other day, I got three bunches of enoki mushrooms from a neighbor who runs an enoki mushroom factory. Today, I used one of them.

Tonight's supper is one example of an "ichi-ju-san-sai" meal.
Nowadays, san-sai are considered one shu-sai (main dish) and two fuku-sai (side dishes).
The shu-sai today was gyoza (store-bought).
The two fuku-sai are stir-fried vegetables and simmered kiriboshi daikon.
We also had momotaro tomatoes and lightly pickled cucumbers. Momotaro is the most popular tomato variety in Japan.


nakji said...

How did you make your cucumber pickles? One of my students brougt in a bottle of "sanbaizu" for me, and said I could sprinkle it on some sliced cucumber for an instant "sunomono". It's one of my husband's favourite side dishes now.

Hiroyuki said...

Bascially the same recipe as that I previously mentioned in another blog:
For 5 cucumbers,
80 ml mirin-like seasoning (alcohol-free)
80 ml cereal vinegar
Shio kombu (instead of salt)
I'll post a pic later.

Sanbaizu: Yeah, my wife likes cucumber and wakame sunomono.

Anonymous said...

I love the amazing presentation of Japanese home cooking! The dish count is a little mysterious. Are raw vegetables such as tomatoes, and pickled vegetables never counted among the side dishes? Also, since the stir-fry does not appear to have its own plate, will it share the same plate as the simmered kiriboshi daikon? Thank you for sharing.

Hiroyuki said...

Somehow, I missed this question of yours, and found it only today.
Come to think of it, the meal shown is not a typical ichi-ju-san-sai one. As you imply, each side dish requires its own plate. Note that traditionally, a pickle is not counted as a dish. Tomato wedges..., well, they are an exception (laugh).
I will try to post a photo of an authentically presented ichi-ju-san-sai meal when I have more free time and feel like using as many plates as necessary.

Miko said...

Very Interesting....on 1st day of 2015 I ate a salad of cucumber apple walnut cherry tomato lettuce. The dressing was store bought jar prune sauce (looks golden),lime juice and parsley. The lady who made the salad says she also add the bud of ginger flower. My fren say we can add the preserved orange peel to give flavour to salad.

Hiroyuki said...

Miko: Thanks for retrieving an old post. I must post a photo of an authentic ichiju sansai meal some day!

Orange peels sound very good!