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July 23, 2024
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Three Dishes in One Sauce: Japanese Food Culture

There is much to learn from Japanese food culture. While most of us don’t necessarily want to live to 120, we all certainly want to grow old gracefully and disease-free, and perhaps the Japanese concept of “three dishes in one sauce” can help us achieve that, allowing us to enjoy the pleasures of good food while reducing the risk of disease — just by paying attention to the way we eat.In May 2020, WHO released the World Health Statistics Report 2020, which showed that the obesity rate of adults in Japan was only 4.3%. Meanwhile, Japan has the highest healthy life expectancy (74.8 years).

Why are the Japanese so much healthier when they eat rice? Usually health and eating is undoubtedly the biggest correlation, do you often see Japanese eating in TV series like this: “A small bowl of rice, a bowl of soup and three side dishes”, and in Japanese cuisine, we have heard of the “one juice three dishes”, so the health and longevity of the Japanese is not with the “one juice three dishes” eating method has a relationship, today we talk about talk talk, hope through this article to improve the concept of eating.

Usually Japanese washoku: refers to Japanese cuisine and Japanese family cuisine, it is the word corresponding to western food (western food), and one sauce three dishes is a common combination of Japanese cuisine menu, by one sauce (soup) and three dishes (one main dish, two side dishes) with the main food (rice) combination.

Ichiju-sansai is a term for the preparation of traditional fixed-food meals in Japan. Literally meaning “three dishes in one soup” (or “three dishes in one juice”), most Japanese eat this way, almost subconsciously.

About the origin of “three dishes a juice” although there is no clear record, but according to a former province of agriculture, forestry and fisheries “Japanese culture the world non-material cultural heritage to log in to review President” and food researchers kumakura study of kung fu, scroll through diet on Japanese heian period, landscape can be determined, the warriors and civilians have commonly used alone “discount apply (お し き, oshiki, legless pantry, wooden square plate) “at that time, there is a” juice three dishes “presentation form.

The Heian period scroll “Sick papyrus Painting Scroll” depicts three dishes served by a folded compress.

During the Muromachi period (1336-1573), the number of groups was increased due to the small size of the private table “Myinomiyama”, which was established by the Muromachi society. During the Edo period, the number of groups was increased even in the form of two five dishes or three seven dishes, and the dishes that could not be finished were taken home by the guests.

In contrast to the endless dishes offered in the local cuisine, tea Kaiseki, born from the tea ceremony, is considered to be the root of modern washoku tradition with its features such as being able to eat all the dishes, bringing the freshly prepared dishes to the table one by one, and conveying a sense of season and a heart of blessing.

Example of tea-kaiseki three-course meal with one sauce.

One juice three dishes and pay attention to the content.

In 2013, “Washoku and Japanese traditional food culture” was included in the world intangible Cultural Heritage list, which summarized the following four characteristics of Washoku: (1) Diversified fresh ingredients, cherish the unique taste of ingredients. ② A balanced and healthy diet. ③ Show the beauty of nature and the rotation of the seasons. (4) Closely combined with traditional festivals.

It also specifically mentions how people in different regions of Japan are able to take advantage of the natural environment and effectively cook with local ingredients. The preparation of meals varies from season to season, with the intention of showing the beauty of nature and the seasons.

The close combination of food and traditional festivals also enhances the emotional connection between people. In addition, the ideal diet structure based on “one juice and three dishes” can also allow the body to take in the necessary carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins and minerals in a balanced way to achieve balanced nutrition, which is closely related to the prevention of obesity and longevity of Japanese people.

The three-course diet has three major benefits.

1. Balance your nutrition.

The variety of flavors and ingredients is the hallmark of three dishes in one sauce. The soup is usually a variation on miso soup, and the three side dishes usually consist of one egg white dish and two vegetable dishes. This way we can eat a variety of vegetables, proteins and carbohydrates instead of relying on a single food, thus ensuring our bodies get the nutrients they need.

Almost every Japanese home will have a rice cooker, a box of miso paste in the fridge, and some small Tupperware in the cupboard for preparing three dishes with one sauce. In fact, Japanese families value rice so much that many buy high-end rice cookers that cost $200 or more to make better rice. Because if you eat rice every day, a “perfect” rice cooker is worth the investment.

2. Keep it in moderation.

Serving three dishes in one sauce in the right size means we can actually enjoy the foods we love without feeling guilty or having the tendency to overindulge. As long as it’s in moderation, there’s no food that should be off limits, like fried chicken or creamy soup, and you can still enjoy it without feeling guilty. As long as we don’t overdo it, these foods can also provide us with the protein and fat we need for our diet.

3. Eat mindfully.

It’s easy to eat while sitting in front of your laptop reading email or binge-watching in bed, but I occasionally feel guilty about this habit. If our minds wander while eating, there are some obvious psychological downsides, such as eating too fast for our brains to react and eventually overeating.

However, if you have a variety of different food types at a meal, you are more likely to find the right table and focus on eating. You can’t sit on the couch watching binge-watching TV while eating a single meal out of a bowl. A few small plates, a variety of ingredients, and a variety of flavors are the keys to a healthy diet.

“Three dishes in one Sauce” in real life.

“Three dishes in one sauce” is a dish you are likely to encounter in many Japanese restaurants. All food will be served in small single-serving dishes or bowls. It’s not new or trendy, it’s not casual or high-end. This has been the traditional way of cooking in Japan for many years.

Of course, you can also make three dishes in one sauce at home. I use my Tupperware to make different side dishes in batches, and I also have a rice cooker that is always filled with just the right amount of rice to make a balanced meal in no time.

In addition to the content, the arrangement of “three dishes with one juice” also has specific rules. Generally speaking, staple food should be placed in front of the left hand, soup in front of the right hand, side dishes in the left and middle positions, and main dishes in the right rear.

Also, beyond the arrangement, the very conscientious Japanese have a few references to the order in which they eat…

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