Shojin Ryori


Vegetarian Temple Food
(shoojin ryoori 精進料理)

***** Location: Japan
***** Season: Topic
***** Category: Humanity


This is a kind of "sacred food". Vegetarian food with no meat or fish. Tofu, vegetables and beans are mostly used for many dishes.

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Together with Buddhism it was introduced to Japan via China and Korea.

One special form of this cooking is

Fucha Ryori (fucha ryoori 普茶料理)
Temple Manpukuji, 満福寺(まんぷくじ)
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They also prepare a special offering for the deities with vegetables mounted on long poles (shankon 上句 (しゃんこん). After the offering, food is prepared for the four most important piests of the Obaku sect to share, with four bites of each dish one plate.

Gosan Ryori, gosan ryoori 醐山料理
from the temple Daigoji in Kyoto


Koyasan Cafe at Aoyama in Tokyo

Monks from the temple Kongobuji at Mount Koya offer vegetarian temple food. Sample some original Koya dofu. Gratin with soy sauce and white miso paste. Natural rice (genmai).

Special sesame goma dofu "kadohama"

You can also copy sutras or meditate at the cafe.
From September 9 till 16 on weekdays.


Modoki ryoori もどき料理 "imitation food"
look-alike food
made only from vegetables, trying to imitate various shapes and tasts of meat.
Introduced with Buddhism where meat was not to be consumed.
Cooks during the Edo period were especially skilled in improvising.
It is also used to prepare snacks (tsumami 肴) eaten with rice wine.

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ganmodoki がんもどき (雁もどき) "wild geese" made from tofu
deep-fried bean curd (abura-age) containing bits of various kinds of vegetables
also called hiryuuzu 飛龍頭 "flying dragon head".
Supposed to be an imitatin of goose (gan 雁) meat.
ganmo がんも for short.
Yam sticky grated mountain potatoes are often used to bind the ingredients together.
. . . CLICK here for Photos !
Aburage mit Möhren, Schwarzwurzel, Gingkonuss u.Ä.

If you think about vegetarianism in Japan, things like "shoujin" cuisine comes to mind. According to Buddhism, "shoujin" cuisine is the practice of persevering to not eat animals that have been killed, in part to help one lead a pure life. This type of food exists not only in Japan. According to Wikipedia, in China there is a similar style of cuisine called "modoki" or "mock" food. "Modoki" food is made solely from vegetable products but imitates the taste and appearance of meat.

For example, using bean curd skin (yuba) you can made a dish called "huitui" (Chinese ham), fake squid and shrimp can be made from konnyaku (devil's tongue), and dishes like abalone soup and various fried foods can be imitated with shitake and other mushrooms. Despite differences between countries, the thinking on something like this issue can be remarkably similar.

unagi grilled eel praprared from fu gluten ふ鰻もどき
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The meat is prepared from fu and also tofu and okara, lotus or burdock root and other ingredients to make a sticky stuff.
The skin is prepared with nori laver.

kuri modoki 栗もどき chestnuts made from sweet potatoes
a treat for the Chrysanthemum Festival, 9th of september


The Enlightened Kitchen:
Fresh Vegetable Dishes from the Temples of Japan
by: Mari Fujii

While Japanese cuisine has become popular in the West, far less is known about the traditional fare originating from Japan's Buddhist temples. Natural and healthy, temple food is based on fresh seasonal vegetables, and staples such as grains and tofu. For centuries, these dishes have been a way of life—and a refreshing change of pace—for monks whose days are spent in rigorous self-discipline.

Married to a Buddhist monk, author Mari Fujii has taught temple cuisine for over twenty years. In these pages, she presents sixty heartwarming recipes, many adapted for the Western kitchen but all true to their roots. Her Carrot and Mushroom Soymilk Soup combines traditional sensibilities with modern taste requirements. The Ginger Rice lends a welcome flair to a common staple, and Banana Tempura is a light, fruity variation of this worldwide favorite.

Mari Fujii's offerings are wide-ranging. THE ENLIGHTENED KITCHEN opens with soups and salads, then sweeps into tofu, beans, vegetables, rice and desserts. A well-considered appendix explains the finer points of cooking rice and making stock, and a detailed glossary provides valuable tips on selecting, using, and storing ingredients.

In Japan, as people seek more ways to improve their diets, temple cuisine is gaining a new generation of followers. Mari Fujii delivers simple, seasonal foods with love and care. She teaches the importance of drawing out the natural flavors of ingredients rather than smothering with heavy sauces or spices. Whether soup, salad, or tofu, these wholesome dishes, based on ancient Japanese traditions, are sure to become firm favorites in modern households. Any way you look at it, THE ENLIGHTENED KITCHEN is a nourishing experience for both body and soul.

source :  The Enlightened Kitchen

Related (External LINKS)

3 Bowls : Vegetarian Recipes from an American Zen Buddhist Monastery

Japanese Foods That Heal: Using Traditional Japanese Ingredients to Promote Health, Longevity, & Well-Being
Tassajara Cookbook

The Zen of Eating

The Zen Monastery Cookbook: Stories and Recipes from a Zen Kitchen
by: Cheri Huber
This cookbook includes low-fat vegetarian recipes for main dishes, soups, breads, and desserts as well as compositions from American Zen monks—those who were head cooks and those who assisted. These inspiring stories are funny and touching, and all reflect the difficulty, challenge, joy, and freedom inherent in living as a Zen monk.


Reference : Shojin Ryori

My Library : Japanese Reference:
Japanese Food and Religion

Worldwide use

Things found on the way

..... Koyasan in Wakayama

Further thoughts about
Buddhism and vegetarianism  


Related words

***** shoojin bentoo 精進弁当 at Shichimensan

***** Yuba, soy bean milk skin 湯葉

***** Tenzoo 典座 Tenzo kyokun, the Zen cook teachings

***** WASHOKU : General Information

extra book

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Kuri Modoki


( 4人分 )
さつまいも 250g
三温糖 大さじ3
塩 少々
すりごま(白) 適量