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Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Traditional Japanese Meal or Banquet

The traditional Japanese meal or banquet is divided into consecutive courses according to the method of preparation. For example, a grilled dish comes before a steamed dish, and a steamed dish before simmered foods, and so on. The bare minimum of the meal consists of miso soup, rice and pickles (tsukemono).

The Japanese meal is a symphony of flavour, colour, texture and seasonal produce. It is fresh and prepared so that the foods natural flavour is enhanced. The traditional basic formula of a Japanese meal is “soup and three”. That is soup and three main dishes as follows:

1. Fresh, uncooked fish (sashimi)
2. A grilled dish (yakimono)
3. A simmered dish (nimono)

These dishes will be followed by boiled rice, pickles, tea and fresh fruit as dessert.

The following is an outline of a complete traditional Japanese meal or banquet.

BEGINNING               Appetizer (zensai)
                                 Clear soup (suimono)
                                 Fresh, uncooked fish (sashimi)

MIDDLE                    Grilled foods (yakimono)
                                 Steamed foods (mushimono)
                                 Simmered foods (nimono)
                                 Deep-fried foods (agemono)
                                 Vinegared or Dressed salad (sunomono)

END                          Boiled rice (gohan)        *
                                 Miso soup (miso-shiru) * served together
                                 Pickles (tsukemono)     *
                                 Green tea (ryokucha)
                                 Fresh fruit

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