Shojin ryori is the art of cooking simple dishes. It generally uses minimal seasoning and solely uses vegetables as its main ingredients. Because of this, most vegans and vegetarians enjoy this cuisine. A meal often consists of a soup and three dishes. Some temples strictly follow a rule wherein you will only use select vegetables given on that day. It has become a practice for most monks and because of that, the results are always this unfailing beauty of simple dishes. It doesn’t have any fancy decorations but you will see and taste the honesty in the food and you will be glad you had taken this cuisine to eat.
This cooking style was adapted by Japanese people during the early 13th century when Zen Buddhism was growing widespread throughout the country. It was introduced by its founder, Monk Dogen, wherein he emphasized the practice of seated meditation. Because Buddhist tradition doesn’t allow the practice of killing animals for human consumption because of their belief that animal spirits interfere with their meditation, they don’t use meat or fish on their dishes. Despite this, shojin ryori is far from being bland because even so, the five flavors are present in the dishes and offer five colors which balance out everything and the result? A simple yet flavorful dish. Shojin ryori also uses the cooking technique modoki ryori which is a common trait in most Japanese cooking. It is the substitution of vegetable ingredients to the meat like using mushroom, tofu, or seaweed products instead of beef or pork. And because they also believe that nothing should go to waste, they make soups out of these leftovers like trimmings from carrots or peels of potatoes.
Shojin ryori is simple and harmonious. It doesn’t require so much of handwork. It teaches us to receive the simple joys given to us and create exceptional memories out of it.
Menu for Shojin Ryori Cooking Class in Tokyo:
- Tororomushi (a steamed mix of grated daikon and Japanese yam)
- Vegetarian pressed sushi topped with ‘egg’ (made from tofu)
- Deep-fried vegetable skewers
- Sautéed seasonal vegetable steaks
- Miso soup (Made from kombu (seaweed), no bonito flakes used)
Schedule for Shojin Ryori Cooking Class in Tokyo:
- Classes are scheduled in the mornings and afternoons
- Morning class from 11 am to 1 pm
- Afternoon class from 4 pm to 6 pm
Minimum of two people. Great for family and friends.
Event place and access:
- 5 minute-walk from Tawaramachi, Metro Ginza line
- 5 minute-walk from Asakusa station on Tsukuba Express
- 13 minute-walk from Asakusa subway station on Toei Asakusa line
- Meeting point is at the event’s place
- Upon booking, you will receive a confirmation within 24 hours. Once confirmed, present your booking information at the event place