Shojin ryori is the Japanese term for Buddhist vegetarian cooking and is a special way of preparing, cooking and eating for Buddhist monks at Zen temples. This course is led by Sachiko Saeki, a Japanese chef who has been featured on River Cottage and in the Guardian for her expertise in this particular style of vegetarian Japanese cuisine. This is one of her most popular courses at Demuths and is traditionally vegan.
The fundamental thinking behind Shojin Ryori is the wholehearted appreciation of food. Food is seasonal and locally grown. Seasonings are gentle. Nothing is wasted. Food is simple but sophisticated. Each Shojin temple has their own rules about what types of vegetables can be used and how they can be eaten. Simple animal protein is not used in cooking. Such ideas make Shojin unique from other types of vegetarian Japanese cuisine. This is simple, honest food where the experience of how we eat, sensibly and thankfully, is as important as the food.
A Shojin meal, called Ichi Ju San Sai, typically consists of a soup and three dishes. We will be exploring these types of dishes throughout the course.
Expect to make dishes such as:
- Ganmodoki - Tofu ball made with carrot, edamame beans and arame cooked in stew served with seasonal vegetables
- Vegetarian Sushi Rolls - Filled with carrot, shitake mushroom and cucumber
- Vegetable Katsu - with cauliflower, parsnips and lotus root
- Goma-Ae - French beans and sesame seeds salad
- Goma-Dofu - Sesame paste and kelp sock set with kuzu starch served with wasabi shoyu
- Miso Shiru - Miso soup with tofu with wakame seaweeds
- Tsuke-Mono - A quick method of making fresh pickles with seasonal vegetables
- Steamed Matcha Cake - with azuki beans
We will eat small meals as we cook and finish with a late lunch with organic wine, local apple juice or sake.
You will receive a comprehensive recipe pack with a glossary of all the unusual ingredients and where to source them.
Read more about Shojin Ryori in this article from Sachiko in the Guardian: Shojin Ryori: how to cook Japanese vegetarian dishes.
Get a sneak preview of this class in this recap from Sachiko's previous Shojin class.
Totally different to what I would normally cook - tasty and interesting.
Very nice! Will definitely try and attempt the dishes again.
Sachiko was really excellent, giving a good background to Japanese cooking.