What is Koyasan's vegetarian cuisine 精進料理?



目食 (meku)、五色 (goshiki)、五法 (goho)、五味 (gomi)、五禁 (gokin)


Koyasan’s vegetarian cuisine is primarily made up of ‘meals’ that you can enjoy with your eyes. An eye-catching 目食 (meku) is to make the appearance look great without emphasizing the taste.


Throughout the year, the crops that can be caught are limited in Koyasan, where the average temperature is low. For this reason, the colors are used well in cooking, and the whole dish is gorgeously decorated. For that reason, ‘white, blue, black, yellow and red’ which are five colors, are used for cooking. However, using only five colors 五色(goshiki) does not satisfy the tongue.



Therefore, another thing that is valued in the vegetarian cuisine of Koyasan is the cooking method called ‘goho 五法’ and ‘gomi 五味’. Goho五法 (the five methods) means ‘raw, simmer, bake, fry and steam. Gomi 五味(the five tastes)refers to ‘sweet, spicy, sour, bitter and salty’.



Ingredients that should not be used are determined as ‘gokin 五禁’. Koyasan’s vegetarian dishes do not use vegetables with strong smells such as green onion, pickled Japanese leek bulbs, Chinese chive, garlic and ginger.



Travelling to Koyasan 高野山 (Mt. Koya)

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Tokyo, Japan

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