Finally! Photos from our (somewhat) recent shojin kaiseki dinner!

Originally conceived in the 13th century by vegetarian Chinese Zen Buddhist monks, Shojin cuisine was soon after popularized in Japan. This style of cooking, though missing meat or fish, is widely thought to be the provenance of all modern Japanese cuisine. Kaiseki is a form of serving a Japanese meal similar to French Haute Cuisine, consisting of at least six courses.

Shojin Kaiseki is a vegan, multi-course meal that incorporates fresh, seasonal ingredients simply seasoned to bring out their full flavors. Shojin style meals dictate that as much as possible of any given ingredient is used, minimizing, or completely doing away with waste. The prepared dishes are laid out to enhance the visual beauty of each individual component. These are some photos from a dinner we recently composed.

matsu grilling
Prep Work: Stove grilling matsutake mushrooms.
table setting
Let’s begin.
Appetizer: Endive & daikon with tofu misozuke (miso cured tofu), & homemade sesame-rice crackers.
second course
Second Course: Spicy sautéed fall root vegetables, Tofu salad with persimmon & watercress, Grilled tofu topped with sweet miso & roasted hazelnuts, Fried eggplant with tofu misozuke (wrapped in ginger leaf).
cold plate
Cold Plate: Goma dofu (sesame “tofu”) accompanied by young ginger & tamari.
A chunky stew served in tiny pumpkins.
Warm Plate: A chunky stew served in tiny pumpkins.
warm plate
Hiryozu (fried tofu dumplings), with enoki, shimeji & grilled matsutake mushrooms in a kombu broth.
We foraged for these chanterelles & lobster mushrooms to make tempura.
We foraged for these chanterelles & lobster mushrooms to make tempura.
Tempura celery greens, chanterelles & lobster mushrooms. Carrot top & burdock kakiage.
Tempura Plate: Celery greens, chanterelles & lobster mushrooms. Carrot top & burdock kakiage. Served with a side of plum & green tea-infused sea salts.
Fumiko getting the Rice Dish ready.
Fumiko getting the Rice Dish ready.
Inari, sushi rolls with home made nukazuke, sushi with pickled shiso leaf and umeboshi.
Rice Dish: Inari, sushi rolls with home made nukazuke, sushi with pickled shiso leaf and umeboshi.
Coconut milk based lemon balm “ice cream” with rose hip confit.
Dessert: Coconut milk based lemon balm “ice cream” with rose hip confit.

2 thoughts on “Finally! Photos from our (somewhat) recent shojin kaiseki dinner!”

  1. Holy shit. Mike and I are eating sushi and looking at this food porn, wishing we were trading these delicious plates of amazingness!!!

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