Teishoku dining is an excellent way to sample many authentic Japanese dishes in a casual, unassuming atmosphere.
What is Teishoku? Teishoku is a type of Japanese set meal, where all of the dishes in the course are served together as a set. Teishoku dining is based on the ichiju-issai (or “one soup, one side”) traditional meals offered at Zen temples, which included a main, soup, rice, and pickles. The concept eventually spread throughout Japan and transformed into the convenient meal sets found at restaurants and cafeterias today.
Just like in Western culture, there is an etiquette for where each item in Teishoku is placed. Most meal sets should be positioned in front of you with rice at your left side, soup at your right side, and the main item positioned to the back. Generally, the more important item is placed on the left in Japan, which is where the rice is positioned. But it’s perfectly fine to position the foods in an order you feel most comfortable with.
Eating a meal composed of many small dishes is very much like Japanese home cooking, so teishoku dining can be seen as the Japanese equivalent of getting a quick home-style meal away from home. It’s a healthy, convenient, and affordable meal option for people of all demographics, from families with small children to office workers.
Side dish is one of the best things about teishoku is the wide variety of side dishes that accompany it, allowing you to enjoy many different flavors and textures. These include healthy salads like shiro-ae (mashed tofu salad), carrot and daikon radish, kinpira gobo (burdock root salad), and hijiki seaweed salad. Japanese pickles, known as “tsukemono”, are another frequent accompaniment and are made from cucumber, radish, cabbage, and other vegetables.
Miso soup is another essential component for teishoku meals. Made from dashi broth and miso soybean paste, miso soup can also include ingredients like tofu and wakame seaweed. The probiotics in the miso can aid digestion, and it goes well with rice
The benefit of Rice
Rice is a highly nutritious food item that is essential to boost one’s health. Short-grained white rice is the heart of Japanese food and central to any Teishoku meal.
Rice has numerous health benefits: Rice is an instant source of energy for the body and is good not only for skin but also in maintaining blood sugar levels. Rice contains very low amount of sodium, hence, it helps in controlling high blood pressure. Rice also contains very low amount of saturated fats and cholesterol making it a healthful food for heart.
Rice is an excellent source of healthy fibre. These help in the growth of beneficial bacteria that improve digestion and regularise the bowel movement. Rice does not contain gluten and therefore, it can be easily included in the diet of people suffering from celiac disease and those who are allergic to proteins such as those found in wheat, barley, rye and oats.