“Shoujin ryouri （精進料理) is a type of vegan cuisine that was developed by Japanese Buddhist monks. It is based on a foundation of vegetables and rice, and various vegetable proteins.”
It is also amazing and amazingly hard to find on average in Japan, because the Japanese love to make the EXACT SAME FOOD but put fish stock in it (stocks, sauces, soups, dips, EVERYTHING).
So if you are in Japan, head up to Koya-san in Wakayama Prefecture which is littered with vegan monks and shoujin ryouri abound!
Before we get to cooking, lets take a look at some real traditional shoujin ryouri (top left, clockwise):
Dinner:Gomatofu (sesame seed block), green konyakku, rice noodles, fruit, mustard dipping sauce, beer, wakame soup with tofu skin and gluten balls, oily soup (in center) with tofu skin and veggies, hot green tea, pickled vegetables, rice
Dinner:Soba (buckwheat noodles) with mushrooms, pears, vegetable tempura, stuffed tofu, koyadofu (dried tofu), konbu seaweed
Breakfast: tofu burger, wrapped seaweed, stick potatoes with plum sauce (“eggs”), soy jerky, miso soup with gluten chunks, hot green tea, rice, pickled veggies, cold greens (center)
Lunch: gomatofu, veggie & fruit tempura, tempura dipping sauce, hot soba soup, cold veggies: koyadofu, konbu, veggies, tofu burger & soy jerky, rice, pickled vegetables, and cold greens (center)
After eating all this amazing food, I wanted to make my own version of shoujin ryouri… so I did!
Black goma tofu, dengaku eggplant with extra sauce, tandoori veggies, rice with beans and grains, soba noodle soup with gluten balls (fu), tempura & curry salt, tempeh bacon, stir fry rice noodles
Tempura: sweet potato, kabocha pumpkin, broccoli, mushrooms with mix of curry powder & salt to dip them in, tempeh bacon, rice noodles stir fry (soy sauce & sesame oil)
Tandoori veggie kebabs: Mix of tandoori paste and oil which I marinated tomatoes, onions, mushrooms, and tofu, then grilled.
Dengaku Eggplant: Dengaku- sweet miso sauce is a mix of miso, sugar, mirin and stock. Placed on eggplant then grilled with sesame seeds on top.
Goma tofu: Actually, there’s no tofu in it! It is sesame seeds crushed an pressed together to look like a block of tofu. Serve with soy sauce and wasabi. It is one of my favorite foods.
Let this bring inspiration to make your own mini-feast!!! The only thing that’s holding you back are how many plates you have =)