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Ichi-ju-san-sai, the basic style of Japanese meal

Ichi-ju-san-sai

Japanese dishes are characterized by its typical seasoning using soy sauce and sweet sake, but also by its arrangement of “Ichi-ju-san-sai”.

Let’s see what Ichi-ju-san-sai is.

1. The meaning of Ichi-ju-san-sai

“Ichi-ju-san-sai” literally means “one soup and three dishes” and it shows the basic style of the Japanese meal. Basically, a bowl of rice is added to these soup and small dishes in the actual meal.

It is thought to be good to eat variety of food to obtain enough nutrition to be healthy.

2. Examples of Ichi-ju-san-sai

You can often find Ichi-ju-san-sai style in Kaiseki ryori (tea-ceremony dishes) which is one of the traditional Japanese cuisine or set meals at Japanese restaurants.

The soup is basically miso soup or Osuimono (clear broth soup) with vegetables and seafood.

The 3 dishes consist of 1 main dish and 2 side dishes. The main dish is usually meat or fish dish, such as grilled fish or sashimi. The side dishes are boiled vegetables, beans, seaweed, mushrooms which contain minerals.

Each dish is usually cooked and seasoned in a different way, to enjoy many kinds of ingredients without making people weary of eating.

3. How to eat Ichi-ju-san-sai style meals

The most important thing when eating Ichi-ju-san-sai style meals is to eat little amount of each dish by turns instead of eating up one dish all at once.

In this way, many kinds of nutrition come into the body alternately, and helps the digestion and absorption, excreting extra fat or salt from the body.

Since Ichi-ju-san-sai is recognized as a nice style which is good for your health, you may adopt this style even when you order side dishes by yourself at the restaurant.


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