Item description for The Enlightened Kitchen: Fresh Vegetable Dishes from the Temples of Japan by Mari Fujii...
Nourish body and soul with simple, delicious food from Japan's temples. The Enlightened Kitchen introduces readers to shojin ryori, the traditional vegetarian cooking of Japan's Buddhist temples. Shojin food, with its emphasis on fresh, seasonal vegetables, staples such as seaweed, grains and tofu, and natural flavorings rather than chemical additives, is a highly nutritious and delicious alternative to the many unhealthy eating habits of Western society. In addition to its health benefits, the preparation and eating of shojin food in Buddhist temples has great spiritual significance. After spending their days in rigorous selfdiscipline, the monks welcome mealtimes as a soothing respite, both for those preparing the food with loving care and for those eating it with relaxed enjoyment. Stunning color photographs accompany more than sixty recipes for soups, salads, tofu and bean dishes, vegetables, rice and desserts. The author, Mari Fujii, married to a Buddhist monk and an expert in shojin food for more than twenty years, presents an array of recipes including: Carrot and Mushroom Soymilk Soup, Steamed Pumpkin and Tofu, Beans and Eggplant with Sesame Dressing, Ginger Rice and Banana Tempura. Her step-by-step instructions are easy to follow, and she has made an effort to use ingredients that are readily available in most good supermarkets. Fujii includes a guide to basic cooking techniques used in the preparation of shojin food, an extensive glossary of ingredients and equipment, and fascinating background information on the history and philosophy of shojin ryori. Perfect for vegans, vegetarians and anyone interested in healthful eating, the dishes from The Enlightened Kitchen will warm our hearts, sustain our souls, and fortify us inside and out.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 1" Width: 8" Height: 10.25" Weight: 1.25 lbs.
Release Date Dec 15, 2005
Publisher Kodansha International
ISBN 4770024932 ISBN13 9784770024930
Availability 0 units.
More About Mari Fujii
MARI FUJII learned the secrets of shojin cooking over twenty years ago from her husband, who is a Buddhist monk. With the publication of a number of shojin cookbooks and regular appearances on television, she has helped to make shojin cuisine popular in her home country of Japan. She is also an expert in Chinese-style shojin cooking and in yakuzen, a style of Chinese cooking which uses ingredients with medicinal properties.
Reviews - What do customers think about The Enlightened Kitchen: Fresh Vegetable Dishes from the Temples of Japan?
A usable cooking resource... Apr 18, 2008
As a very novice home food preparer, I found this book easy to read and not overwhelming with complicated recipes. Recently I tried one of the recipes for tempura bananas desert and found a mistake in the batter mixture. It was simple to fix during preparation, and the desert came out fantastic! Highly recommend this for a novice!
Ingredients to obscure for small town livin' Feb 13, 2008
Recipes all sound and look delicious, but almost all of them requires a hard-to-find ingredient (lotus root) or spice. I live in a small, blue collar town in Ohio and our local "chain" grocery store barely knows what tofu is.
wow Jan 7, 2008
I sent this to my friend as a gift and have been wanting one for myself. She wrote me shortly and told me that she made the sesame eggplant soup and thought she died and gone to heaven when she tasted it! Wow! I am looking forward to getting the book for myself.
Pour the spirit of heaven and earth into every dish Jun 18, 2006
Buddhism being a religion of reincarnation, one of the precepts of cloistered monks is to harm "nothing that flees when chased." After all, that might just be your brother or wife from a past life sizzling in your cookpot. However, even those pursuing enlightenment must eat, and even monks like their food to be varied and tasty, so the spiritually pure tradition of "Shojin Ryori" was born.
Shojin Ryori is a vegan cuisine still served today in the temples of Japan, based on seasonal vegetables that can be grown by the monks. Eating food that follows the flow of nature is considered best for the body and soul, and seasoning is kept light so that the natural flavor of the fresh vegetables can be preserved.
Author Mari Fujii learned the arts of shojin ryori from her husband Sotetsu, who was the Tenzo, or temple cook, during his ten years as a monk. Now a priest at a temple in Kamakura, Sotetsu and Fujii teach shojin ryori to all who wish to learn. With "The Enlightened Kitchen," they have brought this wisdom to a wider audience, allowing all to partake of the healthy, natural and delicious style of cooking.
In seven section, including soups, salads, tofu/beans, vegetables, potatoes/rice/grains, and deserts, Fujii has selected easy-to-make dishes using seasonal vegetables that should be easy to find in any grocery store. The recipes are delightfully simple, and you will be amazed that such great food can come from such little effort. She stays with traditional Japanese vegetables, as well as occasionally incorporating rarities such as avocado and celery to mix things up. The base for most of the sauces is sake, miso paste, sesame oil, rice vinegar and lemon. She has substituted maple syrup for mirin, thinking that mirin might be hard to find in the US, but it is easy enough to swap it back. Not all of the recipes are strictly vegan, as Fujii points out that Chinese and Tibetan Shojin Ryori allow for dairy products, although authentic Japanese does not.
Of the dishes I have made, the "Chestnut Tea Rice" was excellent, as were the "Fried Pumpkin with Peanut Sauce," "Tofu Fried with Almonds," "Sweet Potato and Soybeans with Miso/Lemon Sauce" and "Koyadofu Teriyaki." I am looking forward to exploring all of the recipes, and I have no doubt that they will be equally satisfying.
It is said that those who eat Shojin Ryori fell as if a weight has been lifted off their shoulders. In the modern world where so much processed garbage gets shoveled into our bodies, it is a very pleasant feeling to sit down to a meal that is so completely natural.
Beautiful, Delicious, Simple, and Elegant Mar 31, 2006
I am lucky enough to live in the San Francisco Bay Area, where "shojin" cuisine (Japanese Buddhist temple cuisine) is served to two wonderful restaurants: Cha Ya and Medicine. I often say "I could live on that cuisine," so when I discovered Fujii's cookbook, I was thrilled. The recipes are so simple but divinely delicious - and of course healthful! Many of the recipes call for only 5 or 7 ingredients, some of which may be unfamiliar at first. But, after your first visit to an Asian grocery or even the Asian aisle of your supermarket, you'll be ready to master this cuisine. As a vegan cooking instructor and a lover of this simple but elegant cuisine, I have prepared many of the dishes in this book and recommend each one as highly as the next. The simplicity is amazing, and the flavors are divine. You'll love this book!