Japanese cuisine combines a variety of ingredients to provide a well-balanced meal. It includes staples, main dishes, side dishes, and soups, allowing for a well-rounded intake of nutrients. Many Japanese dishes are known for being low in fat and calories, particularly those featuring fish, seaweed, and vegetables, which are both nutritious and low in calories. Additionally, fish and tofu provide ample protein, while vegetables, seaweed, and brown rice are rich in dietary fiber. Fish and seafood, in particular, are abundant sources of heart- and brain-healthy omega-3 fatty acids.
Japanese cuisine also incorporates fermented foods such as natto, miso, and soy sauce, contributing to gut health and boosting the immune system. Furthermore, meals often revolve around vegetables, providing antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. The cooking methods, like steaming, boiling, grilling, and raw consumption, help retain the nutritional value of the ingredients.
Today, I'd like to talk about "San-kaku tabe" (triangular eating).
The Japan Restaurant ,concept of "San-kaku tabe"
In Japan, the most common way to enjoy these dishes is through a concept called "San-kaku tabe." This concept emphasizes consuming three key components in a specific order: rice, miso soup, and the main dish. As a result, dining tables in Japan often feature three or more items to create a well-rounded meal.
"San-kaku tabe" is a common concept in Japan's school lunch and bento culture, particularly prevalent in Japanese elementary schools and kindergartens. This concept was devised to maintain meal balance and provide children with nutritious meals. Here is a detailed explanation of "San-kaku tabe": "San-kaku tabe" refers to the idea of dividing a meal into three main components to achieve balance. These components include:
Gohan (Staple): The first element of "San-kaku tabe" is "gohan" (rice or another staple). The staple serves as an energy source and provides carbohydrates. Common staples include white rice, brown rice, or bread.
Okazu (Main Dish): Next comes "okazu" (the main dish). The main dish is a source of protein and includes meat, fish, chicken, eggs, tofu, soy products, and vegetables. It provides the necessary protein for growth and development.
Okazu (Side Dish): Finally, there is "okazu" (the side dish). Side dishes consist of vegetables, seaweed, pickles, salads, fruits, etc., and provide vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber. They support healthy growth and immune function.
The idea behind "San-kaku tabe" is to consume these elements in a balanced manner, avoiding nutritional imbalances and promoting healthy eating habits. This approach is used to teach children the habit of obtaining proper nutrition, making it an essential part of Japan's food education.
To practice this approach, you start with the staple (rice or bread), then move on to the main dish (protein), and finish with soup. This sequence ensures the even intake of nutrients, resulting in a well-balanced meal. "San-kaku tabe" is widely adopted, especially in Japan's school lunch programs, to help children develop healthy eating habits.
Bento and "San-kaku tabe"
Yes, the "San-kaku tabe" approach is commonly applied to bento boxes as well. In Japanese bento (lunchbox) culture, there is a strong emphasis on preparing meals with balanced nutrition. Bento boxes typically include staples, main dishes, and side dishes, providing a nutritious meal. It also serves as a means of teaching children healthy eating habits as part of food education.
For example, bento boxes often include white rice or brown rice as the staple, a source of protein (such as meat, fish, or eggs) as the main dish, and vegetables, seaweed, pickles, and other items as side dishes. This ensures a well-balanced meal and encourages children to develop the habit of getting the right nutrients.
Additionally, some bento boxes feature what is known as "Kyara-ben" (character bento), where the food is creatively arranged to resemble cute characters. This not only stimulates children's appetites but also aims to make healthy eating enjoyable.
Overall, Japanese bento culture respects the principles of "San-kaku tabe" and is utilized to provide well-balanced meals.
Our menu offers a variety of dishes, including rice, main dishes, side dishes, and soups. Start with rice, savor the delightful main dishes, and relish the side dishes.
ICHIZEN Japan Restaurant