Washoku – We Are What We Eat

Chunyi Lin tells us that we should try to eat at least five different colors at every meal. I recently ran across Washoku, which describes Japanese-style cooking. Some of these concepts migrated to Japan from China, so they are probably consistent with the teaching. Washoku incorporates 5 principles, as explained by Elizabeth Andoh in her cookbook “Washoku:”

  1. Go shiki – Harmony in color. Washoku meals include foods that are red, yellow, green, black and white. This is not only visually pleasing, but a great way to be sure you are getting a good nutritional balance of vitamins and minerals with your meal.
  2. Go mi – Harmony in palate (tastes). By having a balance of salty, sour, sweet, bitter, and spicy foods, a washoku-style meal is thoroughly satisfying to the entire palate. We end up pleasantly stimulated, but not overwhelmed.
  3. Go ho – Harmony in cooking method. Washoku-style meals use several different methods of cooking in each meal: simmering, searing, steaming, raw, and sauteeing or frying.
  4. Go kan – Harmony in the senses. Each meal should please the five senses: taste, sight, sound, smell and touch (texture).
  5. Go kan mon – Harmony in the outlook. This is a philisophical idea that when eating we should attempt “first to respect the efforts of all those who contributed their toil to cultivating and preparing our food; second, to do good deeds worthy of receiving such nourishment; third, to come to the table without ire; fourth, to eat for spiritual as well as temporal well-being; and fifth, to be serious in our struggle to attain enlightenment.”
Posted in Spring Forest Qigong

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