There is practically a Japanese guide that shows how to put together a balanced meal in nutrients. This is the ichiju sansai.
Ichiju (一汁) means “a liquid” when translated directly into Portuguese.
In this way, you can imagine that, in the case of a meal, it refers to some type of sole that must exist at this moment of eating.
Already sansai (三菜) would be translated as “Three vegetables” with direct translation, but it means “Three sides”.
These three sides can be defined, originally, as namasu (なます: raw sliced vegetables and raw fish in rice vinegar), a yakimono (焼き物: traditionally meaning grilled fish) and a nimono (煮物: boiled meat and vegetables in seasonings).
But don’t think that in this diet there is only that and in small portions. All of this is still served alongside steamed white rice, a soup and a small amount of pickled vegetables. So there’s no way to go hungry with so much nutritious food!
How to follow the Japanese guide to putting together your balanced meal?
As much as you think the above guidelines are a rule, know that you don’t need to follow them strictly to follow the ichiju sansai.
Ichiju Sansai in daily use means a bowl of rice, a bowl of soup, 1 main meal which is fish or meat and 2 side dishes. Helps balance carbs, proteins and vegetables at every meal.
It is more because of this division that it becomes a balanced way of eating. After all, it is made up of the main nutrients we need, such as fiber, protein and carbohydrates.
Ichiju Sansai’s Japanese guide in everyday life
You can even try such a meal at a Japanese restaurant. There, all the foods listed above are placed on a tray.
But, if you are eating in a Japanese home, these items are placed directly on the table.
However, it is worth mentioning that there are certain rules where to place these foods in front of each person.
Chopsticks: placed horizontally right in front of the person.
Miso soup: bottom right
Rice bowl: bottom left corner
Main course: top right
1st side dish: top left corner
2nd accompaniment: In the middle
The location of the main course and side dishes will differ depending on what and where you are eating, but the lovalization of soup and rice is the golden rule in Japan.
Also, since ancient times, people have been expected to be right-handed. Therefore, the pointed end of the chopsticks should always face to the left, and the holding part should always be on your right side when placed on the table/tray.
Then just say itadakimassou and taste this delicious and complete Japanese meal. If you have the opportunity to go to the country, be sure to try one of these.