Fucha Ryori: A Buddhist Vegetarian Food

Fucha Ryori is a type of Japanese cuisine that has passed through the ages. We explain what it is and the ingredients that make it up.

Last update: September 30, 2022

Fucha Ryori is a type of monastic cuisine that is little known and practically hidden in the mysticism of Japanese cuisine. It is a variation of the vegetarian cuisine of the Buddhist temple Shōjin rōyri. Fucha means “drinking tea together,” with roots in the ancient Chinese habit of drinking tea after work or meditation.

However, today it is something very different. Used to describe the monastic cuisine of the Ō schoolbaku of zen buddhism. This is one of the three main Zen schools in Japan. Therefore, Fucha Ryori is very attached to Japanese culture.

It refers particularly to the kitchen of the monasteries, that is, the gastronomy of the monks —in this case Buddhists—. Are you interested in knowing more about it? Next, we will tell you what it consists of and what its benefits are.

What is Fucha Ryori?

Fucha Ryori is a culinary tradition originating from Buddhist temples. It is a type of vegetarian food that is prepared and eaten by Buddhist monks. Although it emerged as a tradition in China, it spread to Japan in the 17th century when the monks of the Ming dynasty had to flee to the Manchu mountains.

Once they settled there, they began their traditions. One of them was Fucha Ryori. In its origins, food was served on large vermilion-red tables. In these a large plate was placed to share it between four people.

However, in China, individual plates are introduced to take food. Also, in Japan it is customary to serve portions separately and assign some special dishes to a common plate.

In the Fucha Ryori Serving dishes in this way means balance, refinement and simplicity. Three traits that characterize Asian food. As affirmed by a cultural review regarding the Fucha, it is a form of union between temples and a symbolic expression of Buddhism.

Matcha tea is one of the main foods of Fucha Ryori. It stands out for its high content of antioxidants.

Different dishes of the Fucha Ryori

Fucha Ryori is made up of various foods with health benefits. The most important are the ones mentioned below.

matcha tea

Much is said about Matcha tea, which is the entrance of the Fucha. It is a powdered ingredient that is obtained from the same plant as green tea. However, due to its cultivation and its composition, it has more benefits.

In particular, it has a high concentration of the polyphenol called epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGGG), known for its antioxidant and slimming effect. It also has vitamins, minerals and other catechins that give it the following effects:

  • Anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Anticancer potential.
  • cardioprotective effects.
  • antiviral properties.
  • Potential to improve cognitive function.


Pumpkin

In the Fucha pumpkin soup is included in a dish called Shunkan along with other ingredients such as the following:

  • Carrot rolls.
  • Cucumber.
  • Japanese white radish and seaweed.
  • Leaves of shiso.
  • Mushroom Shitake.
  • Tofu dry with wheat gluten.
  • Mustard sauce.
  • Seaweed and yam tuber.
  • rolls of tofu fried with eggplant in sweet miso sauce.
  • cream rolls tofu with carrots.
  • Mushroom Shitake and wheat gluten.
  • Tofu fried with wheat gluten.

In any case, the central ingredient is pumpkin soup. This food stands out for its abundant fiber and antioxidant content. In addition, it has a high content of vitamin A. In this way, it provides the following effects:

  • Anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Reduction of digestive problems, such as constipation.
  • Prevention of chronic diseases associated with oxidative stress.

Apricot

Another Fucha dish is the umeboshinohinodeage. Contains apricot, or what is known as an apricot. It also consists of small pieces of cucumber with arrowroot powder, ginger and Japanese pepper. In any case, the centerpiece is the apricot.

One of the main benefits of this fruit is that it is high in vitamin A. Of this, it has 1,926 IU per 100 grams. In addition, it stands out as a source of potassium and vitamin C. Thus, it has astringent, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

Among other things, It is low in carbohydrates and abundant in water and fiber. For this reason, it is suitable for diabetic patients. Even so, it is something that the doctor should indicate.

The apricot is a fruit high in vitamin A, fiber and antioxidants. In addition, it has anti-inflammatory and digestive potential.


Arrowroot

Arrowroot is a common ingredient in Fucha Ryori. It is a powder used to thicken sauces, soups and other foods, very common in Asian cuisine. It is composed of starches derived from various tropical tubers, such as that of the arrowroot plant, Maranta arundinacea.

This ingredient is used in Fucha Ryori preparations in which ingredients such as the following are also used:

  • Carrot.
  • Cucumber.
  • Ginger.
  • Japanese pepper.
  • Soy.
  • Konjac jelly.
  • Japanese radish.
  • Mustard.
  • Spinach.
  • Tofu.
  • Mashed potatoes.
  • Bamboo shoots.
  • Vegetables and fruits of all kinds.

What is there to remember about the Fucha Ryori?

Fucha Ryori is a custom of yesteryear that remains today and has been passed down through generations of Buddhists. Today it is a vegetarian food to which health benefits are attributed. It is also a lifestyle.

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