Teishoku Travel Guide

Based on the traditional Japanese meal layouts of ichijiu issai (“one soup, one dish”) or ichijiu sansai (“one soup, three dishes”), teishoku is a balanced, delicious, and versatile Japanese set meal.

Teishoku, the Japanese set meal, consists of staple elements like rice, soup (usually miso soup), and tsukemono (Japanese pickles) alongside a main dish and sometimes accompanied by side dishes as well. A staple of restaurants all across Japan, teishoku is a versatile meal set, just swap out the main dish or side dishes! Classic teishoku sets include protein mains such as succulent ginger pork (shogayaki), crispy and crunchy Japanese fried chicken (karaage), breadcrumbed and deep-fried pork cutlet (tonkatsu), and broiled fish (yakizakana). With the main served alongside fluffy steamed white rice, umami-rich miso soup, and tangy pickles, a teishoku set is a complete meal, satisfying and filling.

One interesting element to note about teishoku is its particular layout. The rice is served on the left (as it is normal to hold the rice bowl in your left hand and use your chopsticks in your right hand), the soup is usually on the right side, and the main dish is normally placed at the top of the tray farthest away from you. These are just general guidelines though, and it varies by teishoku set type and restaurant. You can learn more about the teishoku layout in one of our teishoku cooking classes, or join a dining experience and try this traditional balanced meal for yourself! Why not try eating the Japanese way and incorporate the ichijiu issai or ichijiu sansai layouts into your home cooking? It’ll bring you a step closer to a more nutritious and varied diet!

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