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Souperchef Special | Kenchinjiru (Japanese Zen Vegetable Nabe)
(Vegan/Contains Gluten/Dairy-Free/Egg-Free/No Garlic/No Onion)
Located deep within the mountains, Eiheiji temple is an active monastery with about 200 monks observing strict Zen practices like zazen meditation and recitation of Buddhist scriptures. Here, time seems to have stood still for eight centuries.
We stayed for a vegetarian meal and it was such a cleansing, unique experience. During the meal, we were to sit upright, arms held high and no talking is allowed. The evening’s meal was made from local produce, simple yet satisfying. According to the head chef, Tenzo Roshi, Shojin-Ryori is a style of cooking that treats both the ingredients and the diners with the utmost respect, and simultaneously gives thanks to all creation.
Back home, I was inspired to create this vegetable nabe with stock from kombu and mushroom, cooked with soy milk for a heartier meal. Together with a bounty of vegetables like pumpkin, snow peas, white radish, carrot, winter melon, lotus roots, Chinese cabbage and bamboo shoots, this vegan meal promises to be filling and nourishing.
Made with no onion and no garlic, this soup is our way of remembering the art of zazen and the principles of Shojin-Ryori in the Eiheiji Temple. Enjoy our vegan SouperChef Special, the Kenchinjiru (Japanese Zen Vegetable Nabe)!
Ingredients: Chinese cabbage, konnyaku jelly, mountain yam, bamboo shoots, winter melon, white radish, carrots, lotus roots, shiitake mushroom, tau kwa, pumpkin, miso, kombu, gluten, yuba, snow peas, soy milk, sesame oil, soy sauce, ginger.
Condiments: Sansho pepper and nori (seaweed pieces).