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Fucha ryori: A Buddhist vegetarian cuisine




Fucha Ryori is a Japanese cuisine that has passed through the ages. We explain what it is and what ingredients it contains.

Fucha ryori , or fuchsia cuisine, is a type of monastic cooking that is little known and practically hidden in the mystique of Japanese cuisine. It is the Buddhist temple Shōjin rōyri ‘s variation on vegetarian cuisine. Fucha means “drinking tea together”, and the tradition has its roots in the ancient Chinese habit of drinking tea after work or meditation.

Today, however, it looks completely different. The term fuchsia ryori is used to describe the monastic kitchen of the Ōbaku school of Zen Buddhism. This is one of the three largest Zen schools in Japan. As a result, fucha ryori is very close to Japanese culture.

It specifically refers to the monastic kitchen – in this case, Buddhist monks. Are you interested in learning more about it? Here we tell you what it is and what advantages there are with this diet.

What is fucha ryori ?

Fucha ryori is a culinary tradition originating in Buddhist temples. It is a type of vegetarian food prepared and consumed by Buddhist monks. It originated as a tradition in China and spread to Japan in the 17th century when the monks of the Ming dynasty had to flee to the mountains of Manchuria.

Once they settled there, they began to develop their traditions. One of them was fucha ryori . Originally, food was served on wide vermilion-red tables. On these, they placed a large plate which four people had to share.

In China, however, individual plates were served to each person. In Japan, it is also common to serve separate portions and to put some special dishes on a common plate.

In fucha ryori , serving dishes in this way means balance, refinement, and simplicity; three characteristics that characterize Asian cuisine. As stated in a cultural review of fucha cuisine, it expresses a form of cooperation in the temple and is a symbolic expression of Buddhism.

Various dishes within fucha ryori

Fucha ryori consists of several different foods with many benefits for health. We tell you more about the most important of these below.


Matcha is a popular drink and is a key in fucha ryori . It is a powdered ingredient that comes from the same plant as green tea. However, due to the cultivation method and its composition, it has more advantages than ordinary green tea .

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

  • Anti-inflammatory properties
  • Anticarcinogenic potential
  • Cardioprotective effects
  • Antiviral properties
  • Ability to improve cognitive function


In the monastery kitchen, pumpkin soup is included in a dish called Syunkan, along with other ingredients such as the following:

  • Carrot rolls
  • Cucumber
  • Japanese white radish and seaweed
  • Shiso -blad
  • Shitake _
  • Dried  seitan
  • Mustard sauce
  • Seaweed and sweet potato
  • Fried tofu rolls with aubergine in sweet miso sauce
  • Tofu rolls with carrots
  • Shitake mushroom and wheat gluten
  • Fried seitan

The central ingredient, however, is pumpkin soup. This food is known for its abundant fiber and antioxidant content. In addition, pumpkin soup has a high vitamin A content. Thus, it produces the following effects:

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


Another fucha dish is Umeboshi no Hinode age. It contains apricots and small pieces of cucumber with arrowroot powder, ginger, and Japanese pepper. But the dish mainly consists of apricot.

One of the main benefits of this fruit is its high vitamin A content. It contains 1926 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.

In addition, it contains only a few carbohydrates and plenty of water and fiber. For this reason, it is suitable for diabetic patients. In any case, it is something that should be recommended by a doctor for these patients.


Arrowroot is a common ingredient in fucha ryori . It is a powder that is used to thicken sauces, soups, and other foods and is very common in Asian cuisine. It is composed of starch derived from various tropical tubers, including the arrowroot plant Maranta arundinacea .

This ingredient is used in fucha ryori dishes together with, among other things, the following ingredients:

  • Carrots
  • Cucumber
  • Ginger
  • Japanese paprika
  • Soybean
  • Jelly on brandy tubers
  • Japanese radishes
  • Mustard
  • Spinach
  • Tofu
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Bamboo shoots
  • Vegetables and fruits of all kinds

What should be remembered about fucha ryori ?

Fucha ryori is an ancient culinary custom that remains today; it has been passed down between Buddhist generations. Today, it is a type of vegetarian cooking that has been attributed to many health benefits. It is also a way of life.

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