Buddhist Cuisine

Buddhist cuisine is an East Asian cuisine which is followed by some believers of Buddhism. It is primarily vegetarian, in order to keep with the general Buddhist precept of ahimsa (non-violence). Parts of Ancient India and Nepal where Buddhism originated were also for long periods Buddhist, and whether as a result of the Buddhist, Jain or Hindu promotion of the principle of ahimsa (harmlessness) many Indians remain vegetarian.

Vegetarian cuisine is known as zhāicài ("(Buddhist) vegetarian food") in China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore and Taiwan; đồ chay in Vietnam; shōjin ryōri (精進料理?, devotion cuisine) in Japan; sachal eumsik ("temple food") in Korea and by other names in many countries. The dishes that comprise Buddhist cuisine in any given place will be influenced by the native style of food there.

The origin of "Buddhist food" as a distinct sub-style of cuisine is tied to monasteries, where one member of the community would have the duty of being the head cook and supplying meals that paid respect to the strictures of Buddhist precepts. Temples that were open to visitors from the general public might also serve meals to them and a few temples effectively run functioning restaurants on the premises. In Japan, this practice is generally known as shōjin ryōri (精進料理?, devotion cuisine), and served at many temples, especially in Kyoto. A more recent version, more Chinese in style, is prepared by the Ōbaku school of zen, and known as fucha ryōri (普茶料理?); this is served at the head temple of Manpuku-ji, as well as various subtemples. In modern times, commercial restaurants have also latched on to the style, catering both to practicing and non-practicing lay people.

Read more about Buddhist CuisineIngredients, Variations By Sect or Region

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