From Tales of Rokugan

Info provided by Jeanne Kalvar (Kakita Kaori)

Kaiseki and the Order of the Traditional Feast

Originally, kaiseki comprised a bowl of miso soup and three side dishes; this is now instead the standard form of Japanese-style cuisine generally, referred to as a セット (setto, "set"). Kaiseki has since evolved to include an appetizer, sashimi, a simmered dish, a grilled dish, and a steamed course, in addition to other dishes at the discretion of the chef.

  • Sakizuke (先附): an appetizer similar to the French amuse-bouche.
  • Hassun (八寸): the second course, which sets the seasonal theme. Typically one kind of sushi and several smaller side dishes.
  • Mukōzuke (向付): a sliced dish of seasonal sashimi.
  • Takiawase (煮合): vegetables served with meat, fish or tofu; the ingredients are simmered separately.
  • Futamono (蓋物): a "lidded dish"; typically a soup.
  • Yakimono (焼物): (1) flame-grilled food (esp. fish); (2) earthenware, pottery, china.
  • Su-zakana (酢肴): a small dish used to clean the palate, such as vegetables in vinegar; vinegared appetizer.
  • Hiyashi-bachi (冷し鉢): served only in summer; chilled, lightly cooked vegetables.
  • Naka-choko (中猪口): another palate-cleanser; may be a light, acidic soup.
  • Shiizakana (強肴): a substantial dish, such as a hot pot.
  • Gohan (御飯): a rice dish made with seasonal ingredients.
  • Kō no mono (香の物): seasonal pickled vegetables.
  • Tome-wan (止椀): a miso-based or vegetable soup served with rice.
  • Mizumono (水物): a seasonal dessert; may be fruit, confection, ice cream, or cake.

General information about Food

  • Rice: Rice is the staple grain of all Rokugan, Taxes to the Emperor are generally paid in rice, and therefore Peasants in farming villages are normally required to turn over their whole rice harvest for food, themselves eating millet or barley. Samurai eat rice and lesser grains. The wealthier the samurai's family is, the more rice as a percentage of their food they eat.
  • Other grains: Noodles are made of wheat, buckwheat, and millet. Other breads are formed of steamed buns, pancake-like breads from batters, and
  • Flatbreads. These are not leavened.
  • Seafood: Seafood is eaten everywhere it is available, both from the ocean and from fish. Poultry is also eaten, both as meat and as eggs.
  • Beans: Soybeans are generally turned into tofu, a labor-intensive crop, but a very important source of protein. They are also used to make miso and soy. Mung and adzuki beans used in many dishes; adzuki beans make a sweet bean paste used in many confections.
  • Fruits and Vegetables: Seaweed (fresh and dried), squash, cucumber, cabbage, kale, yam, burdock, carrot, and diakon radish, are all grown or collected and eaten across Rokugan. Plum, apricot, pears, cherries, and apples are all fruits frequently eaten.

Types of Food by Clan

Each clan has different foods that are associated with traditional meals in those lands. These variations will work their way into formal feasts. Crab - Crab cooking specializes in plentiful and hearty fare, especially fried foods and sturdy noodle dishes. A longer growing season means fresh vegetables year round. Crab chopsticks are of bamboo.

  • Crane - Crane concern themselves with freshness and balance of flavor above all things. They eat thin noodles as well as fish and rice from their abundant lands. Crane chopsticks are made of fine woods, often different pairs for different seasons. Plum for winter, Cherry for spring, Kaya (a golden wood) for summer, and Maple for fall.
  • Dragon - The Dragon have lands ill-suited for growing and long winters. They are famed for their pickled vegetables, and infamous for the "mountain tuna" or goat, which is scandalously eaten, but not referred to in polite company. The Dragon prefer plumwood chopsticks.
  • Lion - Lion eat more noodles, poultry, and tofu than fish and rice, which is harder to procure. Kaya, white oak, and plum chopsticks are preferred.
  • Phoenix - Most meals similar to the Crane, but their large forests have given rise to dishes where the food is wrapped in leaves and roasted during cooking. The Phoenix have fine chopsticks inlaid with different kinds of contrasting woods.
  • Scorpion - Similar to the Lion in diet. They are inclined to use more spices to season their food, to disguise any off flavors that might have gotten into the meat. The Scorpion favor black or red lacquered chopsticks.
  • Unicorn - The Unicorn are unafraid to eat red meat, including beef and pork. They will grill thin strips of meat on skewers and eat them with flatbreads over a fire, or boil it in broth hot pots. They enjoy fiery sauces. Eating red meat regularly does alter a human's body odor, making Unicorn engaging in their home cooking smell distasteful to those not used to it. In court, the Unicorn would abstain. The Unicorn enjoy chopsticks of exotic hardwoods if they can get them.