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Spa Cuisine Of Japan



Japanese cuisine, besides being unique, is also famed for its careful attention to the detail, form and balance of every dish served. Even the humblest of ingredients is presented in an elaborate fashion. Having a Japanese meal is akin to being presented a work of art; the shapes, colors and texture found in the dish are all part of a masterful design. The traditional Japanese diet has a healthy reputation - it is one of the world's lowest in fat. When Buddhism was declared Japan's official religion in the 6th century, the Japanese were forbidden from consuming meat. Then in 1600, a ban on foreigners entering the country forced the Japanese to consume only local produce. This lasted until the ban was lifted in 1868. Japan being a predominantly coastal country, it is no wonder that fish is such an important ingredient in the Japanese diet. The Japanese eat fish at least once a day and they typically consume 'fatty fish' such as salmon, sardines and mackerel. These 'fatty fish' contain omega-3, a type of 'fat' believed to make our arteries less likely to clog, hence lowering the risk of heart disease. It is also believed to improve brain function and provide iron and zinc. As an alternative to meat, the Japanese consume tofu, which is virtually fat-free, for their protein requirements. Most Japanese meals are prepared with very little or no oil and hence are very light compared to other Asian and Western cuisines. Perhaps it is out of necessity that the Japanese pay such attention to how a dish looks. The percieved blandness of low-calorie low-fat food is compensated by the visual appeal of the dish. Here are some of Japan's favorite recipes such as sashimi, sushi and miso soup with tofu. The seaweed used to wrap the sushi is rich in iodine while miso is thought to aid digestion, regulate metabolism, increase vitality and promote youthful skin.

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