Based on the “Five Elements Philosophy,” a natural philosophy that originated in ancient China, the “Five Tastes, Five Colours, and Five Laws”. The idea is that if we consume foods of the five colours (white, black, red, yellow, and green) in our daily diet, we will naturally become more energetic.

It also says that if we vary the five cooking methods (raw, boiled, baked, fried, and steamed) and the five tastes (sweet, salty, sour, spicy, and bitter), we can enjoy our food more and eat better.

White is white rice, noodles, radish, lotus root, potatoes, white fish and chicken. Red is red vegetables and fruits such as tomatoes, watermelon, and red meat and fish. Green are green vegetables such as spinach. Black is seaweed, burdock root and black sesame seeds. Yellow is carrots, pumpkin, mandarin oranges, etc. The five colours correspond to the five organs, with red for the heart, green for the liver, and so on.

The five tastes include sweet, sour, salty, bitter, and umami. Sweet, sour, salty and salty have only one taste, but bitter has many different tastes. For example, there is a difference between the bitterness of chocolate and that of onions, and the fifth taste, umami, is represented by glutamic acid in kelp, but it can also be extracted from dried bonito flakes, dried shiitake mushrooms, and shellfish, which are separate components. Umami is also the origin of the most important dashi in Japanese cuisine.”


Also learn about Japanese food preparation secret, Five senses- Gokan.