Gozen and teishoku
Update: 22 March 2016

Gozen and teishoku

Gozen and teishoku are a set meal of rice, which is Japanese people's staple food, a main dish, a side dish, pickles, and soup.

The prototype of Japanese cuisine is one soup and three dishes.

The basic form of Japanese cuisine is one soup and three dishes. It refers to the combination of rice, soup, a main dish, and two side dishes. Many ingredients are used and the nutritional balance is good. This is the basic style of a Japanese set meal. However, we sometimes call the set meal of rice, soup and one main dish "teishoku". Other times teishoku has three or more side dishes, even with dessert and drink.

Main dishes

Any dish that goes well with rice can be the main dish of set meal. Meat or fish is often used for the main dish. Grilled fish or meat, tempura or sashimi can also be served. Sometimes western dishes such as hamburger and something deep-fried, or Chinese dishes such as stir-fry is also served as a main dish.

Miso soup and osuimono

Miso soup or osuimono is often served in Japanese set meals. Osuimono is a soup made by boiling ingredients in hot water including the extracted flavor of dried kelp or bonito. Miso soup is soup that miso, a paste of fermented soybeans, has been dissolved. Seaweed, tofu and vegetables are often used as ingredients in miso soup.

Side dishes

Since the side dish also includes the meaning of arranging the nutritional balance, many of them use vegetables, such as spinach dressed with sesame paste, or sweet and spicy burdock and carrot stir-fry.

When and where are set meals available?

Set meals are available during lunch time at restaurants, izakaya (Japanese-style pubs) and coffee shops. In downtown areas, there are specialty restaurants that offer set meals all day.


"Triangle eating" is a good way of eating set meal. You eat rice, the main dish and side dishes little by little evenly. Don't use chopsticks like a fork, but pinch the dishes with them. Keep in mind that you hold bowls of rice and soup while eating.

*This information is from the time of this article's publication.

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