Kitchen Culture

tasty tidbits from the old-fashioned Japanese Kitchen

Shō chiku bai


pine bamboo plum

Evergreen pine connotes unwavering strength, bamboo suggests both power and flexibility, while plum blossoms, unfurling on snow-laden branches, imply hardiness. Combined, shō (pine) chiku (bamboo) bai (plum), are known as saikan no sanyū or the “Three Friends of Winter.” They have come to signify the New Year holidays in Japan.


Saikan no Sanyū

Three Friends of Winter

Foods fashioned to look like these three "friends" are popular garnishes for holiday fare. Join in the festive fun: DOWNLOAD instructions to make YUZU PEEL PINE NEEDLES, CUCUMBER BAMBOO POLES, and PLUM BLOSSOM CARROTS.