The phrase, called “Ma-Go-Wa-Ya-Sa-Shi-I” has been popular in Japan lately.
It’s a kind of reminder or a piece of guidance for healthy-eating.
Each syllable represents a category of food, and they encourage you to include food from all those categories in your meal.
Ma is for Mame: Beans, in general. This can also be generalized for tofu or soy milk.
Go is for Goma: Sesame. This category also includes nuts and seeds.
Wa is for Wakame; Wakame is a type of seaweed, but it can be any kind of seaweed.
Ya is for Yasai: Vegetable.
Sa is for Sakana: Fish. Apparently I skip this as a plant-eater.
Shi is for Shiitake: Shiitake is a type of mushroom, but it can be any type of mushroom.
I is for Imo: Potato. Any type of potato, or squash, or root vegetable.
Can you spot all the M-G-W-Y-S-I in this bowl?
M: Kidney beans; soft tofu
G: Sesame seeds; sunflower seeds
W: Salted kombu
Y: Cucumber; tomato; spinach; arugula; sprouts
S: Enoki mushroom
I: Konjak (it’s made of a kind of potato); Chestnut (this is a tough one! It’s “nut” but the texture and taste are more like potato’s? No?)
We were just in Chicago and we stopped at Mitsuwa, a large Japanese grocery store, on our way home.
It’s pretty easy to find many Japanese food today.
I can find most of the things I need at the local Asian grocery store, and a few things I cannot find there, I can get them from Amazon.
But this salted Kombu seaweed is one of a few things I like but cannot get, so I was happy to find it at Mitsuwa.
They happened to have a flea market at their parking lot, and I bought some old magazines and books.
I got them for a dollar each!
You can buy new Japanese magazines and books, but they are still pretty expensive in the U.S.
(Magazines are usually double the price.)
Even my husband found something he liked at Mitsuwa.