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一汁二菜

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一汁二菜

Postby micahcowan » Mon 09.20.2010 1:20 pm

I just got myself a Japanese cookbook (これからの「料理入門」). The following is found in the preface:

各章から1品ずつを選べば一汁二菜の献立が無理なく整います。サブのおかずを2品つくれば、一汁三菜の充実した献立にもなります。

When I look for -汁 and -菜 as suffixes, I didn't find much except for the set phrase 一汁一菜 (いちじゅういっさい - and my IME refuses to produce those kanji from that kana), which apparently refers to a meager meal ("a bit of broth and a small serving of vegetable"?). Is it the case that this pair of sentences plays off of this expression for a little bit of humor ("a bit of broth and OMG! two, or even three servings of vegetables")? Or does it mean something else a bit more plain, such as "a main course and two sides"?
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Re: 一汁二菜

Postby NileCat » Mon 09.20.2010 2:20 pm

Just my two cents.

Actually, it would depend on the context or the style of the writing.
But in the example sentence you showed,

Or does it mean something else a bit more plain, such as "a main course and two sides"?

It means like you have supposed.

As you said, 一汁一菜 means a simple and humble meal. That's because the meal has a cup of soup and ONLY a side dish (and rice). However, the phrase doesn't have a meaning that the side dish itself is poor. In the phrase 一汁一菜, it sounds like the dish itself is simple and humble, though.
Therefore, when we use a phrase such as 一汁三菜, it can mean just "a dinner set that comes with a soup and three dishes". But you are absolutely right here. There can exist some "nuance". It can be a kind of "humor" according to the context. But in your sentence, I don't recognize the book writer's humorous intention. As you mentioned, I think the phrase can convey the opposite nuance of "simple and humble". Because it is NOT 一汁一菜 BUT 三菜!! See? It's gorgeous! ...But it doesn't sound that witty or humorous here. The writer seems to have used the expression without thinking. Literally as it is; "a bowl of soup and three dishes". Do you know what I mean?
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Re: 一汁二菜

Postby Mystique » Mon 09.20.2010 7:17 pm

My guess is that it is indication the number of dishes and soup, and not necessary saying if the dishes are simple. A similar expression is very common in Chinese as well.
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Re: 一汁二菜

Postby micahcowan » Mon 09.20.2010 11:23 pm

NileCat wrote:Do you know what I mean?


Yes! Thanks very much for your help.

I guess I was a little puzzled, because it starts: 各章から1品ずつ選べば, whereas the clause before it states (*sigh*, guess maybe I might not have provided quite sufficient context):

メインのおかず、サブのおかず、ごはん・パン・めん、汁物&スープの4章から構成されていますので、各章から1品ずつを選べば一汁二菜の献立が無理なく整います。サブのおかずを2品つくれば、一汁三菜の充実した献立にもなります。

And I guess I thought, four components doesn't equal "one soup, two sides"... but maybe some of those don't really count as "dishes" (such as パン)?

But you're right: if (何)汁(何)菜 is also used for normal expressions, then I don't think there's any humor intended here. I just had some trouble looking it up in the normal sources, apart from that one expression.

Thanks NileCat!
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Re: 一汁二菜

Postby becki_kanou » Tue 09.21.2010 10:29 am

micahcowan wrote:And I guess I thought, four components doesn't equal "one soup, two sides"... but maybe some of those don't really count as "dishes" (such as パン)?


Right. Rice (or a replacement for rice such as noodles or bread) doesn't count as a dish, because it's not really a meal without rice. As indeed you've no doubt noticed, the word for meal and the word for cooked rice are the same.
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Re: 一汁二菜

Postby micahcowan » Tue 09.21.2010 4:51 pm

becki_kanou wrote:As indeed you've no doubt noticed, the word for meal and the word for cooked rice are the same.


Hm, good point, that! 笑
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