15 March 2022
Guide for Japanese Plates
In Japan, the unassuming dish takes on a life of its own, transcending its basic role of merely holding food to become an essential part of the culinary experience. Known in Japanese as "Sara," these are not just any plates; they are blank canvases for culinary artistry, crafted with as much precision and historical significance as the dishes they support. By carefully selecting a Sara that complements each dish, a synergistic effect is created that elevates both the food and the plate.
From the delicately designed Arita porcelain to the durable functionality of Tobe ware, the world of Japanese plates offers a rich tapestry of options. Each one carries its own unique history and aesthetic value. It's not merely about shape or material; it's also about the stories these plates tell and the essence of Japanese culture that is infused in every crafted piece.
- "Mamezara" Sauce Plate
- "Kozara" Side Plate
- "Chuzara" Main Plate
- "Ozara" Serving Plate
- "Kakuzara" Rectangle & Square Plate
- ”Kodaizara” High Foot Plate
"Mame-zara" Sauce Plate
What is "Mamezara" Sauce Plate?
Small plates, less than 12cm(4.7in) in diameter, may seem unfamiliar for some dining style, and you may wonder how they are used.
However, "Mamezara" sauce plate are very much loved in Japan. They are frequently used in Japanese table settings to serve condiments such as wasabi or pickles to refresh the palate, or as a sauce plate for soy sauce and as a chopstick rest.
Since they come in a wide variety of designs and do not take up much space in a cupboard, they are fun items to collect according to one's taste.
As a sauce plate for eating sushi
Mame-zara is the perfect size as a soy sauce plate, and is often seen in authentic Japanese restaurants as a set with sushi plates.
The HIRACLE series by Kutani ware features a sakura (cherry blossom) pattern that appears when soy sauce is added. The set also includes sakura-shaped chopstick rests, which are very popular.
Even when enjoying take-out sushi at home, simply adding a beautifully designed Mame-zara sauce plate makes it feel special.
Make it Gorgeous with Jubako Bento Box
The combination of a few Mame-zara sauce plate and Jubako bento box is a traditional and popular Japanese style seen at New Year's and other festive occasions. In addition to Jubako, Mame-zara can be combined with trays and large plates to create gorgeous table settings.
Less than 12cm (4.7in) in diameters.
"Kozara" Side Plate
How to use "Kozara" Side Plate?
"Ko" means "small" and "Zara" = "Sara" means "plate", meaning a small plate. It would be just the right size for a side plate for serving appetizers or desserts.
As a dessert plate for tea time
Kozara side plate is also a good size for serving sweets or pastries to accompany tea, or for serving small snacks such as cheese and crackers when having drinks. If you are a Japanese tea lover, it is fun to choose the combination of tea set and Kozara by design.
Small items like Kozara are available in a wide variety of quite lovely designs, such as this one. They make table setting more fun for gatherings at home, and they also make great gifts.
The typical diameter of a Kozara side plate is around 13 cm (5.1in) ~ 15 cm(5.9in).
"Chuzara" Main Plate
How to use Chuzara Plate?
Chuzara means “Medium plate”, is often used in Japanese cuisine to place the main dish. It is smaller than Western main plates. Since it is an item that greatly affects the impression of the table, it is a good idea to have several variations to match the season or theme.
Modern style tabletop with beautiful shaping
There are many variations in the design of Chuzara. If you want to give your dining table a contemporary style, you can choose a beautifully shaped piece that creates sophisticated shadows or one without a pattern that gives you a sense of the characteristics of the material.
The typical diameter of a Chuzara main plate is around 15 cm(5.9in) ~ 21 cm(8.3in).
"Ozara" Serving Plate
How to use Ozara Plate?
Ozara is a serving platter which is placed in the center of the table and used to hold main dishes for sharing. The brightly colored plates make dishes such as sashimi or tempura more gorgeous, or even sober-colored simmered dishes look brighter and tasty.
Regardless of Japanese or Western style dishes
Ozara can also be used as a main plate for one person. It will become a mainstay of your daily tableware, serving various dishes such as pasta, rice, salad, and any food arrangement on a single Ozara plate.
The typical diameter of a Chuzara side plate is around 21 cm (8.3in)~ 24 cm(9.4in).
"Kakuzara" Rectangle & Square Plate
How to Use "Kakuzara" Plate
In Japan, a square shaped plate is called a "Kakuzara". It is ideal for serving sashimi along with Japanese salad decorations. They give a more stylish and fresh atmosphere to your usual dining table. For the best plate for sushi, rectangular plates are more recommended.
As a placemat
Large, flat Kakuzara square plates are very stylish when used as placemats. It will give the impression of a sophisticated Japanese cuisine.
The length of one side is about 12~24 cm(4.7~9.4in).
”Kodaizara” High Foot Plate
How to Use "Kodaizara" Plate
In Japanese pottery terminology, the foot of a plate is called Kodai, and a plate with a high foot is called Kodai-zara.
High foot plates are often used in Kaiseki cuisine (traditional Japanese dinner) restaurants to create a rhythm on the table and give a special impression to elaborate main dishes such as tempura and sashimi.
Japanese aesthetics also favor designs that appear to be scenes of nature itself. For example, these plates, featuring natural rock motifs, also help to surprise guests.
The height of foot is more than 2cm (0.8in).