Nirvana Day, also called Parinirvana Day, is celebrated throughout the Mahayanan Buddhist world. While celebrations (and even the date the holiday is celebrated) differ depending on their locale, the universal premise of the holiday is to commemorate the day when Buddha reached full nirvana, or bliss, through death. Buddhists celebrate death as a form of change, rather than mourn it. Because the day is a time for simple reflection, typical Nirvana Day recipes are uncomplicated, vegetarian fare. The below recipe is one typically enjoyed by Japanese Buddhists.
1 pound fresh udon noodles (Can be found in the refrigerator section of many markets. Dry may be substituted.)
1 teaspoon sesame oil
3 tablespoons white or yellow miso
Optional toppings: 5 sheets roast seaweed snack, torn into pieces; 1 piece firm tofu, cubed; and/or 1 scallion, sliced thinly
1. Boil noodles in 2 quarts water until tender, 7-9 minutes.
2. Add remaining ingredients.
3. Serve in soup bowls.