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In Japanese cooking, garnish is not just added to a dish to make it look pretty. The word to describe the herbs and vegetables that accompany a dish is yakumi, which means “medicinal flavor,” and originally referred to the concoctions that practitioners of Chinese medicine made using various ingredients from nature.

Even in the 21st century, many people believe that the use of these fragrant, fresh herbs and vegetables is good for your health as well as your taste buds.

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