Tricolor Roll, A ‘universal’ Dish Enjoyed By All, Young And Old

Tricolor roll, a ‘universal’ dish enjoyed by all, young and oldYou’re never too old to enjoy a good meal, but people in nursing care don’t always have the opportunity to eat quality food, as Hiromi Akahori knows from personal experience.
Akahori, who heads the Akahori Cooking School, studied nursing-care food during her undergraduate and graduate years. Her research included using jelly to supplement calcium as well as cooking easy-to-eat dishes and asking elderly people to rate them.

Around that time, her maternal grandmother hurt her back and was hospitalized. She enjoyed good dental health and would eat with her own teeth until the day she died.

One day, when Akahori visited her at the hospital, her grandmother pointed to the hospital lunch and said: “You eat this and go get me sushi from the Takashimaya department store.”

The lunch was “nikujaga,” simmered meat and potato, but it had been pureed in a blender.

“Food served during nursing care should not be limited to pureed or finely chopped food. Such food could dampen the spirit of those who are enjoying a long life. I felt a sense of crisis in nursing-care food,” says Akahori, 51.

Whenever she thinks about nursing-care food, she places emphasis on the concept of “kyoshoku,” eating together.

When she gave a cooking class for elderly people, a woman who lived with her son and his family lamented: “What I hate most is to be served dishes that are different from the rest of the family.”

While they can, people should share the same food. The person cooking would also find it troublesome to prepare nursing-care food.

Akahori continued her studies thinking there should be “universal” meals that people of different ages and situations could enjoy, instead of preparing special dishes just for elderly people.

The tricolor roll is an evolved version of a recipe that she created during her student days. She uses ground chicken that provides protein but is lower in calories than other meat. Grated “nagaimo” yam is added to soften the roll.

Although boiled eggs can be dry and difficult to swallow, it will turn moist when strained. The dish, which tastes like non-fatty sausage or meatloaf, can be enjoyed by the entire family.

Serves four.


2 hard-boiled eggs

3 green beans (“sayaingen”)

Ingredient A (300 grams ground chicken, 30 grams nagaimo yam, 2 egg whites, 2 Tbsp “katakuriko” starch, bit of salt, pepper and nutmeg)

Sauce B (2 Tbsp each of ketchup, Worcester sauce, red wine)

Cooking oil


Separate yolk and white of boiled egg, strain each. Boil green beans in salted hot water.

Grate nagaimo yam, mix with other items in Ingredient A.

Cut aluminum foil 30 cm long, thinly coat with oil. Spread Ingredient A mixture evenly, leaving rims of aluminum foil on four sides. Spread egg white over it. Spread yolk on top. Line up green peas on yolk. Using them as the core, roll. Twist both ends.

Bake for about 30 minutes in oven heated to 180 degrees. When done, leave until somewhat cool.

Mix ingredients for Sauce B, microwave for about 30 seconds at 600W.

Slice roll into 1 cm-thick pieces. Serve with sauce.