Qingjiao Rousi

November 30th, Friday:

DSCN4071

  • Slightly Thickened Egg Soup (Egg, Imitation Crab, Shiitake Mushroom, Trefoil)
  • Qingjiao Rousi (Pork, Green Bell Pepper, Bamboo Shoot)
  • Shrimp Crystalline Dumpling
  • Rice
  • Milk
  • Kcal: 841

Egg Usukuzu Soup is a soup that has a thin viscosity. There is also a simmered dish with the same name (usukuzu). 

Lately, it seem like we have been having Chinese-style lunches on Friday. Dishes like dumplings are generally served on Thursday (with Chinese noodles of course), so I was surprised to see it on today’s menu. Qingjiao rousi is a dish characterized by green peppers and meat. As awesome as crystalline wrapped shrimp sound, my favourite today was of course the soup. Mostly, because I really love soup. And I also really love imitation crab. Yum! Yum! “Ususkuzu” is literally “thin-starch”, so it means a soup whose broth is thickened slightly with kudzu starch. I was asking my friend about precisely what it was, and she mentioned that while they never ate usukuzu soup in her hometown in Okayama, she thinks of Kyoto when hearing the term. So it might be a somewhat locallized dish.

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Baked Chestnut Croquette

November 29th, Thursday:

  • Veggie Shoyu Ramen (Pork, Bean Sprout, Chinese Cabbage, Bamboo Shoot, Green Onion, Carrot)
  • Milk
  • Baked Chestnut Croquette
  • Japanese Pear Jelly
  • Kcal: 791

The chestnut croquette was made using chestnuts, which are a symbol of Autumn. Besides sweet chestnuts, we used potatoes and sweet potatoes  to give it a slightly sweet taste. Also, since it is shaped like a chestnut, it makes  a very cute croquette.

I think I have talked about this before, but Japanese pears and western pears (La France Pears) are very different, the former somewhat resembling an apple in taste and appearance. But they are still delicious.

  • しょうゆ野菜ラーメン
  • 牛乳
  • 焼き栗コロッケ
  • 和なしゼリー

Kenchin Soup

November 18th, Wednesday:

  • Kenchin Soup (Tofu, Carrot, Burdock, Shimeji Mushroom, Daikon Radish, Shiitake Mushroom)
  • Simmered Sweet Potatoes and Cut Konbu Seaweed (Sweet Potato, Konnyaku, Konbu Seaweed, Satsumaage)
  • Salt Culture Broiled Mackerel
  • Rice
  • Milk
  • Kcal: 733

The salt culture broiled mackerel was introduced in August. It is favoured for delicious moist taste. It is a dish we hope even those who don’t like fish will eat.

Kenchin soup is of course delicious, and as the school lunch menu above states, the Okhostk Atka mackerel had a mild taste and divided easily, making it easy to eat with chopsticks. In the past, I have felt the sweet potatoes and konbu are a little too strongly flavoured like konbu, but I didn’t feel that way today at all. It was quite good.

  • けんちん汁
  • さつま芋と切り昆布の煮物
  • ほっけ塩麹焼き
  • ごはん
  • 牛乳

Scotch Quail Egg

November 27th, Tuesday:

  • Cream Corn Soup (Corn, Onion, Parsley)
  • Potato Salad (Potato, Carrot, Onion, Cucumber, Edamame)
  • Scotch Quail Egg
  • Cocoa Bread
  • Milk
  • Kcal: 849

Inside of this time’s scotch egg is not a chicken egg, but a quail’s egg. As scotch eggs are a type of dish from England, they are eaten cold.

I felt the cocoa bread was not well suited for dipping into the corn soup, but separately they were good. Scotch egg sounds so delicious, but I feel like the egg is very much over cooked. I suppose this can’t be helped in school lunch, but I still think it is a shame. The kyuushoku dayori brings up a good point commenting on how scotch eggs are generally eaten cold. A complaint I have heard from  other foreigners about school lunch is that it is served cold. But Japanese meals, excepting of course the soup and rice, are generally supposed to be served cold (thus relaxing the necessity of a strict dinner time). While most Americans at least I think would find a cold scotch egg yucky, probably many Englishmen would probably find a hot one equally off putting. Of course, I had never had a scotch egg until I came to Japan, so I am not really that well versed in the matter, and should probably refrain from saying more.

Speaking of preferences differing from country to country, enka is a style of Japanese music still quite popular in Japan, but not well liked by most foreigners. As for myself, while a lot of enka is too “pop”-like for me, lately I’ve been listening a CD called 敬天愛人 (Revere Heaven; Love Man) by the artist Ogata Daisaku. All of the songs are about different heroes of the Meiji Restoration and I’ve really taken a liking to it, so to speak. So here is one of the songs. It is called “Katsura Kogorou”, who was a young reformist who was known for his many daring escapes from the bakufu inu.

  • クリームコーンスープ
  • ポテトサラダ
  • うずらスコッチエッグ
  • ココアパン
  • 牛乳

Tatsuta Marlin

November 26th, Monday:

  • Miso Soup (Cabbage, Carrot, Tamogi Mushroom)
  • Simmered Pork and Daikon (Pork, Daikon, Konnyaku, Shiitake Mushroom)
  • Tatsuta Marlin
  • Rice
  • Milk
  • Kcal: 852

Marlin appeared in the American novelist Earnest Hemingway’s book “The Old Man and the Sea”. With lots of calcium, it helps our bodies get rid of excess sodium.

I feel so tired. I want to stop being ill. Anyway, today’s lunch was better than I expected. Tatsuta is way of frying fish after flavouring it with shoyu and coating it in starch. I think you can catch marlin in my hometown, but only by going out on a boat, so my family didn’t eat it so much. I think the name tatsuta comes from a certain harvest goddess, but I am not sure.

I wanted to mention that last week, I brought pictures of “Three Great Beauties of the World” to show my students. I asked them to vote on who they felt was most beautiful (not based on the pictures I brought, but on their own conception). Cleopatra won majority of votes, followed by the Japanese beauty Ono no Komachi with about 30%. The poor Chinese beauty, Yang Guifei, didn’t get any votes in either of my classes. It wasn’t what I expected, so I was surprised.

I was re-watching Ryoma-den the other night and one episode is called “Oni no Komachi”, which I missed last time. Oni means “ogre” and referred to the beautiful but harsh woman who was an expert at kendo named Chiba Sana (千葉佐那).

Fox Udon

November 22nd, Thursday:

  • Kitsune Udon (Chicken, Shimeji Mushroom, Daikon Radish, Green Onion, Plum Guten)
  • Milk
  • Rice Cake Stuffed Bean Curd
  • Ironman Apple Cheese Dessert
  • Kcal: 661

Mochi (rice cakes) are made from steamed mochi rice. It is a type of very sticky rice. The rice we normally eat isn’t as sticky and it called “uruchi rice”.

Uruchi rice (medium grain rice) may not be as sticky as mochi rice (short grained rice), but it is far more sticky than the dry long grained rice that most westerners eat (ew!).

As I mentioned yesterday, dishes characterized by the addition of bean curd often use the word “kitsune (fox)”. Today’s kitsune udon is basically udon with a pouch of age (bean curd) in it. It’s so delicious. I love it so much!!

The apple dessert was a sort of whipped cream cheese like mouse with apple bits in it. Being a dessert, it was tasty, but to be honest, I don’t really like the whipped cream texture that characterizes many Western style desserts. It is probably supplemented with iron, which is why it is called “ironman”.

  • きつねうどん
  • 牛乳
  • もち入り味付きあげ
  • 鉄人アップルチーズデザート

Soba Party

November 21st, Wednesday:

  • Furano Wine and Cheese Curry Rice (Pork, Potato, Carrot, Onion)
  • Milk
  • Boiled Vegetables Salad (Broccoli, Cauliflower, Red and Yellow Bell Pepper)
  • Omelet
  • Kcal:961

The third and last entry in the Pride of the School Lunch Centre’s Curry Rice Contest is “Furano Wine and Cheese Curry Rice” from Furano City. Please savour this curry we are proud of.

Two main agricultural enterprises of Furano city are wine and dairy products, you I am sure you can see where this curry’s inspiration comes from. That said, I didn’t actually eat school lunch today. Instead, I went to an elementary school. The 老人クラブ (Grandparent’s Club) was invited to the school and everyone made soba, inari sushi, and tsukemono together. You can see the soba made pictured above. The soba used was grown by the students at school, so over all it was a culmination of a project began last spring. The student I worked with was a tiny boy in third grade, but was very enthusiastic. When I asked him if he might want to become a soba chef, he said he would like that. He also remarked how soba was rather hard to make, but very easy to eat. So it made me happy that he understood how much work and effort goes into the food we so carelessly consume everyday.

Oh also, if you didn’t know, the origin of the term “inari sushi”. Obviously, sushi is the vinegared rice stuffed inside the bean curd pocket. Inari is the name an agricultural kami (god) whose servants are said to be foxes. Foxes (and thus Inari-sama himself) are said to be very fond of bean curd. Thus dishes which are characterized by their use of bean curd often use the word “Inari” or “Kitsune (Fox)”.

Inari sushi and many varieties of tsukemono

 

麓郷小の二宮尊徳の像
二宮様のファンだから O(≧▽≦)O

  • ふらのウィンチーズカレーライス
  • 牛乳
  • ボイル(ゆで)野菜のサラダ
  • オムレツ

 

Cabbage and Bacon Soup

November 20th, Tuesday:

  • Cabbage and Bacon Soup (Cabbage, Bacon, Tomato)
  • Meatsauce Dressed Spaghetti (Spaghetti, Pork, Onion, Green Bean)
  • Baked Cream Croquette
  • Milk Bread
  • Grape Juice
  • Kcal: 681

The meatsauce used in school lunch, due to coming in a can, is premixed with the spaghetti. Enjoy the slighlty different taste as compared to Napoliton.

Today’s soup had a stronger than usual taste of bacon, I thought. But I have a soft spot in my heart for cabbage soup, so I thought it was good. The croquette was just that: a croquette of a thick cream. It sort of reminded me of like condensed cream of mushroom soup. Speaking of cream of mushroom soup, here is an amusing anecdote. When I was child, I didn’t like mushrooms because they looked weird. I mean seriously, my grandfather kept a jar of dried shiitake mushrooms on top of the refrigerator and do they not look weird?! But this led to me refusing to eat mushrooms of any variety, to the point I would pick out even the tiniest squares of mushroom out of cream of mushroom soup. Actually, that anecdote wasn’t that amusing, and really only served to show what a picky and selfish child I was. (-_-;)

Back to school lunch. I am not overly fond of spaghetti nor meatsauce/spaghetti sauce.  That said, I liked today’s spaghetti dish better than the spaghetti napolitan. The term used for today’s dish is actually rather interesting. Literally, it reads: Spaghetti Meatsauce Ae.  “Ae” is a type of preparation, usually meaning rather than cooking the dish it is “dressed” with a sauce like vinegar, or ground sesame, or mayonnaise. It’s really more like a salad than it is a pasta.

Oh, and yay for grape juice!

キャベツとベーコンのスープ
スパゲッティメートソース和え
焼きクリームコロッケ
ミルクパン
ぶどうジュース

Stonehunt Soup

November 19th, Monday:

  • Ishikari Soup (Salmon, Daikon Radish, Tofu, Carrot, Burdock, Chinese Cabbage)
  • Simmered Hijiki and Bean Curd (Hijiki Seaweed, BeanCurd, Carrot, Konnyaku, Green Bean)
  • Shore Fried Chikuwa
  • Rice
  • Milk
  • Kcal: 860

Stonehunt (Ishikari) Soup is a traditional dish of Hokkaido made with salmon. Threeflats (Sanpei) Soup is another Hokkaido dish. The difference is that threeflats soup is a salt based broth and stonehunt soup is a miso based broth.

I like ishikari soup and hijiki so much. They are both very tasty. Yum! Yum! I like chikuwa a lot, but it was a little bit oily today. Speaking of chikuwa, lately I’ve been buying this chikuwa with Furano onions mixed in with the fish and it is extremely delicious, straight or on rice. Besides this, it is very low in fat and pretty cheap comparatively speaking.

By the way, I always mispronounce the word “salmon”. Most people do not pronounce the “l”, but since all my knowledge comes from books, I tend to pronounce the “l”. Anyway, I reading the other day that reason salmon has an l is due to my beloved Latin! The word “salmon” comes from Latin word “Salmo”.

石狩汁
ひじきと厚揚げの煮物
ちくわの磯辺揚げ
ごはん
牛乳

Mabudofu

November 16th, Friday:

  • Miso Soup (Carrot, Chinese Cabbage, Wakame Seaweed)
  • Mabudofu (Tofu, Pork, Green Onion, Shiitake)
  • Pork Dumpling
  • Rice
  • Milk
  • Kcal: 782

Mabudofu and dumplings (shuumai) are both a type of Chinese dim sum (tenshin). Dim sum are foods that accompany the soup and main dish. Sweets, snacks and various light dishes are also called dim sum.

I was sick. 😦 I like this style Chinese food, at least in school lunch. Last month, I bought some mabudofu at the convenience store. It was so spicy, I felt unwell for two days after eating it.

みそ汁
麻婆豆腐
ポーク焼売
ごはん
牛乳